Both large and small businesses require employees to take care of back office operations so that these companies can run. The main types of these operations include accounting, human resources, Internet technology services, customer service, data management, and research and development. These types of operations are referred to as "back office" because they used to be completed in the back part of an office, out of sight of customers. Nowadays, back office operations can be completed on site, at separate facilities, or outsourced to companies that specialize in back office work.
One of the tasks dealt with by back office staff is the management of a company’s financial resources. Financial back office operations include a variety of different tasks, including accounting and bookkeeping, budgeting, investing, and acquiring additional capital for a business to use. Some of these jobs are frequently hired out to independent contractors or specialty firms though many large corporations keep their own staff of financial experts.
Internet technology services are are a back office operation that has become vital in the 21st century. Specialists in this field maintain any servers on the property and make sure that employees are able to remain connected to the Internet at all times. They may also maintain websites, software, databases and any information that the company has made electronic.
Though customer service representatives do work directly with clients, these positions are still considered to be back office operations. These employees talk to clients over the phone or Internet and are usually charged with helping customers to work out problems that they have with the company’s products or services. Often, these services are outsourced to back office companies that specialize in call centers.
Research and development is another common back office operation. People who work in these jobs may be scientists, technologists, engineers, or other professionals that are able to come up with new products and ideas and create prototypes of them. This job is different than manufacturing, which is another of the back office operations, as the research and development team do not produce products that are ready for the public.
Another of the types of back office operations seen in nearly all businesses is human resources. People in these positions deal with the management of other employees and handle the payroll. They may also help solve problems that arise between employees, helping the business to run smoothly and efficiently.