Whenever money changes hands, there is a need for accountants. In the world of commerce, the accounting profession keeps businesses operating smoothly. Within Accountancy, there is a great deal of variety, since all types of financial transactions in multiple industries must be reported and accounted. Even in the midst of a recession, there are opportunities for accountants.
Chartered Accountants work in independent accountancy firms. On the other hand, certified accountants work as employees within a business or organisation.
Business managers and auditors use the on-going financial information compiled into special reports. The accountants who create these reports work within a specialised form of discipline known as management accounting.
Management reports are quite different from annual reports compiled at the end of the fiscal year for tax and legal purposes. Financial accountants create the year-end reports with the information gathered then publicly shared with entities such as government agencies, economists, financial analysts, vendors, banks, and current and potential shareholders.
The Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, or GAAP, spell out the rules that must be adhered to when compiling these financial accounts. Management accounting is not so strictly regulated. The US GAAP and the International Financial Reporting Standards, or IFRS, are other rules which may be mandatory, depending upon the scope of the organisation.
Jobs For Accountants
Are you considering a career in accounting?
The accounting industry is chock full of opportunities and has become quite sophisticated with the introduction of high-tech tools. As the laws and procedures continue to become more complex, the industry has been forced to change with the times with new regulations.
In addition to preparing audit reports, budgets, and balance sheets, accountants who excel at their job often move into careers as business advisors.
There is plenty of room to find a position which takes advantage of your most highly honed skills and that allows you to find work in an area that most interests you. Because of this high demand, high-quality graduates with a degree in accounting have an excellent opportunity to find a rewarding and challenging career.
Accounting Skills And Qualifications
New accountants typically have to continue to study once they start work. Within large organisations, they must be flexible enough to work with many different departments. In independent accounting firms, they will spend time working directly with clients.
To get the vital qualifications needed, many accountants stay on at their college or university to take advanced accountancy exams. `
Upon graduation, most new hires in a chartered accountancy firm sign a three-year contract as a trainee, which typically work only under direct supervision.
However, over time, they earn more responsibility and are expected to resolve problems on their own and be able to communicate effectively with others in their firm as well as with clients.
Even after all of the exams have been completed and the training contract ends, accountants are expected to stay up-to-date with new financial techniques and legal changes to develop a comprehensive understanding of how commerce operates within both large and small businesses.
All of this information should be taken into consideration when determining which types of accounting specialisation to go for.
The number of specialisations and qualifications may seem bewildering, but essentially there are four main types:
1. The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) focuses on business issues within their ACCA Qualification.
2. The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) specialises in business accounting and offers the Management Accounting Professional Qualification.
3. The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) is specifically geared to public services and offers the only professional accountancy qualification of this type.
4. The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) provides the Associate Chartered Accountant (ACA) qualification for professional accountants.
Salaries And Opportunities
Accountancy runs the world of finance in more than just the commercial enterprises of the world. It is also vital for charities, government, and public services. Excellent salaries are available to accountants as accountancy firm partners and within the private sector.
However, within the public sector, there are also great opportunities in the form of high salaries and holiday leave as well as good health care and excellent pensions.
The UK average starting salary for a Trainee Accountant is typically £17k with a salary range between £14 and £19k. However, depending upon your location, the type of company and the business sector, this salary will rise as qualifications are gained.
A qualified accountant can reasonably expect to earn £50K per annum, but the pay is often much higher. Salaries are consistently higher than £100K for partners or senior accountants working within a blue chip business.