Transportation, Distribution, & Logistics
Transportation, distribution, and logistics refers to the business of moving people and products by road, air, rail, and water. In today’s ultra-connected world, this sector is responsible for managing the products we buy online, the delivery of raw materials to factories, and the transport of anything imaginable to its destination.
The list below is an example of some of the roles which are available within this industry. Studying accounts as a subject can aid you to follow a career path which leads to one or more of these roles, amongst many others.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
The CEO is responsible for leading the entire organisation by guiding the strategic, financial, and operational elements of the business. The CEO pushes the business in the direction which is advised by the Board of Directors and the shareholders, who are the owners of the business. Being the executive decision-maker, the CEO has the overall responsibility for taking decisions on the business’ future and keeping track of how the entity is operating and managing resources to ensure that deadlines and objectives are met.
Chief Financial Officer (CFO)
The CFO is an accountant and the ‘right hand’ of the CEO as they (she/he) are responsible for forecasting the future financial standing of the business based on the operational data and the financial reports which are prepared by the Financial Controller and the accounting department. The CFO is essential in that they advise the CEO, the Board of Directors, and the shareholders on the strategic direction that the business should take based on a variety of information, such as the business’ profitability and cash flow, as well as market threats and opportunities.
The Financial Controller is an accountant who heads the accounting department and assumes full responsibility for tracking the general profitability of the business through the preparation and management of timely financial reports. Under the leadership of the Financial Controller, the accounting department would manage different functions of the business to ensure that incomes (from sales of services) and expenditures (such as the cost of insurance or licenses, creating a new service, and salaries), are received and paid for in a timely manner. The Financial Controller also uses this information to monitor the cash flow of the business and makes recommendations on what resources are available for investment.
Chief Operations Officer (COO)
A COO is a senior position within the executive team of the business, usually reporting to the CEO, and responsible for overseeing the daily administrative and operational functions of a business. Such areas generally include logistical and operational elements and how these relate to other departments such as finance, sales, marketing, and human resources. Their (her/his) role also includes cooperation between these different functions and finding a compromise in case of differences between them.
International Logistics Manager
Logistics is an artform in that it is a complex and intricate endeavour to bring together products and services from different corners of the globe. This role requires the coordination of resources, such as products, inventory, parts, or people. Such coordination spans over various locations around the world, to source the right number of resources in an efficient and cost-effective way, benefiting from the best value, whilst ensuring timely delivery of services and minimising risk.
The business might employ an Internal Auditor, an accountant who is independent from management to check the processes and the systems which are in place by the business. A business would have a process for buying products, for developing new services, for recruiting new staff, for managing its stock levels, and so on. The role of the Internal Auditor would be to review and test processes and provide recommendations, depending on the objective of the business, such as becoming more efficient or transparent.