An accountant is a professional who keeps financial controls in check in an organisation.Nature of the job
Accountants are often required to be analytical, have a good degree of numeracy, an inquisitive mind and a desire to improve processes within an organisation. Other than the preparation and reporting of the day-to-day operations of the company, managing of budgets and cash flow forecasts and attending to timely reporting of monthly, quarterly and annual reports, accountants must also have the skill to analyse trends and report on the performance of a business. You will also need good communication skills as you are required to explain and interpret financial numbers to senior management and also communicate with external auditors during the year-end audit.
This line of job can be very busy and physically demanding especially during the financial year end. In the case of publicly listed companies, there will be quarterly reports and reporting cycles to adhere to. These reports are closely monitored by external investors such as shareholders and banks. Often, better than expected results will reward shareholders with a higher share price whereas underwhelming results and precarious borrowing levels may lead bankers to come a-knocking.
As a professional accountant, you will also need to constantly update yourself with the latest developments in international and local standards for reporting. Graduates starting out in this role will need to understand the business which they work in. However, the skills and knowledge developed will allow you to work and specialise in a variety of areas. You can either be employed with an accounting firm, a large company with an accounting department, or set up an individual practice.
Career Progress: Finance Executive > Finance Manager > Finance Director > Chief Financial Officer