A Concise Guide to a Career in Accounting and Finance

There are numerous career paths which, rather than just being ‘just a job’, are much more of a vocation, which absolutely includes the areas of accounting and finance.

Whether you are just finishing university and looking for your first professional accounting job, or else are already in a profession and looking for a new challenge, you have definitely come to the right place for inspiration and guidance.

Here is a concise guide to a career in accounting and finance.

Main Duties & Responsibilities

As a self-employed accountant, it can be virtually guaranteed that you will be able to find regular work within the area of accounting and finance.

Naturally, for newly-qualified accountants, their own duties will differ vastly from those of accountants who have been practicing for many years. However, the general main roles and responsibilities of a qualified accountant (in most countries) include the following:

  • Planning for investments
  • Conducting thorough audits
  • Preparing budgets and forecasts
  • Preparing and discovering answers to problematic questions
  • Keeping up-to-date with financial regulations and accountancy laws

Educational Requirements

Naturally, as accounting and finance are certainly academic pursuits, there are specific educational requirements that are entirely mandatory for a career in the field.

To become a fully qualified accountant, it is first necessary to choose the right route of training that best suits your lifestyle and preferences, meaning an entry-level qualification such as an AAT.

Then, you should embark upon your continued training program, such as CPE, which is mandatory in many countries even before accountants have chosen their specialty. Learn more about how important CPE is if you wish to become a qualified, fully licensed accountant.

Whilst you are training, you should also look for some work-experience-related roles within the accounting and finance field and, crucially, seek an employer to fund your ascension.

Necessary Skills to Become an Accountant

As with any vocational career, particularly those that require extensive training and a wealth of prior knowledge, certain necessary skill sets and personality traits contribute to a successful career as an accountant.

You will need to naturally have an attention to detail and describe yourself as somewhat of a perfectionist, with impressive and eloquent communication skills, as well as a deep and vested interest and even passion for the world of business.

Other, more advisable than mandatory, skillsets to have would be a strong working knowledge of the latest innovative technologies, particularly accounting and finance software packages.

Your Specialism

As previously mentioned, it would be strongly advisable to invest your time and expertise into focusing on one particular specialism within the wider field of accounting.

Not only will specializing in a particular area serve to set you apart from your industry rivals, but it will also mean that, if and when you choose to start your very own accounting business, you will already have added value to your company.

There are plenty of different fields of specialization within accounting and finance, from forensic accounting and auditing to business and management accounting.