Summary of profession

An accountant is a professional person who performs accounting functions such as audits or financial statement analysis.

Working hours, patterns and environments

They work standard office hours Monday to Friday, but may also work evenings and weekends to meet deadlines. They may also work longer hours at busy times like the end of the financial year.

Education and skills

Accountants must qualify with one of the following professional bodies: Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), Association of International Accountants (AIA) & Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA). These each have different entry requirements for their courses and different routes to qualify. You can usually qualify more quickly if you have qualifications in business and finance or A-levels

Job growth and opportunities

With experience, you could specialise in an area like auditing or forensic accounting or become a manager in a practice. You could then move into a partnership or become a finance  director.