Barden Part Qualified Career Guide Series...Next Up Continuum of Activity
Are you a part qualified accountant and planning your professional future? If so, then this is the perfect blog series for you. Over the next few weeks we’ll share some excellent insights from the Barden Part Qualified Career Guide, which will help you plan and navigate your professional career.
Next Up…Continuum of Activity
Job specs are meaningless; it’s how you spend your time that really matters. Easy.
The second you start looking at job specs, you’ll see that different companies call different roles by different names. The best thing to do is to establish a common language to “translate” job specs. The “Continuum of Activity” helps you do just that.
Broadly speaking, part qualified accountants will see four different types of roles:
- Financial Accounting: what happened in the last month, quarter or year. Everything up to and including producing a set of accounts for a company;
- Financial Analysis: why it happened and what is likely to happen – the future. Budgeting, forecasting, analysis and planning on OPEX, CAPEX and revenue/ sales;
- AP/AR Accounts Assistant: transactional and reconciliation activity on payables and receivables that impact the flow of funds in an organisation and form the building blocks of the accounts; and
- Other Roles: either specialist (treasury) or an extension of one of the activities above (like statutory reporting).
If 100 people move out of practice (or indeed from industry to industry), the spread of roles they typically end up in will look like Figure 1, below.
Keep in mind:
- The majority move into some sort of financial accounting role or accounts assistant-type role and build from there;
- A financial analysis role is rarely a first or second step in your career, yet a lot of people aspire to this type of role. Typically, it’s better to get experience preparing financial accounts before you start analysing and commenting on them. Also, if you want to be Finance Director someday, you’ll need financial accounting experience under your belt – that’s way easier to get earlier in your career;
- Smaller companies will combine the four basic roles into one. In roles that involve a mix of activity, be sure to get a percentage weighting on where your time will be spent. The job specs might be the same but how you spend your time could be different; and
- When moving from practice, financial accounting type roles (or similar) are the most likely route, although some savvy accounting professionals look to internal audit or similar at this stage too.
To view previous blogs in this series click the link below:
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