Do you have a good head for numbers? Accountancy might be the career for you. Chartered accountants offer financial advice, audit accounts, and provide trusted information about financial records. This might involve anything from financial reporting, taxation, auditing, forensic accounting, and corporate finance to business recovery and insolvency.
You’ll find accountants in many settings, including public practice firms, industry and commerce, and the not-for-profit and public sectors. In general practice firms, chartered accountants provide professional services to fee-paying clients who might be private individuals or large commercial or public sector organisations. In commerce, industry, and the not-for-profit and public sectors, they may work in treasury management, procurement, financial management, or reporting roles. For Gloucester accountants, contact www.randall-payne.co.uk/services/accountancy/gloucester-accountants
Areas of finance work that an accountant might work in include:
- Providing financial advice
- continuous management of economic systems and budgets;
- undertaking financial audits
- liaising with clients and providing financial information and advice
- reviewing the company’s systems and analysing risk
- advising clients on tax planning
- detecting and preventing fraud
In not-for-profit sectors, work involves:
- liaising with auditors and dealing with any financial irregularities
- producing reports after internal audits or public-sector audits
- preparing financial statements, including monthly and annual accounts
- arranging financial management reports, including financial planning and forecasting
- advising on tax and treasury issues
- negotiating terms with suppliers
Getting into accountancy is open to graduates of any subject, not just maths. A Certificate in Finance, Accounting, and Business may also be a helpful stage between a degree and gaining a training contract.
There is tough competition to enter the profession, and the selection process is extensive. You will need to demonstrate that you have the following attributes:
- interest in general business
- self-motivation and commitment
- good communication and interpersonal skills
- organisation and time management skills
- a thorough approach
- proficient in IT
- strong numeracy, analytical and problem-solving skills
- leadership qualities and effective team working
Chartered accountants can work in any sector and any size of an organisation, but most opportunities are in public practice. Public practice includes businesses like international accounting organisations or small accountancy firms. Industry and commerce accountancy includes major commercial companies like retail, telecoms, and manufacturing. Public sector organisations have central and local government, charities, not-for-profit and educational facilities.
Once you have amassed all the knowledge and experience, there is no reason not to reach for the very top of the industry and compete for management and accountancy positions in many different sectors.