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Financial accountant

Few careers are as global as accountancy and qualified accountants are found working in high-level jobs all over the world.
Opportunities for progression are plentiful and varied, but depend very much on the area of work

Alternative job titles for this role

  • CA
  • Chartered accountant

Introduction

Financial accountants provide specialist services to commercial and non-commercial organisations to ensure that they are financially sound and comply with legal requirements and regulations. They prepare financial statements based on general ledgers and participate in important financial decisions involving mergers and acquisitions, benefits planning and long-term financial projections.

What the job involves

  • Perform external audits by examining financial statements
  • Determine whether they are 'true and fair' to 'assure' an organisation that it is complying with legal requirements or fulfilling best practices
  • Perform internal audits
  • Help clients to understand and meet their tax obligations
  • Business advisory/financial services
  • Lead and manage a multi-disciplined team and making a full contribution to senior management teams while working to tight deadlines
  • Provide operational management of an accounts department, including debtors and creditors ledger, accounts payable and receivable, wages and salaries
  • Prepare VAT returns, bank reconciliations and monthly and annual accounts
  • Implement IT systems, manage change and manage relationships with external organisations and suppliers

How your career can develop

Opportunities for progression are plentiful and varied, but depend very much on the area of work.

Why financial accountancy matters

Professional services firms such as the ‘Big 4’ of Deloitte, EY, PwC and KPMG are some of the largest employers of graduate recruiters and where many financial accountants start their careers.

Skills

  • Self-motivation
  • Responsibility
  • Ability to reflect on one's own work as well as the wider consequences of financial decisions
  • Business acumen and interest
  • Organisational skills and ability to manage deadlines
  • Team working
  • Client-facing (customer service) and interpersonal skills
  • Proficiency in IT
  • Analytical ability
  • A methodical approach and problem solving skills
  • Numeracy

Typical employers

  • Professional accountancy firms
  • Commercial organisations
  • Industry
  • Government departments
  • Regulatory bodies

Typical salary

  • Graduate/Starting average salary in 2014 was €22,500
  • Senior/Potential €89,000+

Typical qualifications

Accountancy is open to any degree discipline; however numerical or business related degrees are an advantage. In accordance with Chartered Accountants Ireland (professional accountancy body in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland) CA’s must complete a training contract with a recognised training organisation in order to gain thorough training in practice and pass Chartered Accountants Ireland Final Admitting Exams (FAEs). Chartered Accountants Ireland have introduced a new entry route known as the Elevation Programme, for experienced graduates wishing to become chartered accountants. This route, unlike others with Chartered Accountants Ireland, does not require students being obliged to enter a training contract.