Work as Accountant in the UK
|The Opportunity||How to Prepare||FAQs|
The UK is an exciting place to be for an accountant - from the “square-mile” in London to the Scottish capital of Edinburgh. While London, after 300 years, remains the financial centre of Europe the rest of the UK also needs accountants with overseas experience. Jumpstart your job search by registering with agencies who specialise in finding accounting work for travelers.
Find contract or permanent positions in the Private Sector, Public Sector or Banking Sector.
|There is a range of positions available for partially to fully qualified accountants and others with relevant experience.||Choose to settle in bustling London or elswhere, and structure contracts to allow for travel.|
There is quite the array of accounting opportunities for working travelers from countries like Australia, New Zealand and Canada in the UK. Positions range from Part Qualified to Chartered Accountant. Employment can be found within the private and public sectors, in-house or within large firms including banking accounting, management accounting, treasury and audit.
- Accounts Assistant
- Fund Accountant
- Payroll Supervisor
- Fund Tax Accountant
- Accounts Payable
- Project Accountant
- Financial Controller
- Reconciliations Accountant
- Internal Auditor
- Unit Trust Accountant
- Senior Audit Manager
- Fixed Income Accountant
Apart from the conventional accounting roles you would expect to find in a metropolis there are possibly two major areas that stand out - Public Sector and Banking.
Public Sector: Contrary to popular belief, public sector accounting is diverse and thriving, including local and federal government and the National Health Service, which are all evolving to become far more commercially focused. Recently however, budget cuts have made some sectors more difficult to secure employment.
Banking and Finance: The Banking and Finance sector, in London in particular has also provided exciting opportunities and continues to provide excellent job options for people from overseas. Some common areas are financial accounting/ reporting and financial analysis. Another big area is commerce where responsibilities for accountants vary from management/financial accounting through to business analysis and project driven roles.
An Internaional Market: London and Beyond
Find positions in bustling London, just outside the city in what some call "real England," or throughout Scotland, where accountants are continually in high demand. A number of working travelers are also finding employment in other major centres such as Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol, Glasgow and Edinburgh. More.
How Much You'll Earn
Contract vs. Permanent Positions
Past Experience Required
For a degree-qualified accountant you will ideally be qualified or have 1-2 year’s solid experience in your home country. As an accounts assistant or in general accounts, experience will be the key and once again; 1-2 years experience is accepted. The possible exception to this rule is if you hold an EU passports or UK Ancestry Visa where you can be considered for permanent positions on an equal footing with your British recent graduate counterparts.
Qualifications You Need
Degrees, dimplomas and certificate qualifications gained in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa or Canada will be recognised in the UK. If you're considering long-term opportunities in the UK, transerring your qualfications can be advantageous. The majority of professional qualificaitons earned outside of the UK will be transferrable. In order to achieve the equivalent UK qualification, often you will need to acquire some UK experience and sit some exams.
Exactly how much experience and additional study you need to do is a function of the qualifications you currently have, and the country from which you received your qualifications. Either way, it's helpful to get to know the three major British professional qulifications: ACA, CIMA AND ACCA.
Major British Professional Qualifications
An ACA is an associate member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales.
An ACCA will have passed the professional examinations required for membership of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants.
CIMA have passed the professional examinations required for membership of the qualified accountants and the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants respectively.
|AAAT*||While not one of the 3 major qualifications, there is also the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAAT) which enables people to study whilst working. It offers practical training and qualifications in key accounting tasks and can lead towards Chartered Accountancy|
Find out about specific qualification requirements by visiiting the 3 major professional bodies:
Skills of the Ideal Candidate
In general, experience of relevant industry systems, specialised products and competency in using a spreadsheet are all skills that you should ensure are communicated clearly on your resume. Also if you are multilingual be sure to also put this at the top of your resume, there are a considerable number of accounting opportunites in the UK that require competency in another language.
It is not common to secure a position prior to leaving home but there is a lot you can do before you arrive.
Before you leave home you should endevour to make contact with recruitment agencies that are specialists at helping accountants. These companies can ensure you are put forward to roles that are suitable for your experience and also match your visa and travel needs if required. This way you can hit the ground running.
Whether you're a partially or fully qualified accountant or simply have significant relevant experience, you will find a suitable opportunity in England or Scotland. Both contract and permanent positions are available in the Private Sector, as well as to the Public and Banking and Finance Sector. You can expect to find a long-term contract job, or a series of short-term contract positions.
The certificate qualifications, as well as the degrees and diploma, that you've earned in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa or Canada will be recognised in the UK. Your experience will also be highly regarded and once you gain UK experience you will find your resume will lead to even more interviews.
There are four professional accounting qualifications - ACA, CIMA, ACCA and AAT. These qualifications are given to individuals by the various professional accounting organisations in the UK. There is a perception by British employers that different qualifications are advantageous for different roles. As with most professions however, your experience is the most important consideration. If you are planning a long term stay or want to continue along a particular career path you would do well to consider gaining the qualifications in line with your aspirations. Since CA or CPA qualifications are international in nature they are quickly recognised.
Pay rates of course depend on your specific experience and on the company or institution that employs you. As a general rule, as you gain UK experience your rate will go up accordingly. British qualifications and part-qualifications such as ACA, CIMA, and ACCA may also factor into the equation. For contract positions, wages start at £12 per hour and range to £35. View full eanings table.
Traditionally there are a wide variety of accounting positions thoughout England and Scotland. In the city of London for example, there has always been a high demand for contractors. Outside of London, there are also opportunities on offer. Scotland in particular has a steady need for qualified accountants. Many companies have offices just outside of London in the nearby counties. Working in these counties, such as Middlesex, Hertfordshire, Berkshire and Surrey enable many travellers to live just outside of London in what some call “real England” or alternately enjoy the many fruits of living in London with the advantage of an easy commute against the traffic. A growing number of travellers are also finding employment in the major centres such as Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol, Glasgow and Edinburgh.
You should have 1-2 years of relevant experience in your home country, regardless of whether you're a degree-qualified accountant, or work as an accounts assistant or in general accounts. The only potential exception to this rule applies to travelers with an EU passport or Ancestry Visa. In these cases, you may be able to compete with other recent graduates from the UK but if possible gaining experience at home will put you at a significant advantage.
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