Financial managers keep a business or an organization's finances on track, and school financial officers do the same thing for a school, whether it's a large university or a local public school district. The minimum education level required for school finance officers is generally at least a bachelor’s degree in accounting, business administration or finance. In many cases, school boards employ finance officers and designate their duties.
Keeping Accounts and Records
A school finance officer updates financial records by documenting each transaction, and processing invoices and orders. The finance officer may also ensure that the school's accounts conform to standard principles of governmental accounting and regulations from a local government. Preparing and filing reports that highlight the school's financial condition are also a school finance officer's duties.
Many schools are income generating businesses like any other, requiring a finance officer to control and manage the money it generates. The officer oversees the money that comes in and out of the school by monitoring financial distributions and investments. The finance officer might determine whether the school should use its cash reserves or obtain loans for purchases or investments.
Implement Cash Management Strategies
Cash management is a practice of ensuring that business money is properly used and accounted for. A school financial officer does this by administering and controlling school funds. The finance officer analyzes the school’s operations, identifying and implementing strategies to reduce the time and money spent on day-to-day school operations. These ordinary tasks include processing purchase orders, payroll management and bill payments.
School financial officers also act as financial planners for the school. They might collaborate with other school leaders to determine the school's objectives and how finances can work toward those objectives. They ensure that available funds are used effectively and transparently to reach goals.