Would you like a career in accounting and finance? Are you good at numbers and enjoy attention to detail? Curious about how businesses make a profit? If so then a career in accounting and finance can provide many varied opportunities for you to make money.

Typical jobs during a career in the accounting and finance industry could include any of the following:

Accountant – A qualified and part qualified accountants have a choice of industries where they can work:

  • Private practice where they will typically be involved in producing annual accounts for sole traders, partnerships and Limited companies.  They may also provide audit, tax and consultancy advise.
  • Public practice where they work for a government body or institution such as a local council, university or NHS. 
  • Industry where they work for a single company and take care of all the finances of that business. The industry’s could include manufacturing, property, legal, banking, financial and insurance services.
  • Specialist – specialist areas such as tax, audit, treasury, corporate, forensic, corporate governance,insolvency and internal control.  

Accounts Clerk – typically will help with data entry of transactions and reconciliations.

Book Keeper – All the expenses and income transactions need to be recorded along with accounting for VAT where necessary and the production of bank reconciliations.

Finance Manager/Controller will oversee the everyday running of all the different parts of the accounting department to ensure timely and accurate management accounts information is produced.

Finance Director / Chief Finance Officer (CFO)– Is usually considered as the top role in your accounting and finance career . The finance director will sit on the board and has overall responsibility for the finance function. The role is strategic in nature and will involve liaison with the external interests such and shareholders, banks and auditors. Keeping control of costs , risks and helping to drive the business growth while also ensuring working capital and cash flow is maintained is key to this role.

Management Accountant – Monthly management accounts need to be produced to give an indication of how well the business is performing.  If the business has external funding from banks or investors then they will also want to see regular management information. The management information is provide in the form of a Profit and Loss account and Balance sheet, along with KPI (Key Performance Indicators) information.  A management accountant will also be involved in the budgeting and forecasting and balance sheet reconciliations and the VAT of the business.

Payroll – All employees need paying either weekly or monthly with the necessary PAYE and NIC deductions correctly dealt with and paid over to HMRC.

Purchase Leger – Goods and services that a business buys will need to be paid.  Control is needed to ensure that only authorised expenditure is ordered and paid for.  Also that cash flow is managed by maximising the credit terms available.

Sales Credit Control – Collection of outstanding debt monies work done is an essential role to ensure a company’s cash flow remains healthy and that bad debts are kept to a minimum.

Qualifications – these include

AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians

ACA (Association of Chartered Accountants)

ACCA (Association of Certified Chartered Accountants)  

CIMA (Chartered Institute of Management Accountants)

So if you are considering a career in accounting and finance then typical employers, include PWC (PriceWaterhouseCoopers), Deloitte, KPMG,  Grant Thornton, BDO, RSM Tenon Group, Baker Tilly, Moores Stephens, Mazars and Hains Watts Group as well as many SME’s and local and national businesses.