There’s a huge scope for in-house finance roles within the world of retail, because ultimately businesses in the industry needs to make sure that they are making profits and analysing where their strengths and weaknesses lie.
With a constantly changing economic climate, in-house finance work in the retail sector is a fast-moving career and one which presents different challenges day after day, as different sectors of any given business will need different analysis and advice. The retail sector is also a hotspot for international business and many of the bigger businesses will have offices and outlets across the world – so if international finance is your ballpark, in-house retail finance might just be the path for you!
In-house finance in the retail sector: typical projects…
An in-house finance role in retail will involve lots of analysis of various aspects of the company’s finances, perhaps on the typical customer for a particular retailer or the sales of a chosen product. There is also the monitoring of expenses, keeping track of the accounts and assisting with or conducting 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.
Opportunities with in-house finance roles with retailers can be open to graduates from any degree discipline, though some companies only recruit graduates with at least a 2:1 in accounting, finance or economics or a related subject for their finance roles.
A graduate scheme will give a taster of financial life in a number of different departments within the retail industry, and many employers also provide often the opportunity to study for a professional qualification alongside work, usually in accounting.
Possible career paths…
A graduate scheme in in-house retail will usually lead to a good knowledge across a host of departments within the business, from where you can specialise as you wish! Some departments will handle the business strategy of the retailer as a whole, whereas others will be more niche – consulting with specific stores to maximise profit margins or analysis of the trends which determine the success of the business.
There’s a whole host of other areas too – tax is obviously a key one, making sure that the company is submitting all the correct information to the relevant financial authorities, and that the business complies with the constantly changing financial regulations of the financial world. Retailers are always looking to cut unnecessary costs, so in-house audits are often done by accountants on their books in order to make sure that everything is running cost-effectively and the workforce is as effective as possible.
Ultimately, there’s financial managers and executives at the top of the tree, who manage the entire operation, often spanning countries and continents, who lead the whole financial team and make the executive decisions that determine the financial direction of the retailer. These are often people who have come up through the company ranks, and so if your dream job is the financial hot seat at one of your favourite shops, then in-house financing for a retailer is a great way to get your foot in the door.