FINANCIAL SERVICES OFFICER
WARRANT OFFICER KAREN BERRIGAN: I’m Warrant Officer Karen Berrigan from Ajax, Ontario. I’m a Financial Services Administrator at National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa.
SERGEANT HUSSAIN KHALIQUE: And I’m Sergeant Hussain Khalique from Montreal, a Financial Services Administrator currently posted at Canadian Forces Base Kingston.
NARRATOR: FSAs, or Financial Services Administrators, provide financial services, advice and management for the Royal Canadian Navy, Army, Royal Canadian Air Force and Special Operations Forces. This includes general office bookkeeping, accounts payable and accounts receivable support, as well as budget management services.
BERRIGAN: One of the big things that we do is we’re advisors to our chain of command on how much public funds we can spend in order to keep daily functions going, not only within Canada but outside of Canada.
KHALIQUE: Be it through processing claims, processing invoices, accounts receivable, accounts payable and through budget management practices.
BERRIGAN: Whether it be from keeping track of civilian and reserve pay, to actually creating reports to show how much money is being spent.
KHALIQUE: The main role of a Financial Services Administrator is to safeguard, if you will, the public funds that are entrusted to the Canadian Armed Forces through the Department of National Defence.
KHALIQUE: Well, the best part of the job is every day is different and you get different challenges depending on where you are within Canada or overseas.
BERRIGAN: The sense of accomplishment when you are overseas is amazing because you get to not only experience the host nation, but you also see how the input that you are providing, the knowledge and the advice to your chain of command, makes the mission successful.
NARRATOR: Once they complete their training, Financial Services Administrators are posted to a base, unit, or ship. There, they can work as the Unit Sub-Cashier or Cashier responsible to dispense funds to personnel requiring payments. They can also be involved in providing the financial information required to plan exercises and operations, looking back at previous years’ expenses to determine what is required for the upcoming events. They can also be employed as a claims clerk, responsible for finalizing claims for personnel returning from tasks away from their unit and reconciling cash balances at the end of the day.
BERRIGAN: There’s always room to share your ideas to make things better. So when you work in a team environment within the Canadian Armed Forces, you’re able to share your knowledge, you’re able to share your ideas to make the outcome more positive for everybody.
NARRATOR: On deployment, FSAs could be in charge of accounting or they could work as a contracts clerk. As they progress in rank, their functions and responsibilities increase.
BERRIGAN: And the higher in rank that I’ve gotten, I’ve had more responsibility and now I’m involved in business planning.
NARRATOR: Financial Services Administrators are part of the Logistics Branch of the Canadian Armed Forces. They are sailors, soldiers or aviators first and then FSAs. Wherever they’re stationed, they’ll be tasked with secondary duties related to their element.
BERRIGAN: Growing up in an environment where part of my family was in the Forces, I was able to see the pride that they had and the accomplishments that they were able to obtain serving our country. I decided that I would go into the Canadian Armed Forces and it’s been great. You have an impact on all the other members of the Canadian Armed Forces, whether they be overseas or in other parts of Canada.
KHALIQUE: I was looking for a way to sort of give back; give back to the country that adopted me and gave me a home. I find that it’s very rewarding at the end when you’ve accomplished a mission with your colleagues and with your teammates. You build long-lasting relationships and lifelong relationships in many cases.