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Career profile: Accountant

accountantDo you have a good head for numbers and would you have the confidence to manage a company’s finances? Accountancy is a great career and rewards the dedicated – find out more below.

A what?

Accountants are responsible for an individual or company’s financial records and reports. They also work with taxation and auditing. Their role varies according to the size of the company that employs them.

On the job

In a small firm, accountants are responsible for keeping all financial records. These include payroll information and retail sales as well as continuous management of financial systems and budgets.

Accountants can also provide professional services to fee-paying clients. They will give financial advice as well as advice on tax issues. A large part of their role is undertaking financial audits (a check on a company’s financial position). They can also work on detecting and preventing fraud, in which case they could collaborate with detectives.

How do I get there?

You don’t have to be a graduate, though a degree is preferable. It does not have to be a maths or finance degree but you have to be good with figures. You do need three GCSEs at grade C or above, including maths and English and two A-levels.

Future prospects

Training takes a minimum of three years with an organisation that provides authorised training. You will need to complete 450 days of technical work experience and pass 11 exams. Your employer will normally pay for your training as well as providing a salary.

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