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Financial Accountant Job Description

Financial Accountant jobs are ideal for those with a solid financial background, an analytical mind, and proven knowledge and understanding of the financial complexities behind a business. Your skills, knowledge and experience can have a real impact on the future of the business you work in. So, whether you are looking to move into a new area of finance or take a step up from your current position, Finance jobs are an excellent career choice for anyone looking for a diverse and challenging role. 

What does a Financial Accountant do? 

Working as a Financial Accountant goes beyond tax returns and balance sheets, extending further into more technical operational accountancy. The role requires you to take responsibility for implementing the financial skills and knowledge you have acquired in your previous professional experience.

Financial Accountant jobs can be in either the private or public sector, making the opportunities varied and vast. The basic nature and demands of being a Financial Accountant will be the same, but the industry to which you apply those skills will offer exciting new insights. These can include;

  • Banks, building societies and insurance companies.
  • Software companies.
  • Manufacturing.
  • Service industries.
  • Retail.
  • Media.
  • Public utilities.
  • Charities.
  • Health authorities.
  • Local government.
  • Universities and colleges.

Whichever industry you work in, as a Financial Accountant you will be part of a diverse team, sharing data and supporting each department in their budgeting and financial planning. You will be required to use appropriate accountancy practices and procedures to carry out essential analysis and reporting tasks to maintain the company’s financial records, and provide the analytical data required for optimal business performance. 

The COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 saw Financial Accountant jobs evolve as new challenges were faced. Staff on furlough, working from home, business budget changes and in some cases reduced headcounts, all had an impact for those in Finance jobs as they focused on new and different aspects of their role. 

Is a Financial Accountant job a good fit for you?

If you are just starting your financial career, perhaps as a Financial Administrator or Bookkeeper, you can gain the required Financial Accountant qualifications through one of the following professional bodies. Part of your learning will also include work placements to ensure you gain the required level of experience.

For those who have previously worked as a Tax, Change or Management Accountant, Financial Accountant jobs will draw on your meticulous attention to detail, strict procedural application, and legislative knowledge. These are essential skills to ensure the accuracy of financial data upon which reviews and evaluations for cost-reduction opportunities are made.

The day-to-day duties in Financial Accountant jobs include;

  • Payroll, VAT and HMRC tasks.
  • Managing accounts receivable and accounts payable ledgers.
  • Maintaining internal financial accounting, monitoring and reporting.
  • Reporting monthly accruals, prepayments and similar accounting entries.
  • Preparing and presenting statutory accounts.
  • Preparing monthly and quarterly financial reports.
  • Preparing and presenting budgeting and forecasting reports.
  • Reporting on factors influencing business performance.
  • Analysing market trends to maximise profits and find expansion opportunities.
  • Advising on ways to reduce costs.
  • Identifying and reporting on potential risks.
  • Assisting in the audit process of current systems with external auditors.
  • Maintaining financial details to ensure legal requirements are met.
  • Maintaining relationships with Auditors, Solicitors, Bankers and Statutory Organisations.
  • Driving the continuous improvement of accounting practices.

Are you a good fit for a Financial Accountancy job? 

To succeed in a job as a Financial Accountant you need more than just financial experience, your own personality, knowledge and drive are equally important. Factors include;

  • Commercial and business awareness.
  • Ability to turn complex data into understandable form.
  • Thorough and methodical attention to detail.
  • Good time management skills and the ability to prioritise.
  • Analytical approach to work.
  • Confidence to use initiative.
  • High numeracy and proficient technical and I.T. skills.
  • Problem-solving skills.
  • Negotiation skills.
  • Excellent communication and presentation skills.
  • Strong leadership qualities.
  • Capacity to make quick, rational decisions.
  • Ability to work in a team and build strong working relationships.
  • Positive and approachable manner.
  • Work well under pressure.
  • Investigative nature.
  • Enthusiasm to develop skills and knowledge.
  • Adaptable to change and willing to embrace new ideas and processes.
  • Ability to accept criticism and be challenged.

Qualifications, licences and certifications

As mentioned previously, you can gain the essential qualifications to become a Financial Accountant from a professional body. In addition, 2-5 years working as a Tax, Change or Management Accountant are required, as well as fluent spoken and written English.

Employers will also be looking for those who show:

  • Excellent technical accounting knowledge.
  • Competence in using accounting and office software packages, including Sage, QuickBooks, Xero, Zoho Books, Microsoft Excel, Access and Word.
  • Competence in managing financial accounting, monitoring and reporting systems.
  • Excellent skills in providing and interpreting financial information.
  • The ability to produce accurate financial reports to a deadline.
  • The ability to build, manage and maintain budgets.
  • The ability to monitor and interpret cash flows with a view to predicting future trends.
  • The ability to analyse competitors and market trends and advise co-workers and stakeholders.
  • Experience in conducting reviews and evaluations for cost-reduction opportunities.
  • Excellent skills in researching and reporting on factors influencing business performance.
  • The ability to develop relationships with external contacts, e.g. Auditors, Solicitors, Bankers and Statutory Organisations.
  • A good working knowledge of financial regulations and legislation.

Where can a Financial Accountant job take you?

The expertise gained from Financial Accountant jobs is extremely versatile. The technical and legislative knowledge you gain can be applied to any other environment across industry or commerce. If you want to pursue a leadership role, then a position such as Head of Finance, or Finance Manager could be your ideal next position.

Next steps

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