Accountant Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

An Accountant, or Chartered Accountant, is an individual who handles financial records for private clients, governments or organisations. They prepare financial statements, administer and audit accounts and prepare tax returns. The Accountant also tracks the financial health of the organisation or client and takes action to correct issues to prevent financial calamity.


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Accountant duties and responsibilities

The duties and responsibilities of an Accountant can be broad or narrow depending on the requirements for the position. An Accountant may be required to perform all possible accounting duties, or they may be focused on a particular aspect such as auditing and reconciliation or taxation issues. As part of their duties and responsibilities, Accountants take charge of the following:

  • Oversee the ongoing maintenance of accounts
  • Ensure payroll is accurate and records are maintained
  • Support management in the accurate production of budgets 
  • Reconcile accounts including receivable and payable 
  • Ensure cashflow is utilized properly and protect reserves
  • Audit financial information for inconsistencies
  • Provide tax planning strategies in accordance with existing legislation 
  • Create financial forecasts and analyse risk


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What does an Accountant do?

An Accountant takes control of the financial accounts of their employer or client for the purposes of maintaining financial stability. The Accountant is enabled to make financial decisions when necessary that include authorizing payment or moving money from one account to another. When an Accountant determines there is a problem with an account or other financial record, they bring it to the attention of a Senior Accountant or Manager. The Accountant works as part of a team to ensure their work is correct and help other Accountants in turn. 


Accountant skills and qualifications

A successful Accountant candidate possesses various skills and qualifications that are necessary to perform their duties. They include:

  • Ability to work well in a team environment
  • Interest and acumen in how a business functions 
  • Application of proven methods to common and uncommon accounting problems
  • Ability to review one’s own work and find and correct any mistakes
  • Understanding of the overall impact of their financial decisions
  • Proficiency with accounting software
  • Strong analytical skills


Accountant experience requirements

An ideal Accountant candidate has experience that meets the needs of the organisation. Average experience requirements for an Accountant include prior employment in a similar role and handling of common accounting duties. The Accountant is capable of recording financial information in the correct files or books, reading and reconciling balance sheets and maintaining confidentiality at all times. Ideal candidates also have experience with establishing and maintaining budgets. 


Accountant education and training requirements

An Accountant needs, at the very minimum, a Level 2 Foundation Certificate in Accounting accredited by the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) or a Foundations in Accountancy accredited by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA). In the event the organisation is in search of an apprentice Accountant, the qualified candidate should possess one or both of the certifications. Advanced education for an Accountant includes the Associate Chartered Accountant and Chartered Institute of Management Accountant. 


Accountant salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for an Accountant is £34,069 per year


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Accountant job description FAQs


What is an Accountant 1 job description?

An Accountant 1 job description is an Accountant who has 2 to 5 years of experience. The candidate should demonstrate they have a solid grasp of accounting principles, have at least one accounting certificate and should have been employed as an apprentice or new graduate level in a company.


What skills should Accountant candidates have?

Candidates need to have strong maths skills and the ability to apply these skills to the work at hand. Analytical thinking is also required for solutions to problems that aren’t necessarily based in mathematics.  An Accountant should be meticulous in checking their work and looking for errors, before submitting it to a manager. Having good communication and people skills are also important, as the Accountant needs to liaise with co-workers colleagues and discuss the work in a constructive manner. 


What are the roles and responsibilities of an Accountant?

The responsibilities of an Accountant ranges from processing invoices, maintaining accounts receivable and payables, preparing accounts and ensuring financial information is always accurate. Roles include Management Accountant, Associate Accountant, Assistant Financial Accountant and Taxation Accountant. 


What is the job of an Accountant?

The job of an Accountant is to keep track of all financial records for an organisation, government office or private clients. The core function of the role is to help maintain financial stability, ensure compliance with tax and banking regulations and maintain accuracy and confidentiality at all times.

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