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Life as a Financial Accountant

In financial accountancy, you will be responsible for ensuring that the expenditure is recorded and accounted for, in line with the requirements set out by International Financial Reporting Standards.

A role could include:

  • working in the payroll department, making sure colleagues get paid the right amount and on time
  • handling payments for goods and services in an accounts department
  • raising bills and securing income for services provided
  • working closely with colleagues purchasing goods and services in the procurement department ensuring financial rules, procurement processes and correct authorisations are in place
  • working closely with capital projects to ensure resource is allocated to the maintenance, upkeep and updating of the NHS estate
  • planning and allocation of funds for the rolling replacement of clinical equipment
  • maintaining financial systems, the Information Technology (IT) systems that track all financial activity
  • monitoring cash positions and forecasting cash requirements to allow scheduled payments to be made
  • management of and reporting on the financial statements that form the Annual Accounts of the organisation (the Balance Sheet, the statement of income, cashflow statement)
  • co-ordinating with the Inland Revenue, VAT collection and other authorities including independent auditors

Roles in Financial Accountancy

Who would I work with?

Working within financial accounting you will be working with fellow members of the finance team, auditors, estates colleagues and with leadership teams within the organisation when working on Business Cases. You will also work with your counterparts within other NHS organisations within the area, ensuring that you are keeping expenditure within the capital amount that has been provided to the system.

In more senior roles within Financial Accounting, you will work closely with Non-Executive members of the Board, particular when producing and presenting reports to the Audit Committee, similarly with Executive members of the Board when reporting to the Board.


How much could I earn?

A starting salary within NHS Finance will be dependent upon the skills, experience and professional qualifications that you hold when starting your career within NHS Finance. An entry level position with no experience and secondary education qualifications will provide a salary in line with either nationally set Apprenticeship hourly rates or the national living wage.

As you start to gain experience and start studying the AAT qualification, you can expect to earn between £22-£25k.

As you progress through your accountancy studies and apply for roles that require you to be studying or qualified at AAT level or to have completed initial levels of a CCAB qualification (part qualified), you can expect to earn a minimum of £25k per annum. Roles that require the individual to be CCAB qualified start at a salary level of £50k and can rise to as high a level as £115k dependent upon the role and the responsibility levels.

The highest salary within the finance function is that of the Chief Finance Officer, which is likely to be in excess of the top Agenda for Change salary of £115k, but again will depend upon the size of organisation and the responsibility level. The salary is regarded as ‘Very Senior Manager’ and is set by the Pay and Renumeration committee of the organisation, outside of the nationally set Agenda for Change terms and conditions.

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