Role Review: Financial Accountant
What is a Financial Accountant?
The traditional role of a Financial Accountant is to record, summarise and report on the myriad of transactions resulting from business operations over a period of time. Ultimately, these transactions are summarised in the preparation of financial statements, including the balance sheet, income statement and cash flow statement, the records of the company’s financial performance over a specified period. But in reality, the role of a Financial Accountant can be broad and varied depending on the industry in which you work in. A Financial Accountant in an SME can have many different responsibilities to that of a peer in a large company or PLC.
How to secure a Financial Accountant role:
In order to become a Financial Accountant, you can complete a training contract with a recognised training accounting firm. These range from the “Big 4” firms to mid-tier and right down to small, local firms. In Ireland, this typically results in a training contract to complete the exams of Chartered Accountants Ireland and to become an ACA. Training in practice as an ACCA is also widely available though the firms that offer this tend to be smaller in size.
An alternative option to the practice route is training in Industry. ACCA are the market leaders when it comes to training in industry but Chartered Accountants offer their Flexible Route option which get you the same qualification as going the practice route and there is also CPA. Traditionally you will start as an accounts assistant while studying towards your qualification. You will then graduate to a financial accountant role once your qualifications have been gained. It can sometimes take a little longer to qualified within industry as the opportunity for study leave is limited as you balance fulltime work and study but the opportunity to break down the exams into smaller, more manageable segments is a key benefit of this route.
The experience gained from training in industry will equip you with the hands on skills to confidently transition into a financial accountant role and the steep learning curve of those transitioning from practice to industry is not experienced.
Future career prospects with this experience:
There a few professions that are as global and universally recognised as accountancy, the world is your oyster! Upon gaining experience as a financial accountant there are many opportunities to progress your career. If the finance side is where you see your strengths and attributes flourishing, you can progress to Senior Accountant, Finance Business Partner, Finance Manager, Financial Controller, Director right through to C-Suite (CFO/CEO).
This experience can also allow you to move internally to the commercial side of the business such as business partnering, financial planning and analysis and commercial analyst roles. With this, you will be responsible for providing senior management and executives with analysis and information to make key operational, financial and strategic decisions. These moves allow for more commercial exposure and open up a wider range of potential future roles.
€45,000 – €60,000 DOE
Learn more from our Senior Consultant Stephen O'Carrol: Stephen O'Carroll firstname.lastname@example.org