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Financial career advice

As there are so many different roles within accounting, beginning a financial career can be challenging. Each department within the finance section fulfils a different function that ultimately affects the management accounts.

Management Accountant

Management accountants are responsible for reporting a company’s performance to management and shareholders each month. They are also responsible for completing the businesses’ annual accounts that are used by HM Revenue and Customs to determine tax owed or due. The annual accounts are also a factor used to determine a company’s credit worthiness. This is important not only for determining the amount of borrowing a company can have, but whether a supplier will provide the company with a credit account.

Credit Control

The credit control function is responsible for maintaining cash flow and determining a supplier’s credit worthiness. They are often given a cash target to achieve and are required to lower the average amount of days customers take to pay. They also have to lower the amount of debt that is written off and liaise with the company’s solicitors to chase clients that are in arrears.

Accounts Payable

The accounts payable department are also responsible for cash flow. This team pay the company’s suppliers. They liaise with the credit control team when making payments to make sure that the business is not paying out more than it is getting in. The only people they do not pay are the staff.

Payroll

This is an important function within any business. Payroll staff are responsible for paying the staff’s wages. The role also includes dealing with HM Revenue and Customs, so a knowledge of the current payroll legislation is required.

Final Word

There are lots of contrasting roles within the accounting function. Some like purchase ledger are administrative, others like credit control involve a degree of accounting knowledge. Jobs like payroll and management accounting involve training and qualifications. If you are unsure of where your skills would fit in best, you can seek advice from recruitment agencies or careers advisors before applying for a role within accounts.

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