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A day in the life of an Accountant: What graduates need to know đź’ˇ

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If you’re an Accounting or Finance graduate, you will probably be setting your sights on a graduate job in Banking & Finance.

But before you delve into the competitive Banking & Finance industry, you might want to know what a day in the life of an Accountant actually entails.

To help you out, we spoke with The Accountancy Partnership to help shed some light on this.

The Accountancy Partnership are a leading accountancy firm who assist new and existing businesses to effectively manage their accounting and taxation requirements.

Working in the fast-paced world of finance means graduates who land accounting graduate jobs will encounter a whole host of different types of businesses and clients – and in The Accountancy Partnership’s case, some of the biggest names in print; The Independent and The Sun.

The Accountancy Partnership’s Managing Director and AAT qualified Accountant, Lee Murphy, talked us through his daily work routine – a day in the life of an Accountant from first thing in the morning, right through until leaving the office.

If you’re strongly considering accounting graduate jobs or finance graduate jobs, read on to find out what an Accountant does on a daily basis.

If you’re still unsure about what you want to do after graduation, take a look at our blog about how to figure out what your ideal graduate job might be.


A Day In The Life Of An Accountant

The following day in the life account will help you discover how to become an Accountant, the common daily tasks, and what life as a Graduate Accountant really entails.


  • As an Accountant, what’s the first thing you do when you get into the office?

Aside from a coffee fix, the first thing I do is check emails, as it’s important that clients’ queries are answered quickly.

The life of an accountant isn’t always glamorous!

Clients also expect an efficient service in this on-demand economy, so leaving unanswered emails for 3 or 4 days is not an option in the life of an Accountant.

  • What would you consider your most important task of the day to be?

Prioritising the work I am going to do during the day.

In the accounting industry, there are lots of deadlines to work to, often multiple deadlines for the same client.

In accounting and finance graduate jobs, prioritising work is so important.

At times it can be a juggling act between prioritising work by the deadline and by the order the work was received from the client – this is a key part of what an Accountant does.

For a Graduate Accountant, this is much the same; it’s a full-on, varied and challenging role from the start.


  • How do you keep up to date with finance industry news or changes to tax legislation?

Personally, I use Feedly. My Feedly RSS feed is linked to all kinds of industry blogs along with technology blogs which keep me up to date with accounting, tax and technology which are now all interlinked.

I spend about 30 minutes before work reading every day to stay right up to date.

If you are interested in going into finance graduate jobs, staying up to date with industry news and legislation is essential!

  • Please give us a brief rundown of your daily responsibilities as an Accountant.

During the day I have to carry out a range of accounting tasks such as VAT returns, accounts, tax returns, client queries over email and telephone and the occasional meeting.

I also help with queries from the sales guys and ensure any outstanding queries are chased up – so a day in the life of an Accountant can be fairly varied!

If you’re interested in graduate accounting jobs, make sure you understand the different roles and responsibilities involved!

Find out what makes a great employee in an accounting job.


  • What’s the last thing you do before you leave the office?

Before I leave the office I ensure that I’ve finished all the work that was meant to be completed during the day and I complete a final check of emails and other notifications relating to client’s questions.


  • What kind of clients do you work with on a regular basis? (Sole trader/ limited companies, different kinds of industries etc.)

Our accountancy firm have an online practice so I work with mainly smaller clients but a huge diversity.

Some of the common types of clients are contractors, e-commerce and professionals.

These clients have a variety of business structures from sole traders, partnerships, limited liability partnerships, limited companies, CICs, charities and limited partnerships (yes there is such a thing!).

A day in the life of an Accountant could well involve working closely with all of these!


  • What’s the best thing about working in an accounting environment and what do you enjoy most about the role?

The best thing about an accounting environment is the logical approach to the work, i.e. taking something that is disorderly in some way and straightening it out.

It’s also really rewarding to be able to advise small business owners to help them succeed.


  • What would your one piece of advice be to someone studying accounting at the moment?

Try to decide whether you want to be an Accountant in practice or industry as they are both very different.

If you know what side you would like to pursue then it makes it much easier when deciding what to study, what types of firms to apply to for training and what information to consume.


Check out The Accountancy Partnership’s website for more insight into finance and accounting graduate jobs.

Find more career advice on our Careers Advice Blog – or check out the latest Graduate Finance Jobs and other high paying graduate jobs!



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