CAREER DEVELOPMENT / JUL. 10, 2014
version 5, draft 5

How to Become a Finance Officer

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If you have always wanted to pursue finance as your career and if you are passionate about working in the business world, a rewarding career choice you may consider is that of a finance officer.

A finance officer is a corporate officer responsible for providing financial advice and necessary support to businesses so as to enable them to make sound business decisions. His primary job is to manage the financial risks of the organization. He may also be known as finance director.

Job

The roles of a finance officer may vary considerably depending upon the size of an organization and he may be expected to perform various tasks such as:

  • To provide and interpret all the information related to company’s finances
  • Monitoring various cash flows
  • Predicting future trends
  • Formulating short-term and long-term business plans
  • Studying factors affecting the performance of business
  • Minimizing financial risks by development efficient financial management mechanisms
  • Analyzing market trends
  • Liaising with auditors and developing professional contacts
  • Effectively managing a company’s financial accounting, monitoring and reporting systems
  • Generating financial reports and controlling budgets
  • Supervising the staff
  • Keeping abreast of changes in financial regulations and legislation

Remuneration Scheme

Salaries may vary widely depending upon the type, sector, size and location of the employing organization.

Average salary of finance officer

Around £22,119 per year

Source: http://www.payscale.com/

Your employer may offer you bonuses as well. In this profession, salary does not change very much with experience.

Working Hours and Conditions

You usually work from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. You may have to work for longer hours so as to meet deadlines.

You are usually based in an office but you may have to travel in case the company operates from multiple sites. Thus, you may to stay away from home sometimes.

Entry Requirements

To become a finance officer, you may hold a graduation degree in any field but it is advantageous to possess degree in one the following subjects:

  • Business/ Management
  • Economics
  • Accountancy and finance
  • Mathematics/ Statistics

To gain competitive advantage in this field, it is required that you earn a post graduate degree in certain niche areas. Through these programs, you learn specialized knowledge as well as professional traits of the job.

You may also enter into this profession by studying for an accounting technician qualification offered by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)  or The Institute of Financial Accountants (IFA). After this, you may easily work your way up to a management position through professional accountancy training.

Training

Once employed, you are usually provided professional accountancy training on-the-job. You are also encouraged to work towards various industry qualifications and qualify various professional examinations. You may refer to the websites of professional bodies offering such qualifications:

Interests and Skills Needed

To be a successful finance officer, it is vital that you demonstrate the following:

  • Good analytical skills
  • Impeccable communication skills
  • Excellent problem solving skills
  • Business and commerce awareness
  • Good numerical skills and technical know-how
  • Be able to pay attention to detail
  • Proficiency in working with computers
  • Inquisitiveness
  • Excellent time management skills
  • Be able to prioritize work and meet deadlines
  • Be able to work in a team
  • Good inter-personal skills
  • Be able to lead and motivate others
  • Rational approach towards work

Career Prospects

You may find easy employment with both private and public organizations such as multinational corporations, retailers, financial institutions, NHS trusts, charities, manufacturing companies, universities and general businesses.

You generally kick off your career as an accountant and then move your way up the career graph. After significant experience, you are promoted to various management roles.

Your role as a finance officer is very crucial in the success of a company. All the steps taken by you are at the root of all major business decisions.

 

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