The finance sector is an incredibly popular employment sector that generally offers higher salaries and opportunities for career progression.
As a sector, finance covers a range of roles across a variety of disciplines including investment, banking, accountancy and financial analysis. This means, depending on your qualifications and experience, there are plenty of opportunities for individuals to start working in finance.
In this article, we explore the different finance jobs that are available and the skills someone needs to work in the role.
What are the most popular finance jobs?
If you’re thinking about starting a career in the finance industry, there are a number of different finance jobs available across various sectors. We run down some of the most popular finance jobs available below:
When people think about the finance industry, the first role that usually comes to mind is accountancy. Every business, regardless of its size or income, needs an accountant to manage its cash flow. Correctly monitoring the profit and loss of a business is a key responsibility for an accountant, alongside managing the organisation’s wider financial strategy.
Some of the potential responsibilities of an accountant include:
- Account Advisory
- Tax Advice
- Forensic Accounting
- Risk Assessment
- Corporate Finance & Recovery
With this in mind, it’s vital that accountants have a specific set of skills that help them achieve their role. It’s important that an accountant can:
- Manage financial systems using specialised software
- Analyse the financial risk a company may face
- Have the ability to conduct both internal and external audits
- Advise and assist clients with the management of their business finances
Take a look at our vacancies.
2. Investment analyst
Investment analysis and investment management are key elements within the financial sector, often undertaken by specialised firms or financial professionals. Individuals specialising in investment help companies or private clients with the management of their investment portfolios, ultimately contributing to the goal of risk assessment and wealth generation. They may simply advise on potential investments or directly manage the investments on a day-to-day basis.
Some of the responsibilities of an investment professional include:
- Investment management
- Investment analysis
- Risk management
- Investment banking
- Portfolio management
If you’re considering a role in investment, there are a number of skills that can help you succeed in the role. A role in investment generally requires:
- The ability to analyse patterns and data
- Identifying potential investment opportunities
- Understanding how to speak with clients regarding investment opportunities and risk management
3. Chief Finance Officer
A Chief Finance Officer – sometimes referred to as a CFO – is a top-level executive position within any business. CFO’s manage a company’s complete financial operation while also planning future financial activity. In most cases, a CFO will also provide advice and support for members of the finance team, ensuring they stay on task and assist with any long-term financial projects.
Some of the main responsibilities of a Chief Finance Officer include:
- Budget organisation
- Evaluate and recommend technological infrastructure
- Monitor the company’s financial activity
- Forecast potential activity in the future
- Protect the company against external factors
If you’re looking to become a Chief Finance Officer, there are some vital skills you need. It’s important for a Chief Finance Officer to be able to:
- Effectively run a team of finance professionals
- Run risk analysis to protect the business against external factors
- Recommend technology platforms that may streamline the business
- Use specific methodology to forecast future activity
4. Financial Controller
A financial controller is a vital element of any business and essentially leads the accounting department for a company. While they’re not as high-level as a Chief Finance Officer, the financial controller runs the day-to-day of the business, including paying employees and reviewing the company accounting procedures.
The main responsibilities of a financial controller include:
- Developing accounting procedures for the business
- Overseeing the entire accounting operation
- Managing both incoming and outgoing invoices
- Reviewing a company’s financial history to ensure it’s accurate and reliable
- Manage business payroll and employee payments
The role of a financial controller requires several major skills that include:
- Analytical skills for reviewing and developing new procedures
- Attention-to-detail skills that help them manage and pay invoices correctly
- Knowledge of financial platforms and programs used in payroll and accounting
An economist is a specific type of finance professional that analyses and plans around an organisation’s resources. The role of an economist is largely focused around researching trends, establishing patterns and providing recommendations. Economists often work alongside larger corporations, academic organisations and the government, submitting reports that an organisation can work from.
The primary responsibilities of an economist include:
- Performing research on market trends and the economy
- Providing financial recommendations to larger organisations
- Determining the resources within an organisation and how to allocate them
- Establishing how an organisation can reduce expenses and maximise income
- Recommending what an organisation can provide in terms of services and products
Being an economist requires several core skills including:
- Organisational skills to manage and plan around the resources within a business or company
- Analytical skills to establish how a business can reduce expenses and finance effectively
- Research skills for determining patterns and forecasting the impact of external factors