NHS Careers > Explore by career > Wider healthcare team > Careers in the wider healthcare team > Corporate services > Finance staff

Finance staff

The NHS need to ensure that it's funds are properly controlled and wisely spent. Within the finance team, staff have a range of roles to play, depending upon where they work and the level of responsibility that they hold.

They might be:

  • managing budgets and making key decisions on spending
  • in the payroll department, making sure all employees get their salaries
  • in accounts, handling payments for goods and services
  • using computer-based systems to track financial activity or to audit expenditure and income

Finance staff are based in finance departments at hospitals, in trust headquarters and in strategic health authorities.

Typical job roles include finance officer, procurement officer, finance clerk, accounting technician, finance assistant, payments assistant, ledger clerk, financial analyst, and payroll assistant. More senior posts include such roles as payroll manager, finance director, senior buyer, business accountant, head of finance and management accountant.

Entry requirements

You might come in with no qualifications through the administration route, as a clerk for example, and study for a qualification. Some trusts may offer the chance to train through an apprenticeship in financial services. For general information about apprenticeships, please click here. For more senior roles you will need a qualification that is recognised by the Association of Accounting Technicians or the Consultancy Committee of Accountancy Bodies.

For the most senior levels you will normally need to be a professional accountant. For more information on management roles in finance, please click here

Whatever role you enter, you need to be accurate, numerate and pay great attention to detail.

Career prospects

If you come into the NHS with a qualification in finance, you can develop your career, gaining experience and qualifications. You can move across into senior management in general healthcare.

Equally, if you join without formal qualifications and wish to progress, you'll be encouraged to take the necessary training for your chosen career path. For example, in finance you may be able to work towards an Association of Accounting Technicians qualification - based on NVQs level 2 to 4 - or one leading to chartered, certified or management accountant status for the more senior roles.

Job vacancies

Job vacancies are advertised in a range of places. Most NHS trusts will advertise their vacancies on the NHS Jobs website. Some will advertise in trade journals and trust websites.

For a list of trusts visit the NHS Choices website.