If you are considering a career in the financial sector, then you will have to be good with numbers. But then, if you had “number brain freeze”, which many people suffer from, then you would be unlikely to anyway. Although, careers in this sector do pay well. If you are looking for a career where placing the numbers is perhaps more important than being able to add them up, then bookkeeping is probably the one for you. The calculator can do the adding for you while you work out whether the number should have been a debit or a credit.
To become an accountant, you will learn about accounting ledgers, payroll, and various taxes including income tax, corporation tax, and VAT. You will need to have an eye for detail and have excellent analytical skills to work out why figures are not balancing when they should. For instance, the debits should always balance with the credits. A bank reconciliation should agree the company’s bank balance with the bank statement. The differences should just relate to cheques that have not cleared yet, either as receipts or payments. Accruals and prepayment create timing differences in accounting, too. Training to become an accountant takes many years, although it is possible to become a qualified accounting technician first and take on more minor financial roles with that completed. An alternative to the Chartered qualification is the ACCA or CIMA qualification. The ACCA is more for financial accountants and CIMA is specifically tailored to cost accounting. A cost accountant works out the production costs of a business to work out its breakeven point in relation to its fixed and variable costs. As a financial accountant, you would also be a tax advisor to your firm or client, as knowing what tax benefits can be taken advantage of can significantly increase a business’s profitability. A good accountant can save a business a lot of money through their knowledge of different tax schemes. Many company accountants, for this reason, will early large salaries. Businesses want to have an accountant that they can rely on and trust to handle their finances in the best possible way. They will look for companies in their area first, such as, for example, the accountant sydney service – Pherrus, to see if they would be a good fit. Make sure that you do what you can to get to that top of the list too.
In the financial sector, an auditor will review a company’s financial documents, that is their ledgers, statements, and invoices, to check individual transactions follow through onto their bank statements. They will be looking for any kind of irregularities where there is not a complete record of a financial transaction from source to end. An excellent working knowledge of different accounting and computer accounting systems is essential to understand what is happening. Internal and external auditors are invaluable when it comes to detecting fraud. Under company rules, there is a legal requirement that a company should have their accounts audited periodically by an independent auditor. So, there is plenty of work for the auditor.
To become a bank manager, you will need to have become familiar with the banking and financial sector. You will primarily be a financial advisor deciding on which businesses the bank can take a risk on giving the larger loans to, as well as managing the staff inside your branch. Financial packages are being more and more strictly regulated, due to scandals such as the mis-selling of PPI, so you will need to be up-to-date on reading all of the regulations, and have the ability to take the financial examinations that allow you to sell the different financial products banks are now offering their customers. As a good starting point to working in banking, students might consider studying at college, either an A-Level in Business Studies or a BTEC in Business and Finance. If you are older, it may be at good idea to gain your experience from working first as a counter assistant to gain experience in different kinds of transactions, progressing to personal banker to learn about the different types of accounts on offer, and then start to learn more about the financial products on offer as well. As a future career, banks are becoming more automated, so the positions in the future will be more managerial. Most banks are starting to employ floorwalkers who will direct you to an automated machine, and then if you desire the instruction, show you how to use it.
Bookkeeping is something that can be done without the aid of a computer, although packages such as Sage make it easier. Double-entry bookkeeping involves using ledgers and entering figures as either a debit or a credit, as mentioned previously. Purchases and assets are entered as debits, and sales and liabilities as credits. These ledgers are then balanced off monthly, and at the end of each year, the totals will be transferred to profit and loss accounts and balance sheets, to show a company’s profits, assets, and liabilities. Bookkeepers also complete VAT returns. For the 2020/21 tax year, a company could earn 85,000 before needing to register for VAT but may still register to claim its VAT back on purchases. It is a good starting role for anyone thinking of becoming an accountant or auditor.
Apart from in accountancy or banking specifically, there are many more careers to consider in the financial sector. In every industry, for instance, there will be a finance department that deals with payroll, or receipts and payments of one kind or another.