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Decision Support Manager
So how would you describe your role?
Decision support jobs involve translating financial information and analysis into something that can be understood and used by senior managers and executives to make critical commercial decisions. A lot of financial roles can be quite inward-facing, but in this role I know I’m making a direct impact on the money-making part of a business.
Decision support jobs are about being able to get into the detail – gaining an in-depth understanding of the business and really understanding what drives it. Jobs in decision support create a real opportunity for you to act as part of a team for the business area you’re supporting.
As the interface between the finance function and a designated area of the business I manage and co-ordinate financial information outputs - reporting, budgeting, forecasting and so on. Decision support jobs tend to follow a cycle. In the first ten days of a month I’ll review the actuals; how they compare to forecasted figures and make adjustments as required. Then I produce a commentary report in layman’s terms which summarises the results and explains discrepancies in a way that will help executives understand and interpret the data. Within decision support jobs you’re also expected to make recommendations – for example, about which products the bank should be driving forwards.
For the rest of the month, decision support jobs are usually split between ad hoc financial reporting requests and longer term projects. These longer term projects may involve using the income statement to identify potential threats and opportunities for the forthcoming six months to five years; or conducting the year end reporting.
What kind of skills do you need?
Decision support jobs are definitely for people who enjoy building large networks – I get to develop relationships with people in all parts of the organisation. And as well as having good people skills, I need to make sure that I maintain my technical knowledge.
Flexibility in decision support jobs is important, as at times I’m managing an unpredictable workload and working to tight timescales. Jobs in decision support also require you to have the courage of your convictions to be able to present suggestions that may be contrary to the prevailing view.
Is there anything about the role that you think might not suit some people?
I think you need to be prepared to accept that at times in decision support jobs your recommendations may be overruled by higher-level decision makers.
What do you enjoy most about what you do?
I think one of the most rewarding things about jobs in decision support is being able to make a real difference to the bottom line and to some extent, the strategic direction of the firm – especially when people regularly seek my opinion. And there’s a reasonable amount of variety in terms of projects and ad hoc requests in decision support jobs – so there’ll always be something new for me to learn.
If this sounds like a role that you’ll thrive in, then we’d like to hear from you. Joining us, you’ll also enjoy a competitive salary and an excellent benefits package that you can tailor to suit your individual needs.
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