Whilst doing an Accountancy degree, you may well think there is one, extremely straightforward goal in mind – to become an Accountant.
But Accountancy has become so much more than just one career option. Many different elements now make up in-house and practice finance teams. There are many paths and possibilities when you have finished your studies.
Have you considered them all?
Accounts Payable / Purchase Ledger
Accounts Payable Clerks work within finance departments to keep the accounts payable or purchase ledger up to date. All incoming invoices relating to purchases must be properly coded and recorded on a central database or ledger in order to allow a company to understand how much is owed to external creditors at any one time.
Accounts Receivable / Sales Ledger
The Accounts Receivable or Sales Ledger function in a business is responsible for ensuring invoices are generated and distributed for all sales made by the business and then for collecting and recording payments against these invoices.
Credit Controllers are responsible for designing, implementing and maintaining effective credit control systems and processes to enable a company or organisation to efficiently collect its debts They often work closely with Accounts Receivable as they will tell them what the company has sold and therefore what they are due.
The payroll function in any large or small company or organisation must operate efficiently and accurately to ensure that salaries are paid correctly and on time. This is a really essential function – everyone would notice if their salary wasn’t in their bank account.
Depending on the company size, this will involve various responsibilities. You will work in a more varied role and maybe only do Accounts Payable one day a week rather than being specialised in this one area every day. You often work as part of a team, i.e assisting someone more senior. You don’t technically need any formal qualifications to do this position although a lot of candidates are often studying towards becoming a qualified accountant eventually. Other candidates are happy to work at this level forever and have no desire to progress upwards.
Refers to candidates a level above Accounts Assistant. Candidate with this job title are, more often than not, studying towards some sort of professional qualification and often progress higher as they pass more exams. Their exams are linked to practical exposure also, so it is crucial they are actively working in a relevant role and not just having theoretical knowledge. Again, this role can be varied but would tend to involve more month end and accounts preparation duties than the above. In some organisations they can actually supervise the Accounts Assistant.
This role is technically very similar to the two above and they can all be a bit interchangeable dependent on company preference. Some companies just refer to them as different things so it’s really important you drill down and check the actual duties. A bookkeeper in one company might not be experienced enough to last in another. This is a bit more of an ‘old-school’ term and general refers to a good, solid all-rounder that can turn their hand to most accountancy tasks. If a company wants a bookkeeper to come in, they usually want someone that needs minimal training and will just take control of their day to day finance tasks. This will incorporate all of the above duties and sometimes involves accounts preparation depending on the size of company.
So, if you are a recent Accountancy graduate – or are more experienced in your career – I’d be delighted to have a confidential discussion as to current opportunities in the market. Click here to drop me an email and get in touch.