Accountants job Description for Small Businesses

01 May 2021

Every company, establishment and institution, all have accounts that handle their financial records and values. The one responsible for the handling and management of these accounts and financial records is the accountant. Besides these, an accountant is equally trained to provide financial advice to clients, organisations, companies and even government bodies. 

Additionally, accountants can be specialised in certain areas like auditing, taxation, management consultancy, assurance, corporate finance, etc. Like most accountants in London and everywhere else, their job involves more than just handling any organisation's accounts and financial records.

Duties of an accountant

The typical duties of an accountant include the following

  • Auditing financial information
  • Financial forecasting and risk analysis
  • Preparing accounts and tax returns
  • Dealing with insolvency cases
  • Management of colleagues, workloads and deadlines
  • Analysing business plans and accounts
  • Compilation and presentation of budgets, business plans, commentaries and financial statements
  • Negotiating terms of business deals and moves with clients and associated organisation
  • Scheduling meetings and interviews with clients
  • Administering and controlling payrolls, income and expenditure

Like most professions, working hours for accountants are the regular nine to five and office-based. 

Who employs an accountant?

Generally, an accountant can work in any institution. However, the typical employers of an accountant include the following

  • Public sector
  • Private firms
  • Charities and non-profit organisation
  • Governmental bodies
  • Professional service firms
  • Commercial and corporate organisations
  • Industrial organisations

What are the qualifications and training required to be an accountant?

A career in accountancy can be available for both a college graduate and a school leaver. For someone to attain a chartered accountant status, they must first obtain an honours degree in any discipline with relevant subjects as accounting, economics and business studies. 

A degree involving any of the above subjects is advantageous as they provide a faster route to the necessary qualification with a professional accounting body. When this qualification has been obtained, the individual achieves a chartered status. This is proof to their potential employers, clients and the general public that they have attained the skills and the training required to do the job well. For graduates, they should have at least five GCSEs, including grades A-C and at least two good A-levels. 

Some organisations and firms have recently made it easier for graduates with a 2.2 degree or lower to enter the accounting profession. In most cases, having prior legal knowledge can be beneficial to the individual.

To attain a qualification as a chartered accountant, the individual must pass through three years of training. This can be demanding as the training and studying for exams happens alongside full-time employment. This is why it important for graduates to carefully consider the package offered in their training contract before accepting it. As you train to become a chartered accountant, some factors play an important role in job satisfaction, and they include

  • Provisions for training and study
  • Salary 
  • The atmosphere of the firm where you work

As you undergo training to become a chartered accountant, you must understand that completing three years of relevant working experience is part of the criteria. Although experience gained from prior work experience, either from internship or volunteering, can count, the work experience must meet a certain development objective. It must be supervised by an employer approved by the qualification provider. Your qualification will depend on the fulfilment of these training objectives, professional exams and a professional ethics assessment.

While different institutions of chartered accountants have different entry requirements for contractors accountant in the UK, and other accountants, most of the large firms have preferences for qualifications from specific institutions even though training generally covers the same topic and skills. When chartered status has been obtained, the accountant must maintain the status by pursuing an objective towards continuing professional development (CPD) each year.

Key skills for accountants

Gaining an accountant status does not come easy, as accountants undergo a rigorous recruitment and qualification process. The extent of their qualification is most often reflected in their professional status. Nonetheless, accountants with the following skills are always sought after by employees.

  • Integrity
  • Organisational skills 
  • Ability to manage and meet deadlines
  • Analytical ability
  • Proficiency in Information Technology (IT)
  • High level of numeracy
  • Business acumen and interest
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Methodical approach to problems
  • Communication and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to reflect on one's work as well as the wider consequences of financial decisions
  • Teamwork ability
  • Self-motivation

In the end, every corporate, private and public institution and organisation needs the skills and expertise of an accountant. We have seen that the duties of an accountant go beyond handling and managing financial records. 

The duties and roles extend to the protection, documentation, analysis and management of business records, properties and reports. To find out more about accounting and how to achieve chartered accounting status, contact National Accountants for help. 

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