Helping you find a career in the accountancy industry
At its heart, accountancy is about managing the flow of money on behalf of a business or an organisation, whilst also working strategically to maximise profits or income.
- Maintaining financial records
- Providing advice
- Managing budgets,
- Liaising with clients
- Assessing risk
- Negotiating with suppliers
- Making financial decisions
There are many different branches of accounting, including:
- Cost accounting
- Forensic accounting
Some experienced accountants with contacts and a strong reputation decide to take on personal clients and work for themselves. This is a likely option later in your career.
Types of jobs within accountancy
There are various levels within the accountancy sector. For example, the industry needs credit control managers to ensure that all invoices are paid on time. Also some accountants have chartered status due to extra qualifications they have undertaken.
Some jobs fall under accountancy but don't require an accountancy qualification. For example:
- Accounts assistant
- Credit control manager
- Accounts payable clerk
- Accounts receivable clerk
- Payroll manager
Later in your career, you can specialise in one of the following areas:
- Managerial/cost accounting: Preparing, analysing and optimising financial reports, usually for internal use
- Corporate accounting: Advising on mergers, acquisitions, and other business transactions
- Forensic accounting: Detecting fraud
- Financial accounting: The analysis and reporting of the financial transactions of a business, including the accounts that are publicly available
- Auditing: A specific type of accounting that focuses on making sure all financial records are accurate
- Taxation: Using specific accountancy skills to plan and manage taxes with clients or individuals
Accounting graduate schemes
Graduate schemes are one of the most traditional routes into the accounting sector. The big four accountancy firms (KMPG, Deloitte, Pwc and Ernst and Young) offer extensive schemes and they're often considered to be the best out there. Competition is fierce so preparation and standing out from the crowd is a must.
Top tip: Landing an accountancy work placement with one of the leading four is often a great way to impress and can often land you a place on a graduate scheme before you've completed your degree.
How much do trainee accountants earn?
As a trainee accountant, you're likely to earn between £20,000 and £30,000. After a few years experience, your salary can reach the £60,000 mark.
At the highest levels this industry pays higher salaries than many other careers, with many people earning over £60,000 per year.
Here are the average salaries for some other roles within the industry, both qualified and non-qualified:
Average salary of a non-qualified accountant:
- Accounting technician: £20,304
- Bookkeeper: £10.30 p/h
- Payroll administrator: £19,700
- Payroll manager: £30,691
- Accounts assistant: £18,598
- Credit controller: £20,706
- Credit manager: £34,996
- Accounts payable clerk: £19,824
- Accounts receivable clerk: £19,452
Average salary of a qualified accountant:
- Company accountant: £31,301
- Management accountant: £34,093
- Chartered accountant: £34,637
- Forensic accountant: £39,787
- Financial accountant: £35,036
- Auditor: £29,211
- Internal auditor: £29,406
- Financial controller: £50,780
- Finance manager: £45,570
- Tax accountant: £32,637
- Tax consultant: £34,578