Secure the Best Accountancy Practice Job that is ideal for you in 2017

by James Ackland

So you are at the stage in your Accountancy career where you want to know what career paths are available to you in the field of Accountancy Practice. You’re studying towards your qualification (AAT, ACA, ACCA or ATT) and have already obtained experience working in Accountancy Practice as you are currently working for a firm of Chartered or Certified Accountants. You are coming across modules in your studies that interest you but you are unsure of what a position in this field of expertise will entail and if a career in this field is attainable for you, before considering this of course you want to know what a role in your chosen field of interest looks like!


This is where we come in as specialists in the Accountancy Practice market, we are here to guide you through your career providing any advice you require and ultimately any assistance you require in securing your dream role.


Below we have listed the different areas you have the potential to move into and a summary of what a position in this field is likely to entail: –



Every year companies, government bodies and charities have to get their financial books checked over by an independent specialist or an auditor.

You will be hired in to conduct a health check of your client’s accounts, making sure that the money paid in and the money paid out look reasonable and accurate and match up with the profit or loss a company has declared that year.

It’s your responsibility to review and advise whether there are any areas where savings can be made. This is especially important if you’re working with public sector organisations and departments as they are using tax payer’s money.

Typical tasks you’ll work on include: getting to know about the company you are auditing, examining balance sheets and profit and loss accounts, talking to clients about transactions in the statements, identifying risks or problems, assessing the company’s general reporting systems and making recommendations for improvement.

Often you’ll be based at your client’s site, using your own laptop, so there may be a need to travel away from home for short periods of time. You might have to go out to visit client’s sites as part of the job, for example to do a stock audit of equipment or to see some of its factories.


Outsourcing / VFO

Since Cloud software was developed there has been an increasing demand for outsourced services from Chartered and Certified Accountants. Typically, you would be managing a small portfolio of clients training them in the use of cloud software as well as spending a lot of time on site with them preparing Management Accounts, Bookkeeping and VAT returns as well as providing business advisory services.

The outsourcing/VFO offering is one of the quickest growing service offering in Accountancy Practice and is often described as a ‘hybrid’ position as positions in this area are effectively a combination of Practice and Industry positions. This is because although you are still working with multiple clients you are effectively performing an Industry role for them and will be visiting them more regularly than you would if you were managing a general practice portfolio.


Tax Specialist

As a tax specialist, you’ve got an important role to help people understand the world of tax and making sure they are paying the right amount

Individuals, small businesses and large companies all need good, clear and simple tax advice. You can choose to focus on tax planning (advising clients on ways to reduce their tax bill) or on tax compliance (preparing and submitting tax returns forms).

Your typical activities include: researching and understanding tax law, meeting clients to gather information and explain options to them, liaising with HM Revenue and Customs on your clients’ behalf, checking and completing tax forms and auditing clients’ tax records. As you get more senior you’ll probably specialise in certain areas.

As such, these professionals are knowledgeable on business concepts and government regulations. Tax accountants may advise clients on how to minimize tax liability, inform them of any tax changes that affect their business and ensure compliance with taxing agency requirements. Tax accountants are involved in any disputes or audits that affect their clients.

Taxation accountants are concerned with interpreting and explaining taxation legislation to a wide variety of clients. Changes in the annual Budget and recent court decisions mean that tax law is constantly evolving. Chartered tax accountants must therefore keep abreast of legislative developments and continually review their technical knowledge in order to advise clients of efficient tax compliance, and in order to understand the implications of financial actions.


VAT / Indirect Tax

This is a specialist where the focus is on VAT Compliance and Planning work. Indirect Tax represents a huge cost to any organisation and is growing in complexity inline with new legislation.


Corporate Finance / Transactions

Corporate financiers provide a range of financial services to companies, institutions and governments.

They manage corporate, strategic and financial opportunities, including mergers, acquisitions, issuing bonds and shares, lending, privatisations, and overseeing initial public offerings (IPOs). Corporate financiers advise and lead management buyouts, provide strategic advice to clients, and identify and secure new deals.

The main role of corporate financiers is to advise companies, institutions and governments on how to achieve their financial goals and implement their plans. Corporate financiers work in dedicated teams, focusing on specific transactions or market sectors.

Thoroughly researching market conditions and developments; identifying new business opportunities; carrying out financial modelling, then developing and presenting appropriate financial solutions to clients; liaising with the chief executive and chief finance officer of large organisations; structuring marketing campaigns for transactions;

Assessing a deal’s desirability, which is sometimes an innovative idea from the bank rather than the client. Financial models are used to simulate possible outcomes (this requires a deep understanding of a sector).

Structuring and negotiating the detailed terms of a deal, often in liaison with other professionals.

Mergers and acquisitions (M&A): assisting clients with expansion to increase profitability, safeguard market position, diversify, etc. Investment bankers manage the transaction process, assessing the target organisation and the impact of the deal. This involves knowledge of legal and regulatory issues.

Debt capital markets: working with lenders such as financial institutions, agencies and public and private companies to support client debt. This includes restructuring debt, refinancing debt and raising new debt.

Equity capital markets: advising clients on how much capital to raise, from whom and when.

Although dealing with different, specific business areas, project teams liaise with one another during the two phases of a deal in order to obtain relevant specialist information and market intelligence.


Forensic Accountant

Forensic accountants often specialise in one area of investigation, such as insurance claims, fraud, tax crimes, or money laundering. The common denominator of forensic accounting is the ability to analyse and report on financial data and evidence, have a keen understanding of basic accounting and basic legal concepts, and be able to serve as an expert witness in investigative proceedings at Litigation.  In order to do this, the forensic accountant must investigate crime related to finance, such as embezzlement, securities fraud, money laundering, and bankruptcies.  The forensic accountant also interprets these crimes and works cooperatively with law enforcement officials in order to solve crimes.

By unravelling complex financial transactions, they help law enforcement officials build a case and put an end to illegal activities.  Forensic accountants may also work closely with lawyers in order to help them prepare their cases and may serve as expert witnesses in their trials.

Forensic accounting is a branch of accounting that not only requires knowledge of accounting and auditing principles but also the ability to work on investigation and litigation teams to look into illegal financial activity and assist in litigation processes.


Transfer Pricing

Inter-company transactions are increasing along with government efforts to collect related taxes. Those working within Transfer Pricing help to develop pricing strategies, audit defence, and documentation to cover the spectrum of transfer pricing issues. You will be working with multi-national and multi-jurisdictional organisations, utilizing the latest technology and strategies, to help clients work with complex and dynamic issues surrounding transfer pricing needs.


*For any further information you require or if you are open to a conversation please contact our Accountancy Practice team on 03453751747 to get the best up-to-date advice on the jobs market or utlise our Job Hunter service: *







Check out The Ultimate Guide to Accountancy here.

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