what is an accountant?

An accountant is a professional who monitors the financial health of both individuals and businesses. An accountant with a private practice will work with tax preparation, investment strategies and wealth management. An accountant in a business can play several roles in maintaining records, analysing costs and presenting financial reports.

accountant roles
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average salary of an accountant

Accountant salaries cover a wide range based on the type of accountant and the role the employee plays in an organisation. Experience is also a factor in determining an accountant’s wages. An entry-level bookkeeper may make about £27,000. A certified public accountant who is just starting can expect a salary of around £50,000. An experienced CPA with a large company can receive £85,000 or more. Generally, accountant salaries range between £20,000 - £90,000.

Smiling woman in an office
Smiling woman in an office
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types of accountants

When you scan an accountant job description, you will often see a distinction between senior and junior accountants. The title refers to the duties of the employee. In this arrangement, junior accountants do more of the day-to-day data entry and book balancing. Senior accountants then analyse the work and present the reports to management. Experienced accountants can apply directly for senior positions. After a few years, a junior accountant could receive a promotion to a senior position.

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working as an accountant

The duties of an accountant depend on the size of the company and the employee’s level within it. However, some expectations are standard for accountants at all levels.

As an accountant, the details truly matter. I enjoy analysing our workflow and looking for unexpected ways to cut costs and manage expenses. When I do my job well, everyone in the company benefits.

Sheila Thomas
accountant
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education & skills

education & qualifications

You cannot apply for a job as an accountant without some level of education and training.

Health and social care
Health and social care

skills & competencies

A career as an accountant is not for everyone. Mistakes in the accounting department can have serious effects on a business. Employers need their accounting staff to have the right skills and mindset.

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FAQs

Here are the most asked questions about working as an accountant:

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