What is in-house finance?
An in-house finance department takes care of the financial affairs of a company or public or private organisation. In-house finance departments are typical of large businesses, and medium-sizes enterprises may also have them.
The more employees and clients a company has, the more demand there will be on accounting obligations and the need for financial planning. An in-house finance department quite literally understands, monitors and processes a company’s finance issues inside-out.
There is potential for real variety here, as often in-house finance professionals work across the business. They gain and utilise in-depth knowledge of the particular industry the company works in and combine it with financial expertise to prepare budgets and accounts for the business as a whole, or a particular department or project. They also carry out forecasting (use of previous financial data to help decide how budgets should be allocated) and analysis of accounts as appropriate, as well as duties revolving around tax obligations, payroll and pensions.
Key areas of in-house finance departments are tax, treasury and management accounting. According to the industry and services the company provides, there will be opportunities to get involved with preparing financial documents, developing targets, budgeting accounting and analysis of financial results for very niche products.
In-house doesn’t mean that these guys don’t liaise with anyone outside of their company bubble either. They often work closely with consultants from external professional services firms to develop and apply improvements in their processes.
It’s possible to work up to an in-house finance director role after gaining plenty of experience in accountancy and/or financial analysis. A lot of companies across various industries have graduate programmes in their finance department, as well as school leaver programmes. These programmes often offer the opportunity to gain in-depth understanding of a particular market, as well as simultaneous study for a professional qualification.
In-house finance industries…
Here’s a taster of some of the big industries you can get your teeth into within in-house finance:
Engineering – Finance departments are integral to engineering companies, whatever their specialism. Automobile companies, for example, need in-house finance experts to help them with their tax and audit obligations, and apply their financial knowledge and guidance in areas such as manufacturing operations and product development and sales.
Retail – From supermarket chains to high street names and luxury retailers, retail offices need in-house finance departments to monitor expenses, keep track of the accounts and assist with or conduct audits. Retail is an extremely fast-moving industry, so in-house finance roles in this industry will often spread across various sections of a business. Knowledge of international finance may also apply for big names.
Law firms – The legal sector is a power house for generating revenue – it’s one of the world’s most lucrative industries! As such, each law firm office needs a team of experts to handle its financial matters and to ensure everything runs smoothly. It could involve anything from internal account matters and audits to processing the billing of clients for chargeable hours. Some firms have particularly large in-house finance services to look after their financial affairs; particularly City firms with huge intricate webs of departments spread across offices all over the world.
Energy – In-house finance professionals with energy companies may work across numerous sections of the business and different projects, for example nuclear and coal energy generation.
IT – Technology is at the forefront of every industry. Work for an in-house finance company will mean accountancy, treasury, reporting and tax duties which will oversee transactions or specific projects, such as product development.
Public sector – Finance professionals form part of in-house finance departments at local councils and larger central government organisations. They handle a wide span of duties, including accounting; insurance matters for the organisation, payroll, pensions, calculating council tax benefits and revenue services such as collecting rents and council tax (for local councils), answering queries, conducting internal audits, (sometimes in conjunction with an auditor from a professional services firm) and liaising with an external auditor.
Applying finance expertise to the energy sector.
Finance departments are integral to engineering companies, whatever their specialism, because across the board, all of these companies have to make sure they have a strong financial core in order that they can keep their services and products competitive and profitable!
These days, technology is at the forefront of every industry. What this means is that for technological companies, there is a whole host of financial gains to be made from the use of their products!
Law firms make up some of the largest corporations in the world, so it’s no surprise that within these firms, there are huge in-house finance teams at work.
Managing accounts, planning budgets and raising finance for public sector projects.
Finance is a huge part of everythign retail, and there's so much scope in the opportunities in the sector.
Finance (In-house) Stereotype Breaker
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