Finance and Financial Management: Graduate Area of Work

The vast scale of FMCG calls for finance professionals to perform functions ranging from tax planning to cost forecasting.
Carmen Teh
Writer, gradsingapore
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Graduate finance roles in consumer goods companies call for plenty of team work and effective communication from across different areas of work to maintain and execute effective financial controls.

In this area of work, you will be responsible for providing information to the management that will later be used to make business decisions and to assess the company’s performance against targets and budgets. The primary aim of finance roles in this industry is to help steer the profitability and efficiency of the business.

As you advance in your career, you may be put in a team that will oversee the success of a particular brand/product. You will thus need to be aware of market developments and any changes in regulation that may affect the company’s business.

Career overview

It is common for major graduate employers to offer finance graduate schemes, where you will go through rotations across various finance functions in the company before settling into one particular team.

During your time in the scheme, you would be expected to provide financial information about specific products throughout the different stages of their life cycles. Additionally, you may also be analysing the sales progression across the business.

You may also be tasked to undertake other duties such as providing financial analysis for a brand or product category, profit forecasting, optimising costs in manufacturing facilities and internal audits.

Upon completion of the training scheme, you may advance into management accounting roles where you will focus on either commercial or operational activities. You may also progress to a senior role in finance management or even a finance director for a brand, a group of products or the region.

Required skills

Numerical competence is something you will need in order to cope with the day-to-day tasks assigned to you. A degree in finance and management, as well as other business-related degrees will give you an advantage among applicants from other disciplines.

You will also need to have good communication, negotiation and interpersonal skills, as well as good attention to detail, while being highly results-driven.

Self-confidence will also take you a long way in this field as you will need to challenge business decisions that don’t make financial sense.

Ups and downs

Expanding your commercial awareness of the fast moving consumer goods sector will take up your personal time, but there are plenty of diverse opportunities and flexibility to move around the industry.

Graduates keen on attaining both personal and professional growth will also find this an attractive industry.