What types of job can an accountant do?

What type of jobs can an accountant do?

Every business you can think of will require some sort of accounting function? And a career in accounting is much more diverse than you might think – just take a look at the list below for the different types of accounting role you can choose from:

  • Financial Accountant
  • Management Accountant
  • Cost Accountant
  • Auditors
  • Actuaries
  • Tax Analysts
  • Tax Planning Executives
  • Loan Officers
  • Debt Planners
  • Budget Analysts
  • Brokerage Clerks
  • Cashiers
  • Claims Adjusters
  • Economist (needs to have a degree in economics, mathematics and accounting or econometrics)
  • Debt Counsellors
  • Financial Analysts
  • Investment Bankers
  • Investment Managers
  • Custodian Bankers
  • Reconciliation Analysts (this profile is common in investment and custodian banks as well as foreign exchange trading enterprises)
  • Insurance Sales Agents
  • Insurance Account Managers
  • Financial Services Officers and Sales Agents (the latter often being known as Relationship Officers or Acquisition Executives)
  • Insurance Underwriters
  • Valuation Officers/Executives (especially important for valuation of a company’s stock or a company’s net worth during time of dissolution or liquidation)
  • Securities and Commodities Sales Agents
  • Tax Inspectors
  • Revenue Agents
  • Forensic Accountant
  • Tax Auditors
  • Payroll Analyst
  • Cost Accounting Director
  • Investment Accountant
  • Foreign Exchange Analyst
  • Corporate Finance
  • Financial Planning for Corporates

The four main areas can be summarised as:

  • Industry and Commerce
  • Private Practice (e.g. firms of accountants)
  • Public Sector (e.g. local authorities, hospitals)
  • The Third Sector (e.g. Charities and NGOs)

Although they all deal with numbers, the roles can be very different so it is worth having a think about what you would like to do.

In industry and commerce you could…

  • Form a key part of the sales or purchase ledger department – raising sales invoices; approving purchase invoices; credit control and financial management.
  • Operate in the payroll department; controlling wages; completing regular statutory returns.
  • Work in the costing department assisting in product costing and decision making.
  • Play a role in the accounts department preparing management accounts; budgets and cashflows; providing information for management decisions

In private practice you could…

  • Produce financial statements for various types of businesses.
  • Assist in the audit of limited companies and charities.
  • Prepare tax returns and budgets for individuals and businesses.
  • Assist clients with bookkeeping or installing computerised accountancy systems.
  • Work on the preparation of business plans and provide financial information management decisions.

In the public sector you could…

  • Join a particular department like Housing or Social Services.
  • Get involved with the preparation of budgets and forecasts.
  • Be collecting revenue and authorising payments.
  • Play a part in evaluating the financial impact of proposed activities.
  • Perform internal audits.

In the third sector you could…

  • Be monitoring the fundraising activities for an international disaster relief campaign
  • Help draft funding applications for high charitable projects
  • Travel overseas to supervise the implementation of an international educational aid project

To be an accountant you:

  • DON’T have to have a degree in Maths
  • DON’T need a Maths A Level
  • DON’T even need a GCSE in Maths

So what do you need? Well, do you:

  • Enjoy working with figures?
  • Have an interest in what makes business tick?
  • Want to build the financial skills needed for success in business?

And it’s never too late!

If you want to get into the accountancy profession now, you can.

You could be doing something completely different but no matter how different, it doesn’t stop you entering the accountancy profession.