Accountancy may not come with the same glamorous coating as other careers but it is a dynamic, fast-moving and stable industry, which attracts high calibre graduates from a variety of academic backgrounds. Accountants are an integral part of any business working as financial advisors for the company.
Accountancy can be split into many parts, with different accountants specialising in certain areas:
Accountancy: Accountants offer financial advice to aid their clients to achieve maximum earning in their business by preparing accounts and keeping track of financial dealings.
Audit: A company’s audit may be carried out by an accounts team, or a separate auditor. An auditor checks all the financial dealings of the company and works as a safeguard against fraud. Auditors are also employed to identify areas where a company can improve as they have a detailed understanding of the company’s business strategy.
Tax: Accountants can choose to specialize in the dirty word of corporate tax! The role requires identifying and advising their clients on ways to save money by minimising their exposure to tax liabilities.
Management Accounting/Financial Reporting: Management accountants advise their clients on future business decisions by analyzing and interpreting financial data and producing financial reports. These reports include a balance sheet and a profit and loss account.
Corporate Finance: Most large corporate companies employ finance accountants to advise on financial issues, such as mergers and acquisitions, flotations and privatizations. A typical day in corporate finance may involve producing detailed reports on the financial situations of companies, negotiating with banks, stockbrokers and other finance organizations.
Forensic Accounting: Being a forensic accountant involves having both financial and legal knowledge. They are required to investigate issues of fraud and cases of loss of earnings through personal injury. Specialist accountants are often called upon as witnesses in court cases.
What are employers looking for?
All graduates will need to complete their ACA's (associated chartered accountants) and most applicants have a high-class degrees from business-related studies. High grades at GCSE in Maths and English are beneficial, as is an A-level in Maths, though it is not required.
Is this the right career for you?
Demand for accountants and auditor's is expected to increase much faster than most occupations, so the likelihood of securing a job after University is much higher than most, and pay is relatively steady. You should be good at maths and be prepared to work long hours. Having knowledge about computers would be helpful.
Key articles for accountancy and finance graduates