Financial Accountant

Job Description:

Financial accountants are employed by organisations or private clients to keep track of a company’s financial transactions.

Job Category:
Financial Services

What you will do:

Your responsibilities might include:

  • auditing accounts
  • recording business transactions
  • analysing how well a company is performing
  • preparing and analysing financial statements
  • presenting information on the financial health of a company
  • providing financial advice

Financial accountants present information to an external audience, i.e. people outside of the company, such as shareholders, potential investors, industry regulators, financial institutions, lenders and creditors.


You’ll need:

  • knowledge of economics and accounting
  • maths knowledge
  • to have a thorough understanding of computer systems and applications

As well as:

  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • administration & organisational skills
  • analytical thinking skills
  • the ability to work well with others (teamwork)
  • ambition and a desire to succeed
    the ability to use your initiative
  • numeracy skills
  • the ability to manage money
  • communication skills (to present information to other people)
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

To become a financial accountant, specific GCSE subjects are not typically required, but certain subjects can provide a strong foundation for the skills and knowledge needed in this field. Here are some recommended GCSE subjects that can be beneficial for aspiring financial accountants:

  1. Mathematics: A strong background in mathematics is essential for financial accountants. This subject is crucial for financial calculations, understanding complex financial statements, and performing financial analysis.
  2. Business Studies: Business studies can provide insights into financial management, accounting principles, and the overall workings of businesses, which are directly relevant to financial accounting roles.
  3. Economics: Economics can be valuable for understanding economic principles, market trends, and the broader financial context in which businesses operate.
  4. IT/Computer Science: Familiarity with spreadsheet software and financial modeling tools is important for financial accountants, as they use these tools for data analysis, financial reporting, and managing financial data.
  5. English: Strong communication skills, both written and verbal, are crucial for financial accountants. They need to convey complex financial information to colleagues and stakeholders effectively.
  6. Accounting (if available): Some schools may offer GCSE accounting as an option. Taking this subject can provide a strong foundation in basic accounting principles.

School qualification that evidences your numeracy skills, such as (in the UK) A-levels in economics and mathematics, might be advantageous.

Post School

Many accountants also hold a degree. However, this is not essential, and it doesn’t necessarily have to be a degree in accounting. You could, for example, study a degree in business and management.

In the UK, to become an accountant, you must complete training with one of the professional accountancy bodies:

  • AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians) accounting courses
  • ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) qualifications
  • ICAEW (Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales) chartered accountant status

Most accountants are expected to have an AAT qualification as a minimum, but if you want to become a chartered accountant, you’ll also be required to have an ACCA or ICAEW qualification.

Finance graduate schemes and accounting apprenticeships, such as those run by the AAT, are another way of securing accounting qualifications with professional bodies, including the ACCA.

Working Hours and Environment:

You might be employed directly by an organisation (‘in industry’) or work for an accountancy firm (‘in practice’). Either way you will perform similar duties, but within a practice you’ll work for a range of clients, rather than a single business.

Most financial accountants work full-time hours, Monday to Friday.

There might be particular times, such as the month end and year-end, when there are tight deadlines. During these times, you might be required to work extra hours.

Career Path & Progression:

With experience, you could specialise in a particular area, such as:

  • auditing
  • forensic accounting
  • business recovery and insolvency
  • corporate finance
  • tax

If you work in the private sector, you could then move into a partnership or become a finance director.

You could also become self-employed or set up your own company