Everyone has to start somewhere and in terms of accounting, the start is a support role within an accountancy firm, basically an apprentice. This considered, experience goes a long way in all types of careers and therefore the more experience that a person can gain as an accountant, the better the prospects available to them will be. This includes becoming a self-employed accountant which involves providing a range of services, accountancy and taxation, to various types of small or medium sized companies. Obviously, there are plenty of benefits and advantages to being self employed, a great incentive to work harder and gain that valuable experience.
In regard to larger businesses, accountants will work with members of chartered accountancy bodies, whereas in businesses that are smaller, they may be the only financially trained members of the work force, due simply to the fact that a smaller company needs less accountants. This considered the pressure that an accountant working in a larger business may entail leads to a greater experience and therefore higher prospects.
Whether working in a large, medium or smaller sized business, the following responsibilities of an accountant are common across all three; assisting with the preparation of accounts, managing the staff payroll, receiving and settling invoices, dealing with basic book keeping, auditing external and internal work, looking after financial transactions, budgets and payroll, monitoring staff and company expenses, controlling the budget, accounting for the cost of resources and writing reports that are presented to managers, board members and shareholders.
If, however, you become experienced enough to be your own boss and go it alone as a self-employed accountant then you may provide services such as; advising on budgets, advising on taxation, calculating end of year accounts and consulting on financial issues. Broken down, each means; giving advice on how far a budget can go and how it could be effectively spent, advice on taxes, totaling up accounts and presenting the figures and consultancy on any financial issues that may arise or have arisen.