What does an accountant do?

Apr 17, 2024
Author: Hawsons
what does an accountants do

In the UK, Chartered Accountants play a crucial role in financial management for businesses and individuals alike. They are responsible for preparing and examining financial records, ensuring accuracy and compliance with relevant regulations. Chartered Accountants also provide guidance on tax laws and can assist in tax planning to optimise financial outcomes. Beyond this, they offer advisory services, helping clients make informed decisions by analysing financial data and offering strategic recommendations for growth and efficiency.

Overall, Chartered Accountants in the UK serve as trusted advisors, providing essential financial expertise and skills to support the success and stability of their clients.


Roles and Responsibilities

In the UK, Chartered Accountants undertake a range of roles and responsibilities crucial to financial management. These areas of financial management include Audit, Accounts, Corporate Finance, Payroll and Tax services. They are responsible for maintaining accurate financial records, preparing financial statements, using accounting software and ensuring compliance with regulatory standards and tax laws. Chartered Accountants can also be responsible for offering advisory services into financial performance, budgeting and strategic planning.


Ethical Standards and Guiding Principles

Chartered Accountants are held to rigorous ethical standards, principles, and regulations to maintain the highest levels of professionalism and integrity. These professionals must adhere to the code of ethics set forth by their governing body, such as the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (“ICAEW”). This code encompasses fundamental principles for accounting firms including integrity, objectivity, professional competence and due care, confidentiality, and professional behaviour.

Chartered Accountants are also subject to regulatory requirements such as anti-money laundering legislation and data protection regulations. They are required to undergo continuing professional development to stay abreast of changes in regulations and best practices. Adherence to these ethical standards and regulations is essential to uphold public trust and confidence in the accounting profession and ensure the delivery of high-quality services to clients and stakeholders.


What is the workplace of an Accountant like?

The workplace of an accountant can vary depending on their specific career role and employer. In general, Chartered Accountants often work in office environments and may work independently on tasks such as data entry, financial analysis, or preparing reports, or they may collaborate closely with colleagues, managers, or clients on projects.

Depending on the time of year and specific deadlines, the workload of a Chartered Accountant can fluctuate, with periods of intense activity during tax season or financial reporting periods. Overall, the atmosphere in an accountant’s workplace is often professional, collaborative, and focused on accuracy and attention to detail in handling financial and business matters.

history of accountants

History of Chartered Accountants

The history of Chartered Accountants in the UK dates back to the early 19th century. The term “Chartered Accountant” originated from the granting of royal charters to professional bodies, recognising their authority to regulate and set standards for the accounting profession.

The first professional body for accountants, the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (“ICAEW”), was established in 1880. This marked a pivotal moment in the formalisation and standardisation of accounting practices in the UK. The role of Chartered Accountants has evolved over time, expanding from traditional bookkeeping and auditing functions to encompass broader financial advisory services. In the 20th and 21st centuries, the accounting profession faced significant changes with the introduction of new regulations, technological advancements, and globalised markets. Chartered Accountants played a vital role in adapting to these changes, maintaining the profession’s relevance and integrity while continuing to uphold high ethical standards and professional competence.

Sam Butler, Partner

Sam Butler

Partner, Sheffield


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