Thinking about a graduate accountant role?
Pursuing a career as a graduate accountant
Getting into accountancy as a graduate provides you with a great stepping stone into honing your skills into an area of business that you are truly interested and passionate about.
A graduate accountant will traditionally have a great academic profile with a number of different degrees qualifying for entry (across the financial, scientific, numerical and even art related degrees). Numeracy and a good head for numbers will always be key, with money management being top of your agenda in any career you pursue.
As the range of businesses an accountant can work for are seemingly vast, it is up to you to pick a business area that you feel you would do well in. This could be within a financial services company such as a bank, or it could be along the lines of a fashion/retail company.
The possible environments for accountancy are vast, however experience is equally as necessary so don’t limit yourself to applying for one sector.
As a graduate accountant, you will learn valuable skills that you can take with you on your accountancy development. Many of these are pretty broad offering the opportunity to move in a number of directions.
Accountancy jobs for graduates
Working in a private practice
Much of the work in private accountancy practice is focused around auditing but can also include tax consultancy, business advice and insolvency work. You (and your team) will be responsible for visiting your clients, analysing and offering advice on their business operations, their previous records as well as the overall validity of their financial accounts.
Your role will be that of researcher and advisor, to examine the background of the company and ask questions where necessary. Companies will depend on your advice to make their business more profitable so it is vital you collect all information before offering your suggestions.
With private practices in particular, candidates are encouraged to take on the ACCA qualification, or the global body for professional accountants. This qualification will give you the skills and knowledge to develop your career in the right direction. They provide a unique combination of technical exams, ethics and real hands on experience to help you on your way.
With an extensive background in accountancy services and the chance to specialise towards the end of your course, this recognised qualification is seen as a transferable skill, letting you apply your knowledge to each company you apply for. Your role as a graduate accountant will be to learn as much on the job training as possible, whilst keeping in mind the sector you would like to progress to.
Working in the industry and commerce sector
Companies in commerce and industry will require accountants to work within certain departments, maximising their profitability. You will be responsible for informing management of financial areas for improvement.
Your company’s effectiveness will be your main priority and it is vital that you establish a concise understanding of how your company operates and how you can improve their standing.
Working in the public/volunteer sector
This will effectively be a similar role to that of an industry accountant, however your main role will be ensuring value for money; that the public service is being effectively managed.
Accountancy is a wide-ranging career option with the opportunity to provide a beneficial service to a variety of businesses. As a graduate accountant you will additionally have the opportunity to develop your skills into setting up and managing your own business, which is often a key incentive to many new recruits!