Different Types of Accountants and What They Do

Accountants are always in demand, whether business is good or bad. But not all accountants are the same.

Here are some of the different accounting roles and an insight into what each do day-to-day.

Auditor

Some companies require an audit. Commonly if they have lending that specifies an audit or have a turnover over £10.2m.  

An auditor is an accountant who is trained to review the finances of a Company in accordance with auditing standards and ensure the accounts comply with relevant regulations.

Management Accountant

Typically working for a Company, management accountants are involved with the day to day accounting for the business.

They prepare and analyse the financial information of the Company, adding insights, reviewing the performance, help with cost control and looking to future success.

Finance Director

A strategic role, the Finance Director is part of the Board of a Company.

The FD is responsible for the entire financial function of a Company and will manage a team of accountants.  

The FD works closely with the Directors of the business to devise a financial strategy which fits growth plans.

Financial Controller

The Financial Controller, put simply, sits in between the FD and bookkeepers.  

They make sure the books are maintained accurately and can produce financial statements ready for the FD to analyse.

They are commonly responsible for day to day accounting, credit control, reconciliations and preparing management reports.

Financial Accountant

They work with Company Accounting records, prepare financial statements as well as dealing with tax affairs.

A Financial Accountant will understand accounting standards and general accounting principles.  

They can work for individuals or businesses, depending on their areas of expertise.

Tax Advisor

This is a person trained to give tax advisory services.  They have a specialist knowledge of tax rules and the legislation that surrounds them.

The main two areas of tax are Corporate and Personal for individuals Companies, trusts and partnerships.

Forensic Accountant

Often working alongside lawyers, a Forensic Accountant is trained to analyse and interpret financial information to identify illegal activity such as money laundering or disputes.  

They will have some legal knowledge and be able to present information for solicitors or give evidence at a trial.

Insolvency Practitioners

Commonly these are accountants who hold a licence to work as an insolvency practitioner.

When a business is in a difficult situation a practitioner is appointed firstly to try and rescue the business but if this is not possible it is their responsibility to wind up the business.

They will collect any money and sell assets then try to settle debts with creditors.

Updated 15 April 2019

About Anita Forrest

Anita Forrest is a Chartered Accountant, spreadsheet geek and money nerd helping financial DIY-ers organise their money so they can hit their goals quicker.