What is a finance officer/administrator and what do they do?

A finance officer provides financial and administrative support to colleagues, clients and stakeholders of a business. They help to manage the finances of an organisation by monitoring its income and spending. They will oversee accounting and processing tasks across income and expenditure (including payment runs), as well as reviewing bank and balance sheet reconciliations. They are also responsible for the maintenance of financial records, ensuring financial data accuracy, the entry of all transactions on the accounting software and often the administration of the payroll.

A finance administrator role covers all of the above tasks, but does not have overall accountability for them, instead performing a supportive role to the finance officer.

Key responsibilities

Responsibilities will vary, but examples include:

  • Accurately recording all financial transactions, usually on computer systems
  • Preparing balance sheets
  • Processing invoices
  • Reconciling bank statements
  • Recording accounts payable and accounts receivable
  • Producing financial forecasts
  • Assisting in the preparation of budgets
  • Preparing monthly, quarterly and annual financial reports
  • Dealing with payroll, expenses and VAT
  • Participating in financial audits
  • Assisting with the implementation of financial policies

Why are they important?

Finance officers and administrators contribute to the financial health of a company by administering accounting operations to ensure that the financial systems are maintained accurately and efficiently. They also play an administrative role in ensuring that the business is compliant with relevant regulatory and legal requirements

Skills needed for this role

Finance officers and administrators must have a high level of numeracy as well as excellent attention to detail. They should also have strong analytical and reporting skills, and be good at problem solving.

Strategic Professional Options examinations linked to this role

Advanced Performance Management

Career opportunities presented by this role

This is an entry level role that may attract those who are keen to pursue a further career in accountancy. With experience and appropriate professional training (such as through the ACCA Qualification), finance officers can be promoted to senior finance officer, finance manager or even finance leadership positions such as financial controller.

Competencies

High level competencies required include:

  • Corporate and business reporting

    A. Prepares financial statements, corporate financial and integrated reports for external stakeholders using appropriate technology.

    B. Leads effective decision making through analysing, evaluating and communicating performance and position of entities.

    C. Prepares financial statements for groups of entities using appropriate technologies.

    D. Monitors, critically evaluates, and advises on the relevant accounting standards, regulations, conceptual and financial reporting frameworks.

  • Data, digital and technology

    A. Identifies strategic options to add value, using data and technology.

    B. Analyses and evaluates data using appropriate technologies and tools.

    C. Applies technologies to visualise data clearly and effectively.

    D. Applies scepticism and ethical judgement to the use of data and data technology.

  • Management accounting

    A. Applies development and performance management, in the wider business and technological environment, within the context of strategic planning and implementation.

    B. Directs organisational performance through the selection and measurement of financial and non-financial performance indicators.

    C. Collaborates on the key tactical and organisational areas of budgeting and control, capital investments, people and resource management.

    D. Consults on the design and use of current and emerging technology and information systems to improve strategic decision-making and organisational performance.