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How to get a job in accountancy

Are you looking for information about graduate jobs with financial management employers, accountancy firms or any other related organization? This article answers all your questions including professional qualification, the areas that you could work in and even how to get a job in accountancy and financial management.

A professional accountancy recruitment firm will want someone experienced who is up to the job from day one. A career in accountancy revolves around helping business and individuals to effectively manage their finances so as to comply with relevant legal regulations. It also involves strategic planning for the future.

You can train and work as an accountant in three main areas:

  • Within accountancy firm offering services to external clients.
  • Within the finance department in a public sector organization.
  • Within the finance department in a commercial organization.

Unlike career in accountancy, a career in financial management involves reporting of the financial results of an organization over the course of a year and analyzing them. The analysis of the financial results is meant to draw a clear picture on how the different parts of a business are performing.

How You Can Get a Job with a Financial or Accounting Management Firm

Becoming a qualified accountant or financial manager is essential before landing a job. Usually, the private and public sector firms recruit graduates to work in their finance departments. Some companies offer study opportunities for a recognized accountancy qualification while others offer their training schemes.

You can take advantage of these opportunities by applying for the training contract with any of the accountancy firms. Doing an internship will help you focus on your career direction.

The Different Areas of Work

In accountancy and financial management career, there is a broad range of disciplines to choose from. In addition, within each discipline there are different kind of roles on offer. These disciplines include:

  • Corporate Finance
  • Assurance
  • Commercial finance
  • Corporate Treasury
  • Corporate recovery
  • Public sector accounting
  • Management Accounting
  • Tax
  • Professional services IT
  • Forensic accounting
  • Internal audit
  • Risk assessment

Application Process Although some employers still prefer to use the CV and covering letter as a recruitment method, the majority of organizations use online application forms. When the employers like what they see about you, they are likely to invite you for a first interview, which may lead to an assessment centre day.

  • At the assessment center, you will probably be asked to take part in a variety of exercises. This may include participating in further interviews and completing various tests such as numeric or verbal reasoning tests, general ability, aptitude tests and personality tests.
  • When to Apply for the Training Contract
  • Many accountancy and financial management firms accept applications all year round. It is always worth checking individual employer. Some employers will specify early closing dates for applications or advise early applications. For a successful application, you need to:
  • Have a winning application
  • Make an impressive impact at assessment centers
  • Impress at your interview
  • Be aware of commercial and job-hunting success

Important Qualifications and Skills Needed in Accounting and Financial Management

  • Analytical and numeracy skills
  • Commercial awareness
  • Teamwork skills
  • Motivation and initiative
  • Organizational and time management skills
  • Interpersonal and excellent communication skills

Opportunities for Professional Development in Accountancy and Financial Management

Employers highly value professional qualification in accountancy and financial management. This is independent of whether you want to work in a service providing firm, industry or the public sector.

It is always possible to move into other highly paid business areas. In most organization, a higher percentage of company board members have a qualification in accountancy than any other postgraduate qualification.

Working in accountancy and financial management sector will give you an in-depth knowledge that will be invaluable should you decide to start-up your own business.

Once you have started working as a qualified accountant for any firm, you will undertake a CPD to keep your technical knowledge and skills up to date. You can also undertake a range of specialist qualifications, from short assessments to MBAs. Having a recognized accountancy qualification will enhance your career development.

Salaries in Accountancy and Financial Management

Usually, the entry-level graduate trainee earns anything between £20,000 and £27,000. Your earning will gradually increase with qualification and experience. Benefit packages include pension scheme and life assurance with company contributions. Some firms will also offer bonuses, private healthcare, golden hellos and share options.

Working Life

The work life mainly depends on the size of the organization you are working with. Most accountants enjoy a decent work life balance with fairly regular hours. However, there is sometimes of the year when accountants have a busier schedule especially during financial quarters and year-end where the pressure piles on.

Highs and Lows

Accounting and financial management career brings with it status and earning potential. However, you will need to work under pressure at certain times of the year.


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