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If you’re an Accounting or Finance graduate, you will probably be setting your sights on a graduate job within Banking and Finance. Before delving into this industry, you might want to know what a day in the life of an Accountant actually entails, so we spoke with The Accountancy Partnership to help shed some light on this. The Accountancy Partnership assist new and existing businesses to effectively manage their accounting and taxation requirements. Working in this fast-paced environment means graduates will encounter a whole host of different types of businesses and clients, and in The Accountancy Partnership's case, some of the biggest names in print; The Independent and The Sun.
The Accountancy Partnership’s Managing Director and AAT qualified accountant, Lee Murphy, talked us through his daily work routine; from first thing in the morning, right through until leaving the office. If you’re strongly considering an Accounting or Finance graduate job, make sure the read the below!
Aside from a coffee fix, the first thing I do is check emails as it’s important that clients’ queries are answered quickly. Clients also expect an efficient service in this on demand economy, so leaving unanswered emails for 3 or 4 days is not an option.
Prioritising the work I am going to do during the day. In the accounting industry, there are lots of deadlines to work to, often multiple deadlines for the same client. In a Finance graduate job, prioritising work is so important. At times it can be a juggling act between prioritising work by the deadline and by the order the work was received from the client.
Personally, I use Feedly. My Feedly RSS feed is linked to all kinds of industry blogs along with technology blogs which keep me up to date with accounting, tax and technology which are now all interlinked. I spend about 30 minutes before work reading every day to stay right up to date.
During the day I have to carry out tasks such as VAT returns, accounts, tax returns, client queries over email and telephone and the occasional meeting. I also help with queries from the sales guys and ensure any outstanding queries are chased up.
Before I leave the office I ensure that I’ve finished all the work that was meant to be completed during the day and I complete a final check of emails and other notifications relating to client’s questions.
We have an online practice so I work with mainly smaller clients but a huge diversity. Some of the common types of clients are contractors, e-commerce and professionals. These clients have a variety of business structures from sole traders, partnerships, limited liability partnerships, limited companies, CICs, charities and limited partnerships (yes there is such a thing!)
The best thing about an accounting environment is the logical approach to the work, i.e. taking something that is disorderly in some way and straightening it out. It's also really rewarding to be able to advise small business owners to help them succeed.
Try to decide whether you want to be an accountant in practice or industry as they are both very different. If you know what side you would like to pursue then it makes it much easier when deciding what to study, what types of firms to apply to for training and what information to consume.
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