The food and beverage manufacturing industry in Canada employs over 280,000 people at 7,600+ businesses. These businesses achieved $117.8 billion in sales in 2019.
Managing those revenues are finance and accounting professionals who ensure companies maintain healthy finances and that they are making solid investments while managing their costs.
Here’s a look at just some of the accounting and finance jobs in the food and beverage processing industry:
Don’t let the title fool you. At first glance, you may think a plant controller is just another title for “plant manager.”
Though some management activities are involved, the main role of the plant controller is reporting the financial activities of the plant and providing accounting support to different teams around the production facility. One of the main ways they do this is by preparing and analyzing operating performance reports. Depending on the size of the company, the plant controller might have other responsibilities. For example, in a smaller company, their role could include risk management and cash management.
In terms of education, plant controllers have a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related field like finance or business administration.
A cost accountant’s role is to help the business by overseeing and analyzing cost expenditures and purchases within the whole company. They then make recommendations about cost-efficient and financially feasible options for different parts of the business. Depending on the size of the company, this position may have other accounting-related tasks as well.
People in this position typically hold a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related field. They are also required to have an International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) accreditation and a certified public accountant (CPA) license. Several years of previous accounting experience is considered a big asset, along with any previous experience in the food and beverage processing industry.
Financial managers are responsible for the financial health of the company. They produce financial reports and develop strategies based on financial research. They also help guide the company’s senior executives in making good business decisions in both the short and long term.
They may also be charged with overseeing the day-to-day operations of the finance department, setting goals and objectives, and designing the framework for these to be met.
Finance Managers hold a bachelor’s degree in finance or accounting. A certified public accountant (CPA) license is also sometimes a requirement or considered an asset. Previous experience in the food and beverage processing industry is also a plus.
Chief Financial Officer (CFO)
The chief financial officer (CFO) is the top financial position in a company. They are tasked with tracking cash flow and financial planning and analyzing the company’s financial strengths and weaknesses and proposing strategic directions.
This position is also known as a “c-suite” position, meaning they work alongside the company’s other top executives such as chief executive officer (CEO), Cheif Operating Officer (COO) and Chief Information Officer (CIO)
CFO’s manage the finance and accounting divisions and for ensuring that all the company’s financial reports are accurate and completed in a timely manner.
Becoming a CFO at a food and beverage processing company usually requires considerable prior experience within the industry. This is a position people work towards over a period of time. In terms of education, most people in this role have advanced degrees and certifications, such as a graduate degree in finance or economics. They may also have a background in accounting or investment banking.
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