Finance in the NHS


The NHS has a large annual budget and the NHS Finance Function must be expert in the financial planning, analysis, management and control of those funds. There are over 15,000 finance staff working in the English NHS.

The NHS Finance Function can offer a wide variety of career options covering roles from Finance Assistant to Finance Director. Entry to this career pathway will depend on your educational achievements, training and experience.


The NHS expects all staff to maintain and develop their expertise, and the Finance Function is no exception to this. When you join us, you will be put through an orientation process that will help you to get used to the organisation that you have joined, as well as the finance team of which you will be part.

Then we will work with you to make sure that you have a personal development plan that will help you to grow your skills and abilities to do the job you are in and to move towards the next step in your own personal career pathway.

Depending on your personal background and abilities, you will have opportunities to undertake training that may include the European Computer Driving Licence, national vocational qualifications and professional accountancy qualifications. In addition, you will have access to technical skills courses and a wide network of finance staff who will help you to develop both your competences and your career.

So who said accountants are boring?

A career in NHS Finance may be:

  • Demanding
  • Varied
  • Interesting
  • Rewarding
  • Valuable
  • Developmental
  • Stretching
  • Exhausting
  • Fun
However, your career will only be as good as you make it. Working together, we can achieve the right career pathway for you, but it won’t be an easy ride. We will expect you to play a significant part in the future of the NHS. That means constantly working to improve the way NHS funds are used and continuously improving the way that you do your job.

In return, we will play a significant and exciting part in your career. We will offer you a variety of roles as you progress within the Finance Function and will help you to learn about the way the NHS operates. We will support your personal and professional development and we will make sure that you have the opportunities you deserve for a great career in the modern NHS.


So what would I actually be doing?

As a Finance Assistant, you may be providing financial information to colleagues so that they can make decisions about how to spend and control the budgets. You may be answering routine enquiries from patients or other NHS staff. You will be getting good experience of working in a busy office environment, learning about the computer systems and the procedures that make it possible to manage the money. You will be asked to work with the systems but as a valuable part of the finance team you will have the opportunity to makes suggestions on how we might improve the way we do things.

As a Finance Team Leader, you would be responsible for a particular specialist group of staff within the Finance Function. You would have a detailed understanding of accounting procedures in the NHS, as well as a sound knowledge of both internal and external rules and regulations that affect the work of your team. You will have specialist technical knowledge and experience, and you would be involved in complex work both with your team colleagues and with others. You will be able to manage the performance and development of your team and the work that they do. You will probably have achieved a professional qualification equivalent to NVQ level 4.

As a Finance Director, you will hold a board position as an executive director. The role is tough and challenging. You will have a wide and detailed knowledge of the organisation, the NHS and the political, social and business environment within which the NHS operates. You will have worked across many types of organisation and be willing to take significant personal and professional responsibilities. You will be a qualified accountant with considerable, relevant post-qualification experience.

If you cannot find the information you require on this website, please visit the NHS Careers website by clicking here.