Being a successful finance director: Insights and data

finance director

Being a successful finance director: Insights and data

The role of a Finance Director is crucial in any company, overseeing financial operations, guiding strategic decisions, and ensuring fiscal stability. But what sets apart a successful Finance Director from the rest?

Financial acumen

A successful Finance Director possesses a deep understanding of financial principles, accounting practices, and industry-specific knowledge. According to a survey conducted by Deloitte, 93% of CFOs consider financial acumen a critical skill for Finance Directors. They excel in analysing complex financial data, interpreting trends, and providing valuable insights to drive informed decision-making.

Strategic vision

A successful Finance Director goes beyond number crunching and embraces a strategic mindset. Research by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) indicates that 80% of Finance Directors are involved in strategic planning. They align financial goals with the organisation’s overall objectives, contributing to long-term growth and profitability. By identifying opportunities and risks, they provide invaluable guidance to the executive team.

Leadership and communication

Effective leadership and communication skills are essential for a Finance Director’s success. A study conducted by Robert Half reveals that 87% of CFOs believe leadership skills are crucial for Finance Directors. Successful Finance Directors inspire and motivate their teams, fostering a collaborative and high-performing environment. Additionally, they possess strong interpersonal skills to effectively communicate financial information to stakeholders at all levels, making complex concepts accessible and actionable.

Ethical integrity

A successful Finance Director upholds the highest ethical standards. They demonstrate integrity in financial reporting, compliance with regulations, and handling sensitive information. Trust and credibility are crucial, as they are responsible for maintaining the organisation’s financial reputation.


80% of Finance Directors are involved in strategic planning.


Adaptability and continuous learning

The finance landscape is ever-evolving, and successful Finance Directors embrace change and are eager to learn. A study by EY found that 92% of Finance Directors believe adaptability is important for their role. They stay updated on industry trends, new regulations, and technological advancements, seeking opportunities to enhance efficiency and effectiveness. Their adaptability ensures they remain agile in a dynamic business environment.

Business acumen

A successful Finance Director possesses a holistic understanding of the organisation’s operations and industry dynamics. The Financial Leadership Council reports that 85% of Finance Directors actively collaborate with other departments. They leverage their financial expertise to contribute to strategic decision-making, aligning financial strategies with broader business objectives to drive sustainable growth and profitability.

Relationship building

Building strong relationships is a hallmark of a successful Finance Director. They establish connections across departments, stakeholders, and external partners. These relationships foster collaboration, facilitate effective communication, and enhance the finance function’s influence within the company.

To become a successful Finance Director, one must possess a combination of technical expertise and key traits such as financial acumen, strategic thinking, leadership, ethical integrity, adaptability, business acumen, and relationship-building skills. Supported by insights and data, Finance Directors who embody these traits can make significant contributions to their organisations, driving financial stability, growth, and long-term success.