An introduction to being an Accountant

21st January 2020

This blog will give you an insight into what Accountants do, what qualifications you may need and more!

Firstly, what do they do?

The main focus of an Accountant is to prepare and examine financial records. They have to make sure all records are accurate and that taxes are on time.

There are lots of different types of Accountants who provide advice to a whole spectrum of industry sectors and organisations, ranging from small businesses, all the way up to multi-national. There are also different areas in which they work within including; taxation, debt recovery, auditing, forensic accounting, corporate finance and more.

What do you need to do to become an Accountant?

Study the right qualifications – You can become an Accountant with a professional diploma like AAT, which is seen as the minimum requirement to work within the profession. As a graduate, you’ll start either in practice or industry, whilst working towards your chartered status. This involves studying with a professional body, like ACA, ACCA or CIMA.

High attention to detail – Accountants need to be able to look into everything with a fine-tooth comb, paying attention to every detail as they go. Errors can have a major impact on what they do should anything be missed.

Organisation – One of the biggest parts of the role is to maintain organisation with what you’re doing, prioritising your workload as you go to ensure that everything is done in a timely manner and that you’re on top of your workload.

Picking a speciality 

The main areas Accountants specialise in are business and public accounting, that being said; pretty much all Accountants specialise in more than one area. Often, the accounting degree/qualification earnt coincides with what you end up specialising in.

As an Accountant, you will learn many transferable skills which will help you further your knowledge within your career field, which can include:

  • Critical thinking
  • Analysing, organising and planning
  • Analysing and presenting data
  • Problem-solving
What career progression is there?

Whether you’re choosing a career in industry, practice or public sector, accountancy offers a high-level of progression and your role could lead you to become a Finance Director, Partner or a different senior role within the business.

Day to day duties

Your day-to-day duties are determined on whether you’re working within a finance department or an accountancy firm. Things you can expect regularly are:

  • Preparing budgets
  • Tax returns
  • Project work
  • Auditing
  • Budgeting and forecasting
  • Invoicing and chasing payments
  • Completing company accounts
  • Risk analysis