Considering a career as a financial accountant?

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As the economy in the UK improves, businesses are increasingly looking to the finance function to play a key role in helping the business to grow and build competitive advantage in the new economic climate.

This is not only driving an increase in the number of financial accountant jobs, but also means that commercial accountancy professionals now command higher salaries.

“Financial accountants who are committed to continually improving their skill sets and getting themselves involved in the business are undoubtedly being offered the best packages when moving roles,” said Habiba Khatoon, Director of Accountancy Recruitment at Robert Walters.

Hot skills

Businesses are increasingly looking to the finance function to play a key role in helping the business to grow

While the right qualifications are essential to securing a job as a financial accountant, some attributes will ultimately aid your success in the position. These include:

  • An eye for detail: being able to not only spot errors but also having a keen eye on where things can be improved
  • The ability to comprehend large amounts of data
  • Strong commercial awareness – being able to understand your business, its operations and the stakeholders who guide it, as well understanding where you sit within the business and where you can deliver the most value

On the job, you can also expect to build a number of technical accountancy skills which surpass the foundation skills learnt throughout your qualification. These include a broader understanding of:

  • Balance sheets
  • Compiling statutory accounts
  • Financial control and governance
  • Your organisation's financial health

Career opportunities

Traditionally, professionals with a financial accountant background can go on to become a Finance Manager, Financial Controller or Finance Director. However, financial accountants can also move into:

  • Consulting
  • Private practice (typically upon securing an ACA qualification)
  • Management accountancy
  • Interim consulting within a niche specialism, e.g. audit, change and transformation or year-end projects

How do you start a career as financial accountant?

Individuals can progress into a position as a financial accountant from a number of routes. For some, they might begin their career as an assistant accountant or a junior accountant prior to qualifying, while others may begin their career with their first role outside of their qualification.

To find your next part or newly-qualified accountancy role, access our job search page.

Or, find out what you’re worth in financial accountancy using the Robert Walters Salary Survey.

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