There are many opportunities within the accounting industry – more than you might think. For example, did you know that accountants control the ballots for the Oscars? Who knew?
Whether it’s working from a small business or packing your bags to go control Oscar ballots, there are plenty of postgraduate courses in accounting to get you started.
We’ve gathered some information you might need below.
What is Accounting?
In simple words, accounting is the process of recording the financial transactions within a business or organisations. It involves the measurement, processing and communication of economics entities in businesses and organisations as well as summarizing their financial position and cash flow.
Responsibilities of an accountant
An accountant has many responsibilities, some of which may differ from day to day or depending on who they’re working with. Examples of duties carried out are:
- Managing budgets and financial systems
- Analyse risks
- Liaise with clients
- Provide trustworthy information about financial records
- Carry out financial audits
- Review companies systems
- Advise clients on tax
- Maintain relevant records for clients/businesses
- Detect and prevent fraud
- Create financial statements
- Help and advise clients in dealing with insolvency or with business improvement
- Perform regular tests to check financial information
There are a few different courses to choose from across the UK. Postgraduate courses will allow those who have an undergraduate degree in accounting to focus on a particular area of interest or strength. Examples of courses on offer are:
Accounting courses are exactly what they say on the tin. Students who take a general postgraduate accounting course will look at accounting change, accounting education, performance measurement and financial accounting among other topics and carry out both quantitative and qualitative research techniques along the way.
Accounting and Finance
Postgraduate courses in accounting and finance gives students the opportunity to develop their skills and knowledge further in order to help gain a high level position in the international business and finance sector. Topics that may be covered include financial management, corporate finance, international business environment, financial statement analysis and management accounting among more.
International Management (Accounting)
Courses such as this one provide clear links between theory and practice and looks at relevant management techniques and themes internationally. Students will gain relevant knowledge of the global economy, financial reporting requirements and financial management. Students will also gain an insight into the process of detecting and preventing financial crime.
Entry requirements differ from course to course and university to university. However, in most cases a good second class honours degree in surveying or a related field is desired. In some cases a 2.2 degree will suffice, however in others, a 2.1 degree is necessary to apply.
Being a chartered accountant
Becoming a chartered accountant takes hard work and some anti-social hours. In order to become a chartered accountant as opposed to just an accountant, you must be a member of either the Institute of Chartered Accountants or the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants.
It can often not be a 9-5 job and weekend hours and evening hours are common when trying to meet deadlines. While it is a highly employable role, most jobs can be found in areas of higher population such as cities and towns. Depending on the job and the company you work with, accountancy is a formal job with formal dress.
Work in this area might include financial reporting, tax, auditing, corporate finances, forensic accounting among other similar roles.
Sectors of employment
You can work in multiple sectors as a chartered accountant.
- Small and medium practices working with clients
- Telecoms industries
- Set up own practice
The salary of accountants can differ depending on location, sector, size and type of firm you work for. The average salary of a starting accountant in the United Kingdom is roughly £30,000. The average annual salary for a chartered accountant is roughly £84,000.
Skills and requirements
- Analytical skills
- Critical thinker
- Strong time management skills
- Ability to work with others
- A good manner when working with clients
- Strong writing skills
- Strong communication skills
- Attention to detail
- Knowledge of the industry
- IT proficiency
- Interest in business