A typical day as a Newly Qualified Accountant

A typical day as a Newly Qualified Accountant

So you have completed your examinations, and are now a qualified accountant. Congratulations! Here we look at what your work environment may look like now you are qualified.

Exact arrangements differ between firms, but generally speaking, accountancy is one of the best professions for allowing junior staff to gain real responsibility. Typically, a firm will assign both a junior accountant and a more experienced practitioner to work together on a task or project.

Once qualified, you may be able to gain experience in areas other than those you worked in during your training contract. This may lead to you needing to return to studying to gain a specialist qualification in a particular area.

The tasks that could be carried out by a chartered accountant (an accountant who advises external clients) are many and varied, and include:

  • Accounts preparation
  • Audit
  • Tax planning
  • Risk management
  • Information security advice
  • Business recovery and insolvency
  • Forensic accounting

Tasks that may be carried out by a management accountant (an accountant who works in the finance function of a private firm or a public body) include:

  • Preparing financial statements, budgets and reports
  • Negotiating with suppliers
  • Advising on tax issues
  • Advising on ways to stay within budget

One change you may notice after qualification is a significant increase in your working hours. Trainee accountants are often discouraged from working long hours as they also have examinations to study for, but once the required qualifications have been achieved, accountants are usually expected to be highly flexible in their working hours, and to work whatever hours are necessary. This is especially true of chartered accountants who have client-driven needs and deadlines to meet.

Once qualified, those who show business acumen and a willingness to work hard can progress rapidly. It is feasible for a chartered accountant to become a manager within three years of qualification and a partner within eight years. Two years after qualification, chartered accountants earn a basic salary of £47,900 on average, according to 2014 data from the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.

Once qualified, the career options for an accountant are many and varied. You may want to move from a chartered firm to a management accountant role; you may want to move from a small firm to a bigger firm, or vice versa; or you may decide to set up your own firm.

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