Accounting & Finance

This section of eFinancialCareers includes all our accounting and finance jobs. This is a broad area, including finance and accounting jobs within corporates, within private practice firms and the Big Four (Deloitte, Ernst & Young, KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers) and within financial services firms and investment banks.

Within the financial services sector, investment banks hire accountants; so do retail banks, hedge funds, private equity firms, insurance companies and fund managers. Companies in all sectors also recruit accountants to help them manage costs and revenues, calculate profits and losses, plan for the future and calculate their tax liabilities.

Within investment banks, accountants occupy numerous different roles. These include: Product control (accountants monitor profits and losses made on products bought and sold on the trading floor); financial control (accountants analyse the bank’s overall performance. They produce month-end, quarterly, half-yearly and annual reports); internal audit (accountants responsible for checking that financial systems and controls within the organization are being complied with); regulatory accounting (accountants ensure that the way the bank reports its financial activity complies with the legal rules and regulations of the countries it trades in) and treasury (accountants structure the bank’s financial affairs often working with colleagues in tax so that sufficient cash is available to meet its liabilities).

The vast majority of accounting careers are within the industry and commerce sector. These accountants are divided roughly into two areas. Firstly, Financial Accountants, who produce monthly statements, keep track of financial transactions and meet financial legislation requirements. Secondly, management accountants, who review the operating performance, look at underlying trends, and advise managers. Increasingly, management accountants also interpret and advise on these figures and how they may affect the business. The main management accounting qualification is run by CIMA. More common for financial accountants is the Chartered Accountant (CA) qualification, or an ACCA.

Within the Big Four Accounting firms (PricewaterhouseCoopers, KPMG, Deloitte, Ernst & Young), not surprisingly, there are a wide variety of jobs in accounting. These include: auditing (accountants conduct financial reviews of companies), consultancy – also called advisory (accountants offering strategic advice to clients on everything from risk systems to company strategy), forensic accounting (accountants investigating improper practice), insolvency and recovery (accountants working to turn companies around); and tax accountancy (accountants managing the tax liabilities of companies and individuals). Alongside the Big Four is an array of mid-sized and smaller accounting firms which also employ accountants, but typically offer a more restricted range of services.