Accountants are vital to the running of all businesses, so as you can imagine, there is huge diversity in the type of company you could end up working for if you decide to pursue a career in this sector. There is also huge scope in the type of work accountants carry out. Essentially they analyse and provide reliable information on financial records, this could involve: financial reporting, taxation, auditing, forensic accounting, corporate finance, business recovery…the list goes on!

Accountancy, simply put, is the process of managing the income and expenses of a business. Measuring a business’ finances is legally required for tax purposes and also necessary so that managers, investors and others in the business can make decisions about where to allocate resources or identify where losses are being made and decide how to rectify them.

Accountants can perform many roles in a business. They are regularly used to calculate how much tax a company pays or to complete payroll functions. They can also prepare complete profit and loss accounts and can be trained to provide specialist advice on a particular area of business. Accountants may work within a business or be employed by an accountancy firm which businesses outsource their accountancy needs to.

In reporting, there are two types of accountancy, Management Accountancy and Financial Accountancy. Management accountants provide financial expertise and insight internally within a company or organisation which includes helping out with decision making, budget analysis and forecasting potential gains or losses. Financial accountants however, provide information externally to different clients and this can be for individuals, shareholders, investors and creditors.

There are many different entry points into the accountancy profession and it has a great reputation for successful school leaver schemes, internships and graduate schemes alike.

You don’t need a degree to train as an accountant and most employers will support you financially and academically while you work towards gaining the professional qualifications necessary to become a chartered accountant.

While academic ability is important in the accountancy profession, it is also necessary to have the right skills, character and outlook to become a successful accountant. Strong presentation skills, the ability to work as part of a team and communication skills are vital in the accountancy profession as well as keen problem solving and decision making abilities.

There are a number of benefits associated with working in the accountancy profession and these vary depending on the company and area of accountancy you choose. Becoming a chartered accountant also means you will hold an internationally recognised qualification, making you eligible to work anywhere your heart desires – as long as you can land the job!

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