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Job Description: Accountant

Accountancy is one of the most transferable skills out there.  Accountants actually do run the world of business.  So what is a typical accountant role?

There are two types of accountant:

  • Chartered Accountant – You are more likely to be a Chartered Accountant if you work for an independent accountancy firm
  • Certified Accountant – You are more likely to be Certified if you work inside an organisation or business

There are also two types of accounts:

  • Management Accounts – The reports and details of the organisation for internal use, often used by managers and auditors
  • Financial Accounts – These reports are for external uses, showing how the business is performing.  They are strictly regulated



If you want to get into accounting you will need to do a lot of studying.  We won’t go too far into it here as it’s quite complicated and subject to change.  But as well as studying hard, you will need to be happy to work with different departments or clients depending on the type of accounting you would like to get involved with.

If you want to get involved with advanced accountancy, you will need to take exams.  This means looking at the multiple options available to you.  University or part-time studying are two options.

After getting the first qualifications you can become a trainee at an organisation.  These are usually three-year contracts and will allow you to have hands-on experience at work and with accounts.  You will be supervised to start off with but slowly be given more and more responsibility as time goes on.  During your exams and studying you will figure out the best way to continue learning even after your training contract is finished.  You need to keep learning as things change and new rules are put into place all the time.

Accountancy has a lot of specialist qualifications that you can take.  Some of the main ones are listed below.

  • ACA – Associate Chartered Accountant – this is the professional qualification from the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales
  • ACCA – Association of Chartered Certified Accountants – this association offers the ACCA Qualification – they focus on business matters
  • CIMA – Chartered Institute of Management Accountants – this qualification specialises in accounting for business
  • CIPFA – The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy – this qualification has been created to work in parts of the public sector



The figures below are averaged from jobs we found online in June 2017 and are not exact.

  • Trainees – £14 – £20k.
  • Qualified – £50k +
  • Senior/Partner – £100k +


What to expect from a role

  • Managing company finance function – working with purchase & sales ledger
  • Working with Group Financial Controller or Finance Director
  • All aspects of accounts including VAT returns, forecasts, estimates and budgets
  • Previous experience within the industry essential (depending on the level of job and sector)
  • Keen for a challenge
  • High levels of MS Excel ability (often there will also be specialist software to use)
  • Good attention to detail


If you would like to see the accountancy jobs we currently have available, please click here >