Finance Officer

A career in Finance provides the versatility to work across a number of industries, with the core responsibility of maintaining the financial framework in an organisation. Forging a career in finance could place one in any of the following key areas: Accounting Operations, Financial Management, Business Finance, Treasury, Tax, Audit, and Compliance and Control.

Job Details
Work Details: 

You may find yourself working in the following key areas: •Accounting Operations - transaction processing in the requisition-to-pay process: such as invoice processing, accounts receivable, accounts payable, e.t.c. •Financial Management – preparation of statutory corporate accounts, periodic management financial reporting (monthly, quarterly, annual), budget performance review, external audits; joint venture partner reporting. •Business Finance – financial management focused only on specific business segments or projects. •Treasury – cash/funds management, cash forecasting and planning, bank borrowing, bank relationship management, financial advisory, contract review, interest rate risk management, exchange rates, insurance. •Tax – business tax advisory, tax processing and compliance – statutory corporate (income, Withholding tax, capital gains tax, withholding personal (P.A. Y. E), e.t.c. •Audit – internal independent review of defined area of the organisation. •Compliance and control – ownership, governance and review of the finance control framework to ensure the integrity of the system. •The analysis and interpretation and application of financial data – to help explain performance and form a building block to strategy, marketing position formulation.

Entry / Training Requirements: 

A Bachelors degree (or HND) is quite fundamental. Where this is not in a finance specific discipline (e.g. finance, accounting, and business administration), a related post graduate qualification (e.g. MBA, M.Sc Finance) or professional qualification (e.g. ACA, ACCA, CIMA, CFA) would be an added advantage, to demonstrate an interest in and knowledge of the field. One does not have to be fully qualified professionally before exploring opportunities in oil and gas firms, especially where there is working experience. It helps, however to be able to demonstrate some competency in Accountancy and Finance by having passed some of the levels.

Training & development, professional certifications
While there is a lot to be gained from formal training, it is important to note the importance of on-the-job training. Typically there are certain basic courses that are offered within an organisation, for new joiners. These could be of a generic nature but will need to be put in the context of the company and the finance activity involved.
Further training is available as one makes progress in the career. A number of companies offer a lot of web based resources.
It is also important to invest in one’s self and proactively work on self improvement by self financing - to the extent possible - some courses or learning events of interest. A lot is available virtually. It is also helpful to maintain an external view and attend courses or conferences that help to broaden the mind and perspectives of what is going on in your environment generally and in your field in particular. These also provide a great opportunity to meet people and build a network.

Opportunities & Pay: 

A lot of companies now have a web presence and accept electronic applications or submissions of CVs. Some only do this exclusively. The Human Resources (HR) department typically would provide some guidance to job seekers. Where specific recruitment campaigns are advertised in the press, guidelines are stated. The applicant has to do a bit of research to know which companies operate within the geographical area that he/she is considering and then check their web sites and make inquiries. Some companies also do campus recruitment periodically – at home and abroad. In such cases, the universities (e.g. career counseling department) will have information on the schedules of such companies that go to some campuses. Points to Note: As the major EP related activities are carried out in the areas of operations, all the large companies have bases in the Niger Delta. This means that some job opportunities may come with a location requirement typically in Port Harcourt or Warri, at least for a few years. Some organizations run trainee programmes for new entry level graduates for about 18-24 months, which entail spending short stints in different departments at the end of which one is posted to a specific department. Alternatively, entry level recruitment can be for specific areas. Knowledge of what goes on in other areas is developed through internal interactions in the course of work or from internal awareness programmes. On the average, it is not uncommon to spend between 2 to 3 years in a role before moving on to the next one. This allows for a deepening of the knowledge and understanding of the area. Employment Opportunities? These can be found in the big companies like NNPC, NLNG, the International Oil Companies (e.g. Shell, Exxon, Chevron, Total, Agip), the large Nigerian independent oils companies (e.g. Oando, Sahara), and a number of mid-sized and smaller companies. The recent Local Content Bill for the sector, provides guidelines to enable higher participation of Nigerian companies in the industry. It is helpful to find names of active players through industry journals, publications and through web-based search engines. Self Employment Given that the industry is quite capital intensive, self employment tends to be through the provision of services or products/supplies. Such examples are financial consultancy, and some outsourced work on transaction processing.

Generally, compensation structure depends on the sector and the company. The upstream companies (exploration and production of oil and gas) or integrated companies, generally tend to offer higher compensation than the purely downstream (e.g. marketing of oil products). This is mainly because operating profit margins are higher in the upstream than in the more competitive downstream. The latter may offer additional commission based on sales. However there are quite a number of integrated companies operating across the value chain (upstream to downstream) that have a uniform compensation structure. In most cases, there is an element that is dependent on individual performance. One would not expect to see major differences between comparable players in the same sector. What is important to understand is the company approach to determination of compensation, including the elements that are based on individual and company performance.

Minimum Educational Level: 
Undergraduate Degree
Job Level: 
Skilled
Job Level: 
Supervisory / Middle Management
Licenses/Professional Certifications: 
ACA
CFA
CIMA
ACCA

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