FINANCE CAREERS CHART

 

Most of the major jobs in finance have been included below, but support functions such as HR, PR and property services are not included to keep the page size manageable!

Chart of Careers in Finance

 

CAREER Description Skills Required Positives Negatives

ACCOUNTANCY

       
Chartered Accountant (ACA) Visits clients as part of an audit team; reviews their business operations & financial records to establish the validity of the company's accounts. Also tax, consultancy and insolvency work.

Spoken communication
Analysing
Investigating
Cooperating
Numeracy
Listening
Advising
Consulting

Variety
Early responsibility
People contact
Provides an overview of the whole enterprise.

Long hours of study
Work when training
Certified Accountant (ACCA) Manages accounting systems. Audits financial records & investigates anomalies. Prepares financial statements/ management information. Advises clients on tax & financial issues. Covers:
  • Information systems
  • Financial accounting & reporting
  • Taxation of corporate & non- corporate entities (using actual tax rules)
  • External audit & assurance
  • Law

Analysing,
Investigating
Organising
Cooperating
Numeracy
Advising

Options to specialise in any industry.
Provides an overview of the whole enterprise.
Hard work to qualify.
Negative image Can be high pressure,

Management Accountant (CIMA)

Provides the financial information required for the financial protection & planning of companies. Maintains & reconciles accounting records. Prepares financial statements & management information. About the management & planning of the future (as opposed to audit & assurance which is about examining past records):
Emphasis on:
  • Operations
  • Change Management
  • Relationship & Project Management
  • Organisational decisions

Analysing,
Investigating
Organising
Cooperating
Numeracy
Managing

Not “number crunchers” but practical managers: doers rather than advisers.
Options to specialise.
Overview of whole business.
Professional qualifications
Good career prospects
Good training & development
Availability of jobs
Excellent salaries
Intellectually demanding work
Good job security
Good work-life balance

Hard work to qualify.
Negative image: seen as boring.
High pressure at financial year end.
Public & Finance Accountant (CIPFA) Manages financial services such as income collection; providing budgeting information & advice to management in public sector organisations: hospitals, Civil Service and local government. Spoken communication. Analysing,
Investigating
Cooperating
Numeracy
Being directly involved in the running of an organisation providing valuable services to people Financial constraints of public sector
Frustrations of local politics.
BANKING        
Investment Banking Corporate finance - mergers, acquisitions, Stock Exchange quotations for new issues, arranging loan facilities for governments & corporations, financing large international projects, large-scale foreign exchange dealings, negotiating acceptance credits, loans, export guarantee credits & investment management.

Excellent academic record
Excellent interpersonal skills
Numeracy, Resilience
Confidence
Business interest.

Completion of a successful transaction, particularly when market is difficult. Well-paid.
Excellent salaries
Prestige
Work is intellectually demanding
Good long-term career prospects
Chance to work overseas
Very long hours
Very demanding & aggressive environment.
Retail Banking/ Building Society Management Financial services provided by High Street banks for personal customers & small businesses through their branch network. Safe custody of money. Transmission of money between accounts. foreign exchange & financial advice; provision of loans to customers, authorising overdrafts, developing contacts with the local community. & marketing of financial services e.g. insurance, mortgages, management of staff, work & resources of a branch.

Spoken communication Analysing
Persuading
Negotiating
Cooperating
Numeracy
Integrity
Honesty
Good character Adaptability
Patience

Building a relationship with customers
Providing a quality service & being 'thanked' for it; Progression/promotion in a short space of time;
Good training opportunities

Long hours;
Stress;
Pressure to learn things very quickly & perform to a high standard
Selling

INSURANCE        
Broking Arranges insurance for clients. Works out the requirements of clients, the risks they face & suggests appropriate insurance. Negotiates with insurance companies to get the best policies for clients.

Negotiating
Analysing
Numeracy
Attention to detail.

Having specialist knowledge,
Well paid
Mainly 9 to 5.
Have to work to deadlines
Quite a lot of pressure.
Underwriter Decides if an insurance proposal is an acceptable risk & what premium should be paid.
Prepares policies.
Deals with insurance brokers & clients.
Analysing
Written communication,
Decision-making
Numeracy.
Attention to detail
Flexibility
Numeracy
Flexible working hours. Subsidised mortgage & other benefits Lots of paperwork.
Actuarial Applies mathematical & statistical techniques to business problems. Works out the degree of risk on life assurance policies, pensions & employee benefits & investments.
Analysing Investigating,
Very strong numeracy (grade A maths A Level) Communication
Co-operating
Advising
Passing exams
Able to achieve things, (i. e. valuation results).
Travel
Working with people from other companies.
Studying for exams is very hard work: needs lots of motivation.
Long hours.
TRADING        
Front Office /Stockbroker Looks after institutional, corporate or private clients’ investment portfolios. Buys & sells shares to give the maximum return. May also deal in securities, money & financial products. Works in a team with investment analysts. Researches information about equities. Advises clients. Analysis
Speed of thought
Attention to detail
Calmness under pressure Commitment
Very well paid
Lots of excitement

Highly pressurised & stressful.
Long hours

Middle Office Support functions to front office. Includes marketing, compliance and risk management Attention to detail Well paid Long hours
Back Office Support functions to front office. Includes operations, computing, HR and finance. Attention to detail Well paid Long hours
FUND MANAGEMENT        
Investment Analyst Researches financial information about companies & gives this information to fund managers to help them manage investment portfolios. Involves analysing information, meeting with company representatives to question them about finances, checking for political, economic & business developments that may influence the financial markets, & producing reports.
EMPLOYERS: investment management companies, investment banks & stockbrokers.
Analysis
Numeracy, Communication Determination
Spoken communication Analysing
Investigating Cooperating
numeracy
high salary
undertaking in-depth research
In depth knowledge of the financial world, & the world at large;
meeting other people
long working hours
pressure
deadline orientated
Hard work
very steep learning curve.
LEGAL SERVICES Compliance, corporate law      

Financial Adviser

Conducts financial investigation into client's affairs & then advises on applicable options such as pensions, life assurance, investments, mortgages & loans.
EMPLOYERS: Insurance companies etc., or independent financial advisers & brokers.

Spoken communication
Negotiating
Persuading
Listening
Numeracy.

Primarily client satisfaction & good client relationship. Financial rewards can be high but uncertain as most positions are self-employed & commission based. Uncertainty of remuneration Normal downside of any selling operation – rejection.
Management Consultant

May advise on: organisational structure & development, production management, marketing, sales & distribution, personnel management & selection, systems analysis & design, economic & environmental studies.
Identifies & investigates, problems concerned with policy, organisation, procedures & methods of organisations. Recommends appropriate action & helps to implement this.

Spoken communication
Written communication
Analysing
Investigating
Persuading.
Good academic record,
Flexibility.

Varied work
Well paid
Excellent career enhancement opportunities
Long hours
Pressure
Little support
Need to be self - motivated. Primarily based in London.
May be a lot of travel
Economist Researches & analyses economic trends, issues & data. Uses this research to produce forecasts & reports & as the basis for advising clients (companies, financial institutions, & public bodies) & providing them with economic information for use in forming policy or strategy.

Spoken Communication
Written communication, analysing; decision-making; numeracy.

Using degree subject Indirectly influencing
organisational decisions.
Working to meet deadlines & under pressure.

 

 

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