Accountants provide financial advice to clients that range from multinational organisations and governmental bodies to small independent businesses. Accountants often specialise in particular areas of practice, including audit, management consultancy, recovery, forensic accountancy, taxation, assurance, and corporate finance (see the accountancy areas of work for more details).

Typical duties include:

preparing accounts and tax returns

administering payrolls and controlling income and expenditure

auditing financial information

compiling and presenting reports, budgets, business plans, commentaries and financial statements analysing accounts and business plans

providing tax planning services with reference to current legislation

financial forecasting and risk analysis

dealing with insolvency cases

negotiating the terms of business deals and moves with clients and associated organisations

meeting and interviewing clients

managing colleagues, workloads and deadlines.

Work tends to be office based, with working hours often extending beyond the regular nine to five at peak times, such as at the end of the financial year.

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