Financial Services Administrator

Job description

Financial Services Administrators provide financial assistance and budget resources support to all military activities. 

The primary duties of a Financial Services Administrator are to provide:  

  • Financial administration and services
  • General office bookkeeping
  • Accounts payable and accounts receivable support
  • Budget management services 
Transcript

Financial Services Administrator

WARRANT OFFICER KAREN BERRIGAN: I’m Warrant Officer Karen Berrigan from Ajax, Ontario. I’m a Financial Services Administrator at National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa.

SERGEANT HUSSAIN KHALIQUE: And I’m Sergeant Hussain Khalique from Montreal, a Financial Services Administrator currently posted at Canadian Forces Base Kingston.

NARRATOR: FSAs, or Financial Services Administrators, provide financial services, advice and management for the Royal Canadian Navy, Army, Royal Canadian Air Force and Special Operations Forces. This includes general office bookkeeping, accounts payable and accounts receivable support, as well as budget management services.

BERRIGAN: One of the big things that we do is we’re advisors to our chain of command on how much public funds we can spend in order to keep daily functions going, not only within Canada but outside of Canada.

KHALIQUE: Be it through processing claims, processing invoices, accounts receivable, accounts payable and through budget management practices.

BERRIGAN: Whether it be from keeping track of civilian and reserve pay, to actually creating reports to show how much money is being spent.

KHALIQUE: The main role of a Financial Services Administrator is to safeguard, if you will, the public funds that are entrusted to the Canadian Armed Forces through the Department of National Defence.

KHALIQUE: Well, the best part of the job is every day is different and you get different challenges depending on where you are within Canada or overseas.

BERRIGAN: The sense of accomplishment when you are overseas is amazing because you get to not only experience the host nation, but you also see how the input that you are providing, the knowledge and the advice to your chain of command, makes the mission successful.

NARRATOR: Once they complete their training, Financial Services Administrators are posted to a base, unit, or ship. There, they can work as the Unit Sub-Cashier or Cashier responsible to dispense funds to personnel requiring payments. They can also be involved in providing the financial information required to plan exercises and operations, looking back at previous years’ expenses to determine what is required for the upcoming events. They can also be employed as a claims clerk, responsible for finalizing claims for personnel returning from tasks away from their unit and reconciling cash balances at the end of the day.

BERRIGAN: There’s always room to share your ideas to make things better. So when you work in a team environment within the Canadian Armed Forces, you’re able to share your knowledge, you’re able to share your ideas to make the outcome more positive for everybody.

NARRATOR: On deployment, FSAs could be in charge of accounting or they could work as a contracts clerk. As they progress in rank, their functions and responsibilities increase.

BERRIGAN: And the higher in rank that I’ve gotten, I’ve had more responsibility and now I’m involved in business planning.

NARRATOR: Financial Services Administrators are part of the Logistics Branch of the Canadian Armed Forces. They are sailors, soldiers or aviators first and then FSAs. Wherever they’re stationed, they’ll be tasked with secondary duties related to their element.

BERRIGAN: Growing up in an environment where part of my family was in the Forces, I was able to see the pride that they had and the accomplishments that they were able to obtain serving our country. I decided that I would go into the Canadian Armed Forces and it’s been great. You have an impact on all the other members of the Canadian Armed Forces, whether they be overseas or in other parts of Canada.

KHALIQUE: I was looking for a way to sort of give back; give back to the country that adopted me and gave me a home. I find that it’s very rewarding at the end when you’ve accomplished a mission with your colleagues and with your teammates. You build long-lasting relationships and lifelong relationships in many cases.

Overview

Working environment

Financial Services Administrators are employed at all Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) bases in Canada, on ships, and overseas, in support of Canadian Army, Royal Canadian Navy or Royal Canadian Air Force operations. They may also serve in special operation units, medical organizations, recruiting offices, schools, reserve units, NATO/UN positions, and other specialized units throughout the CAF. Opportunities are also available with embassies in countries where Canada has a military attaché.

Pay and career development

The starting salary for a fully trained Financial Services Administrator is $60,000 per year; however, depending on previous experience and training the starting salary may be higher. Financial Services Administrators who demonstrate the required ability, dedication and potential are selected for opportunities for career progression, promotion and advanced training.

Related civilian occupations

  • Financial Records Entry Clerk
  • Financial Manager
  • Accounting Technician
  • Bookkeeper
  • Budget Officer
  • Cashier Clerk
  • Business Planner Technician
  • Verification Manager

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Training

Basic Military Qualification

The first stage of training is the Basic Military Qualification course, or Basic Training, held at the Canadian Forces Leadership and Recruit School in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec. This training provides the basic core skills and knowledge common to all trades. A goal of this course is to ensure that all recruits maintain the CAF physical fitness standard; as a result, the training is physically demanding but achievable.

Basic Occupational Qualification Training

Financial Services Administrator attends the Canadian Forces Logistics Training Centre in Borden, Ontario. Training takes approximately 15 weeks and includes:

  • Briefing on financial authority, regulations and financial structure
  • Accounting 101
  • Processing vendor invoices, payables and receivables
  • Initiating, processing and finalizing claims
  • Administering support to operations
  • Assisting members with credit card and reconciliation
  • Reconciling departmental travel expenditures
  • Providing support to personnel management
  • Maintaining budgets and business plans

Specialty training

Financial Services Administrators may be offered the opportunity to develop specialized skills through formal courses and/or on-the-job training, including:

  • Cashier
  • Non-Public Funds Administration
  • Aviation Petroleum, Oil, and Lubrication Financial Administration
  • Deployed Operations
  • Compliance and Verification

Advanced training

As they progress in their career, Financial Services Administrators who demonstrate the required ability and potential may be offered advanced training. Available courses include:

  • Verification Manager
  • Policy Analyst
  • Business Planning
  • Civilian Personnel Management

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Entry plans

Required Education

The minimum required education to apply for this position is the completion of the provincial requirements for Grade 10 or Secondaire IV in Quebec with Grade 10 applied math (math 426 in Quebec) and Grade 10 (Secondaire IV) English or French. Basic training and military occupation training is required before being assigned.

Part-time option

This occupation is available part-time within the following environments: Navy, Army, Air Force

Serve with the Reserve Force

This position is available for part-time employment with the Primary Reserve at certain locations across Canada. Reserve Force members usually serve part time in their community, and may serve while going to school or working at a civilian job. They are paid during their training. They are not posted or subject to a military move. However, they can volunteer to move to another base. They may also volunteer for deployment on a military mission within or outside Canada.

Part-time Employment

Financial Services Administrators may serve with the Canadian Army, the Royal Canadian Navy, or the Royal Canadian Air Force and experience the unique challenges associated with these environments. They can be employed providing financial support to military activities. When they are employed on a part-time or casual full-time basis they usually serve at a Canadian Armed Forces headquarters, home port or unit located within Canada.

Reserve Force training

Reserve Force members are trained to the same level as their Regular Force counterparts. They usually begin training with their home unit to ensure that they meet the required basic professional military standards. Following basic training, occupational training for Financial Services Administrators takes about 15 weeks and may be conducted at the Canadian Forces Logistics Training Centre in Borden, Ontario.

Working environment

Reserve Force members usually serve part-time with their home unit for scheduled evenings and weekends, although they may also serve in full-time positions at some units for fixed terms, depending on the type of work that they do. They are paid 85 percent of Regular Force rates of pay, receive a reasonable benefits package and may qualify to contribute to a pension plan.

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