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Job Description


This job is part of our sustainability series:  > See more sustainable job ideas > Find out more about sustainable careers

Accountants provide financial advice for a business and will be tasked with examining economic data and creating financial reports and business plans which will allow the organisation to use that information to grow and make more money.  This could be in an accountancy firm where they will work with other companies and individuals or it could be working within a single organisation. 

The duties of an accountant can vary but typically they would be involved in:

  • Preparing accounts and tax returns
  • Administering payrolls and controlling income and expenditure
  • Auditing financial information
  • Compiling and presenting reports, budgets and business plans
  • Financial forecasting and risk analysis

Accountants often specialise in a particular area such as 

  • Taxation
  • Management Consultancy
  • Auditing
  • Financial accounting
  • Management and cost accounting

Entry Requirements

There are various routes to becoming an accountant. The minimum level for most kinds of accountancy is an AAT qualification. You will need a  ACA, ACCA or CIMA higher qualification to become a chartered accountant 

You can do this job through:


It may be useful if you studied a relevant course like, Business Foundation Diploma Level 3 or Business Studies.

You will usually need 4 or 5 GCSEs (including Maths and English) at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course.

The following local colleges offer courses in Business:

Or your local 6th form may offer a relevant course. Maths, Economics and BTEC Business are desirable qualifications to consider. 


You could do an intermediate, advanced and higher apprenticeship in accounting. Types of apprenticeships would include, ATT Tax Apprentice, Audit apprenticeship, AAT apprenticeship.

You will usually  need:

  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship
  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship

Click here to search for an apprenticeship.


You can do a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree in accountancy, or a related subject like:

  • Accounting and Finance 
  • Business and Management (Accounting)

You will usually need:

  • 1 or 2 A levels, or equivalent, for a foundation degree or higher national diploma
  • 2 or 3 A levels, or equivalent for a degree

Click here to search for a suitable course.

Career Path and Progression

With experience you could progress to:

  • Supervising junior staff
  • Finance director 
  • Auditor 
  • Business analyst 

Required Skills

  • Excellent numerical skills 
  • The ability to interpret complex financial data
  • Good concentration levels
  • Precision and attention to detail
  • The ability to work on your own initiative
  • Strong communication skills
  • Honesty and integrity

Salary Range

£17,300 to £84,000

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