What Is the Back Office and Why Is It Important?

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 9 August 2022

Published 20 May 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

For businesses, the back office is an essential part of keeping things running smoothly. The back office provides support and resources to the client-facing front office. The employees working in the back office provide all of the administrative and logistical support that allows the front office to do their jobs. In this article, we discuss what the back office is, how it works, why it's important, and give some examples of back office jobs.

What is the back office?

The back office is part of a business that performs all of the tasks related to producing the product or service and running the business. The back office exists to provide the support and resources that the front office needs to serve clients and make sales. Back office functions work includes all of the functions that aren't seen by customers such as production, human resources, logistics, accounting and administration. While the client-facing front office is what most people see when they interact with a business, the back office is the core part of a business that keeps things running smoothly.

Why is the back office important?

The back office is important because, without it, the business would not be able to function properly. The front office relies on the support and resources provided by the back office to continue to perform their jobs. If the front office cannot serve clients or has no products to sell then the business will no longer make money and will fail. The back and front office are deeply integrated with one another and the success of the business. Both front and back office must work together in equilibrium for the business to survive and succeed.

Back office jobs

Back office jobs are essential because they make up the backbone of a business. Back office jobs will vary depending on the type of industry the company is part of. Here are some examples of back office jobs that can be found in any industry:

Finance Manager

Average salary: £44,908 per year

Finance managers are responsible for managing the finance department of a business. Their role requires them to oversee the staff of the finance department such as finance assistants, financial analysts and finance officers. They ensure that the organisation has the proper funds allocated to its departments, ensure paperwork is up to date, process payments, service invoices and create budgets. Finance managers typically report to the finance director or chief of finances depending on the size of the company and its hierarchy.

Related: How To Write a Finance Manager CV (With Example)

Human resources coordinator

Average salary: £26,393 per year

Human resources coordinators work as part of the human resources department to ensure all human resources needs are met. They will work under the direction of a human resources manager or the director of human resources. As part of their role, human resources coordinators will perform general HR admin, respond to internal and external HR queries, assist with recruitment and interviewing, write and distribute HR reports and enforce HR policies. Human resources coordinators need to be familiar with employment laws in their industry and work to support employees in the best interest of the business.

Related: What is human resources? (With duties, skills and tips)


Accountants

Average salary: £35,179 per year

Accountants are an essential part of any finance department. As part of their role, they perform the accounting duties for their company. They may be expected to analyse accounting information, produce accounting reports, perform audits on company accounts, prepare budgets, monitor expenditures, manage cash flow, and ensure that the organisation's finances meet legal requirements. They typically report to the head of the finance department or the chief financial officer. Accounting roles can vary and some senior accounts may oversee the work of junior accountants and other financial department employees.

Related: How To Become an Accountant

Security officer

Average salary: £10,00 per hour

Security officers are essential back office employees as they ensure the proper security of business premises and assets. Security officers perform a number of duties including patrolling property, monitoring security cameras, controlling entry in and out of buildings, sounding alarms if there is a problem, writing reports on security incidents, and flagging any security weaknesses they identify. Some security officers may work regular office hours, but others may be required to work weekends or nights with shift work patterns. Security officers report to the security manager or the building manager.

Related: How to become a security guard in 8 steps (with skills)

Administrative assistant

Average salary: £19,845 per year

Administrative assistants provide assistance with all aspects of business administration. They perform a wide variety of roles within a back office including answering and directing phone calls, taking minutes at meetings, arranging meetings and appointments, booking travel arrangements for staff and processing incoming post. Administrative assistants can be found found in every department of a business and are core to their department's smooth running. They often report to departmental managers or administrative managers. Sometimes administrative assistants will provide direct assistance to a member of senior management, taking on secretarial duties.

Related: How to become an administrative assistant (with skills)

Network engineer

Average salary: £38,921 per year

Network engineers work within a business to maintain its internal network. This can include setting up and maintaining servers, installing network equipment, troubleshooting network problems, helping users with network issues and implementing network security measures. Without network engineers to maintain the businesses computer network, neither the front nor back office would be able to do their jobs properly. Network engineers usually report to senior IT staff or the chief technology officer. Depending on the type of business, some network engineers may be contractors or others could be full-time staff.

Related: How To Become a Network Engineer (With Tips and Skills)

IT support technician

Average salary: £23,145 per year

IT support technicians work within the back office of a business to provide technical support for any and all IT related issues that arrive. They provide IT support to the business through technical knowledge of its computer systems and technology. Their duties include providing technical support, repairing and replacing hardware, troubleshooting technical issues, offering technical assistance to employees, managing support tickets and integrating new IT systems as needed. IT support technicians report to senior IT staff such as the head of IT and may be expected to provide on-call support out-of-hours in some industries.

Related: What is an IT technician? Job description and salary

Logistics manager

Average salary: £39,330 per year

Logistics managers are in charge of managing the transport, distribution and storage of supplies and materials within a business. They are required to oversee the logistics team and plan routes, analyse budgets and process shipments. Logistics managers are key parts of a businesses production process, as they ensure that the necessary materials and products get to the right place in time. They usually report to the head of logistics or the production manager.

Related: How to become a logistics officer (with skills and duties)

Risk analyst

Average salary: £40,978 per year

Risk analysts provide a business with a detailed analysis of the types of risks they face. There are many different types of risk analysts such as financial risk analysts and operational risk analysts that can work in a range of industries. As part of their role, risk analysts analyse risks, assess potential solutions or alternatives to those risks and provide cost estimates for the different options. They often report to the head of the finance department or the chief financial officer. They may be hired as consultants or full-time employees depending on the size and needs of the hiring organisation.

Related: How to become a risk analyst: useful steps and job options

Compliance officer

Average salary: £34,210 per year

In the back office, compliance officers work to ensure that their organisation complies with all of the relevant laws and regulations. As part of their job, Compliance Officers must have a detailed understanding of the laws and regulations that apply to the business, perform audits to assess whether regulations are being met, write reports to senior management about compliance and keep track of changes to laws and regulations. Compliance officers report to senior management and executives to keep them apprised of their organisation's current compliance status.

Related: How to become a compliance officer: a step-by-step guide

Project manager

Average salary: £44,550 per year

Project managers work in the back office to provide planning and management of company projects. They can be found in almost every industry, but certain industries will have specialised project managers such as construction project managers or healthcare project managers. They are required to have excellent project management and leadership skills to oversee projects and ensure their timely completion. As part of their role, they may oversee both front and back office staff in the implementation of a project. Project managers have many duties including managing a project from its conception to completion, leading project teams, hiring new team members and writing reports on projects for senior management. Project managers usually report to the senior management of their project or to company executives depending on the type of project they're managing.

Related: Project manager requirements (with duties and skills)

Salary figures reflect data listed on the quoted websites at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate’s experience, academic background and location.

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