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  • Finance Officer

Finance Officer

Also known as

  • Book-keeper
  • Finance Assistant
  • Purchase Ledger Clerk
  • Sales Ledger Clerk

Work Activities

As a Finance Officer, you will be looking after your company’s budget and managing the banking arrangements.

You will also be financial planning and creating reports to collect and analyse data. From these reports, you will need to make important financial decisions. This could be about new budgets or seeking approval from your Financial Manager.

Finance Officers might record the cost of purchases the organisation has made, and send off payments for goods and services received. For each cost, you will prepare a statement/report for the staff. You might need to contact customers or suppliers to discuss outstanding payments or credits.

You might also check travelling expense claim forms submitted by members of staff, and arrange for them to be paid. This could involve having separate accounts with a small amount of money to allow this.

Other duties include:

  • performing routine calculations to produce reports
  • enter data into a financial spreadsheet
  • collect information and prepare all the staff’s payroll
  • writing reports on changes that could be made to reduce costs to improve profit
  • reviewing all departments budgets
  • preparing financial forms to check account balances and purchases made by the company

Being able to read, write and speak Welsh may be an advantage when you’re looking for work in Wales.

Personal Qualities and Skills

To become a Finance Officer, you will need:

  • good communication skills
  • be able to work as part of a team
  • have an interest in finance and statistics
  • to be confident in making important decisions
  • good written skills
  • to be able to prioritise your workload
  • IT skills

Pay and Opportunities

Pay

The pay rates below are approximate:

  • Starting: £21,000 - £22,000
  • With experience: £23,500 - £27,000
  • Senior Finance Officers earn £28,500

Hours of work

Finance Officers usually work 35-40 hours Monday to Friday. However, they might need to work late or at weekends at peak times, for example, at the end of the financial year.

Where could I work?

Finance Officers are employed in many different areas and organisations, including:

  • shops and other retail outlets
  • charities
  • universities
  • banks

Where are vacancies advertised?

Vacancies are advertised on all the major job boards, on Find a Job, and at Jobcentre Plus.

Entry Routes and Training

Entry routes

You can enter this career by a degree in either finance, accounting or business studies to become a Finance Officer.

A great way to get into this career is through an internship. Take a look at our information article 'Internships', for more details.

Experience of the following will help you get into this career:

  • Accounts Assistant
  • Finance Assistant
  • Accounts Administrator
  • Financial Administrator
  • Bookkeeper

An Intermediate or Advanced Level Apprenticeship is also a great place to start and work your way up to a Finance Officer position.

Training

Training is available, sometimes through day-release to college, leading to nationally recognised qualifications.

These include qualifications offered by the Chartered Institute of Public Finance & Accountancy (CIPFA)

The CIPFA offers a course in the International Public Financial Management. This course will allow you to learn about financial accounting, management and public finance which would be really helpful for you to gain experience to become a Finance Officer.

There could also be other relevant awards and certificates at levels 2 or 3 in, for example, payroll administration, depending on the job role.

Other courses might be available in your local area.

Work Experience

Previous experience and skills in, for example, numerical work and/or office administration, which would be really useful for this career.

Progression

This career can help you develop your skills and become a Finance Manager. Take a look at the job profile ‘Finance Manager’ for more details.

Qualifications

For entry to a degree, the usual requirement is:

  • 2/3 A levels where some universities specify maths, economics and business studies
  • GCSEs at grade C/4 and above in your A level subjects where economics is useful but not essential for entry to degree courses
  • a further 2/3 GCSEs at grade C/4 and above, often to include English and maths

Alternatives to A levels include:

  • BTEC level 3 qualifications
  • the International Baccalaureate Diploma

For registration with a chartered body, the usual minimum requirement is:

  • 2 A levels
  • GCSEs at grade C/4 or above in 3 other subjects
  • English and maths at either level

Some universities accept the Welsh Baccalaureate as equivalent to 1 A level.

Adult Opportunities

Age limits

It is illegal for any organisation to set age limits for entry to employment, education or training, unless they can show there is a real need to have these limits.

Entry

Some applicants have relevant skills in, for example, numerical work and/or office administration.

You might be able to take an Intermediate Level Apprenticeship or an Advanced Level Apprenticeship in Accounting.

Courses

Colleges will usually consider applications from adults who do not meet their usual entry requirements. You should check the admissions policy of individual colleges.

Distance learning

A large number of centres offer distance learning courses in ICT skills, such as word processing, spreadsheets and databases.

The International Association of Book-Keepers offers level 1 and 2 awards and certificates in relevant subjects by distance learning. Relevant distance learning is also available from the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT).

Statistics

  • 12% of Accounts Assistants are self-employed.
  • 26% work part-time.
  • 23% have flexible hours.
  • 5% of employees work on a temporary basis.

Further Information

Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA)

Address: 3 Robert Street, London WC2N 6RL

Tel: 020 7543 5600

Email: corporate@cipfa.org

Website: www.cipfa.org

Apprenticeships: Get In. Go Far

National Apprenticeship Service (NAS)

Tel: 0800 015 0400

Email: nationalhelpdesk@findapprenticeship.service.gov.uk

Website: www.apprenticeships.org.uk

Skills Development Scotland - Modern Apprenticeships

Tel: 0800 9178000

Email: info@skillsdevelopmentscotland.co.uk

Website: www.myworldofwork.co.uk/modernapprenticeships

Careers Wales - Welsh Apprenticeships

Tel: 0800 028 4844

Website: ams.careerswales.com/

People Exchange Cymru (PEC)

Public sector recruitment portal for Wales

Email: peopleexchangecymru@gov.wales

Website: www.peopleexchangecymru.org.uk/home

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