What is a Financial Reporting Manager?

Elva K.

Financial reporting managers are accountants who manage preparation of proxy statements, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings, and other filings as needed. As such, the financial reporting manager must have knowledge and expertise in generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), expertise in SEC rules, expertise in doing accounting research, and must be able to make recommendations about company tax strategy. Additional examples of the specific type of work that a financial reporting manager does includes preparation of earnings releases on a quarterly basis, coordinating annual audit or quarterly review efforts undertaken by external auditors, month-end or year-end closings, or even helping to prepare press releases pertaining to a company’s financial position.

A financial reporting manager meeting with employees.
A financial reporting manager meeting with employees.

At the beginning of their careers, these accounting professionals are hired for positions which require them to be supervised. If they perform well, typically they are given additional work assignments, which may be more complex and which may involve more interaction with individuals in various departments within a company. This is an opportunity for the accountant to demonstrate knowledge of the complexities of accounting while also demonstrating the ability to interact well with peers. If they are able to handle increasing levels of responsibility, promotion and increases in pay will typically occur. This will usually result in a person eventually becoming a financial reporting manager.

Preparing financial reports is part of a financial reporting manager's duties.
Preparing financial reports is part of a financial reporting manager's duties.

By the time they begin work as a financial reporting manager, these accounting professionals typically already have four or more years of work experience in a well known accounting firm. Typically, as a result, they are heavily exposed to financial and SEC reporting. This heavy exposure enables them to become experts.

Individuals interested in becoming a financial reporting manager will typically pursue an accounting major in college which results in the attainment of a bachelor’s degree. After completion of the college degree, individuals must pass the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam. Then, after attainment of the CPA designation, individuals will often work for a few years before continuing into graduate accounting training where they will typically earn the Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree in accounting. In some cases, they may also choose to earn the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in accounting if they have interest in teaching accounting classes on the college level some day.

Indeed, this particular job includes many tasks. In fact, in a sense, a financial reporting manager’s job is never done because there are always upcoming tax deadlines. Thus, individuals who become financial reporting managers must stay abreast of the latest accounting laws as well as be able to tolerate stress and keep pace with the demands of this job.

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