As a chartered accountant you’ll give advice, audit accounts and provide trustworthy information about financial records. This might involve financial reporting, taxation, auditing, forensic accounting, corporate finance, business recovery and insolvency, or accounting systems and processes.
You will often be asked to provide your employer or clients with advice that boosts their profitability. As a chartered accountant, you’ll have your pick of sectors with companies in the industrial and commercial sector in need of your skill-set.
Employers of Chartered Accountants
You can work in any sector and in any size of organization and although the majority of training opportunities for chartered accountants are in public practice. Employers include:
- public practice: including international accounting organizations or smaller accountancy firms all providing a variety of accounting and business services to clients
- industry and commerce: including major commercial companies, such as those in the manufacturing, retail and telecoms industries
- public sector: including local and central government, educational institutions, charities and not-for-profit organizations.
- manage financial systems and budgets
- undertake financial audits (an independent check of an organization’s financial position)
- provide financial advice
- liaise with clients (individuals or businesses) and provide financial information and advice
- review the company’s systems and analyze risk
- perform tests to check financial information and systems
- advise clients on tax planning (within current legislation to enable them to minimize their tax liability) and tax issues associated with activities such as business acquisitions and mergers
- maintain accounting records and prepare accounts and management information for small businesses (accountancy)
- advise clients on business transactions, such as mergers and acquisitions (corporate finance)
- counsel clients on areas of business improvement, or dealing with insolvency
- detect and prevent fraud (forensic accounting)
- manage junior colleagues
- liaise with internal and external auditors (where applicable) and deal with any financial irregularities as they arise
- produce reports and recommendations following internal audits or public-sector audits
- prepare financial statements, including monthly and annual accounts
- arrange financial management reports, including financial planning and forecasting
- advise on tax and treasury issues
- negotiate terms with suppliers.
A Certificate in Finance, Accounting and Business serves as a useful step between a degree and a training contract. All chartered accountancy qualifications lead to the designation ‘chartered accountant’, and each has equal status, attracting equal recognition.
- general business interest and awareness
- self-motivation and commitment, in order to combine study while working
- communication and interpersonal skills
- organizational and time management skills
- a methodical approach
- IT proficiency
- strong analytical and problem-solving skills
- leadership qualities and effective team-working skills
- motivation and initiative
- integrity and trustworthiness.