If you’ve just finished secondary education and are looking to begin your accounting career, you may be starting to wonder which accounting position you want to eventually end up in. It could be that you’re aiming for a role with a healthy salary and therefore want to become a finance director, or perhaps you want to specialise in a particular sector such as tax and would like to be a tax accountant.
If you already know your dream job, we salute you, but if you’re struggling and would like some guidance, Aspiring Accountants is about to become your sensei. In this series, we will be discussing a variety of different accounting and finance roles with the aim of helping you narrow down the positions you’re most interested in and suited to.
Finance Director (the One with All the 0’s)
Finance directors can earn lucrative salaries as they are top of the tree when it comes to making financially-related business decisions. You could earn £100,000+ as a finance director. The highest salaries are likely to be paid to finance directors at the bigger companies in London. It’s the finance director’s responsibility to ensure that everyone in the company understands what the budgets are, what needs to be achieved and how the business is performing. It’s likely that you will work closely with the company’s CEO with the shared goal of making as much money as possible; you would do this by helping them manage the overall business. The role of a finance director covers activities such as monitoring cash flow, preparing accounts and competitor analysis. It’s important to note that the size of business you work in will likely dictate how hands on you are; if you work in a larger company, your role is likely to be more strategic and will involve lots of analysis, whereas in a smaller company you might have to get your hands dirty – helping with general account matters, too.
Tax Accountant (the Specialised One)
A tax accountant can earn anywhere between £30,000 and £75,000. It is a tax accountant’s role to apply their knowledge of tax compliance and tax accounting principles to advise on relevant changes to legislation or tax issues that affect the business, and deal with tax reporting. A tax accountant offers tax advice across a company’s departments, and to clients. Responsibilities could include reviewing and processing daily, weekly and monthly reports, appropriately identifying and communicating issues in reporting (notifying management when necessary), and proactively maintaining and documenting updates to departmental procedures. When it comes to working hours, the further you go up the ladder, the higher the responsibilities become and the more work you’ll be responsible for.
Forensic Accountant (the Interesting One)
The average salary for a forensic accountant is £36,583 in the UK, but it can be as high as £72,000. Forensic accountants are employed both privately and publically. Forensic accountants combine their accounting knowledge with investigative skills to solve crime or curb fraudulent practices – this sector is regarded as one of the fastest growing in the accounting industry thanks to forensic accountants’ heightened awareness and growing intolerance of fraudulent activity. Most forensic accountants work in either investigation or litigation support. Daily duties could include preparing reports and summaries of findings, providing courtroom testimonies, and analysing financial records to ensure they’re compliant with standards and laws. A forensic accountant could also help with risk management and advise on a variety of financial transactions such as mergers and acquisitions.
Next time on ‘Accounting and Finance Job Roles Explained’, we will be discussing the positions of a bookkeeper, financial risk analyst and not-for-profit accountant. Head to part two now.
If you want to begin your professional journey into accounting, but aren’t sure of where to begin, contact Aspiring Accountants today; our course advisors can help you work out your first steps.
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