Accounting

Accountants are a vital component of any business, charitable body and government organisation. Accountants have a valuable role within a company or organisation to review and analyse the financial information for various purposes and give advice on business circumstances and strategies. Even in an economic recession, accountants are still an indispensable part of an organisation for auditing purposes, bookkeeping and financial management.

Accountants should be good with numbers, able to calculate and interpret large amounts of numbers and figures. Accountants engage in a wide variety of activities for clients or companies, which may include preparing financial statements and maintaining business transactions, quality management, using information systems to track financial performance and tax strategy, and they may partake in plans for mergers and acquisitions.

Thanks to modern accounting software, accountants spend less of their time computing numbers and bookkeeping and spend more of their time analysing the financial details of expenses and returns, working in teams with other accountants and financial officers, and problem solving an organisations financial conditions. Accountants are increasingly expected to communicate in clear and effective ways with clients to help them understand what is happening with their business or organisation financially.

Due to the fact that every company or organisation needs accountants, whether public or private, large or small, for or not-for-profit, individuals pursuing accounting have the choice of working in a wide range of industries and companies. Accounting is a stable career where one can expect to work a standard Monday to Friday work week in an office setting, working late hours during audit times and busy periods. Accountants learn how businesses work and develop an understanding of the factors that drive businesses and profits, giving them an advantageous position to work into management positions.

Many accountants begin their careers with internships while in college. Public accounting firms hire many recent grads, which allow them the opportunity to gain critical experience in the field, or they may choose to work within the accounting department of specific companies and organisations, as well as private accounting firms. Many accountants may choose to start out in public accounting firms and move on to private practices or government positions once they have more experience. With a career in accounting, there are many viable options.

Related degrees

Related subjects

Careers in accounting

Accountant

An accountant is in charge of producing and providing financial information and records for individuals and companies. An accountant needs to have strong mathematical and analytical skills and technical accounting knowledge. There are many different types of accountants and the tasks they perform predominately depend on the size of the business. Examples of daily accounting duties include: financial reporting, reconciling, maintaining financial records, forensic accounting, taxation and auditing.

Accounting Clerk

Accounting Clerks oversee many business activities including accounts payable and accounts receivable, payroll, taxes and all expenses and income pertaining to the company's finances. They must justify and reconcile all bank accounts and maintain the accounting records for government inquiries and internal audits.

Accounts Clerk

An Accounts Clerk is responsible for performing a wide range of accounting duties to support the business. Tasks can include payment of invoices, managing expenses, verifying and reconciling financial data, assisting in setting budgets, cash flow management and responding and liaising with external clients and vendors to resolve issues and ensure that the business is in a healthy financial state.

Bookkeeper

Bookkeepers maintain and analyse balance sheets, ledgers, payroll documents, bills, receipts and other financial documentation.

Clerks Payroll

Payroll Clerks work to assure that companies pay their employees accurately and in a timely fashion. They organise and collect timesheets and document information surrounding employees and pay periods as necessary. They also double-check timesheets to make sure they correspond properly with yearly salaries, hourly wages, overtime, sick days, and vacation time.

Payroll Clerk

Payroll Clerks work to assure that companies pay their employees accurately and in a timely fashion. They organise and collect timesheets and document information surrounding employees and pay periods as necessary. They also double-check timesheets to make sure they correspond properly with yearly salaries, hourly wages, overtime, sick days, and vacation time.

Professional associations and industry bodies

Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) Australia

Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) 

Association of Taxation & Management Accountants 

CPA Australia

Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Institute of Internal Auditors

Institute of Public Accountants 

Tax Practitioners Board

Taxation Institute of Australia

The Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia

Skills and personality

  • Ability to work for long periods of time in an office environment computing and analysing financial information
  • Able to interpret financial information including business expenses and returns and advise clients/ businesses on causes, effects and recommendations for financial situation
  • Adherence to accounting procedures and regulations
  • Advance knowledge of accounting computer software
  • High organisational skills
  • Highly analytical to understand business structure and figures
  • Problem solving capabilities
  • Strong communication skills to work well with clients and present material in a clear and cohesive manner
  • Strong mathematical capabilities
  • Thorough attention to detail and numbers