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Accounting and finance personnel play a vital role in every business, being responsible for keeping track of the money that comes into and goes out. Career opportunities in this field are wide ranging.

Average salaries are in the region of £28,000.00 to £55,000.00. Salaries will vary depending on location / employer

Career Profile

Accounting and finance personnel play a vital role in every business, being responsible for keeping track of profitability and the money that comes into and goes out. 

What they do

Accountancy and finance covers a broad range of roles within the construction industry, from book keeping and accounting positions to procurement and senior management roles such as commercial manager.

Choosing to work in accounting and finance therefore opens the door to a wide range of career possibilities and is an attractive choice for anyone with a good head for figures and real attention to detail.

In practical terms, a career in accounting and finance will involve working with documents in paper form and on computers. You are likely to work with specialist accounting software. 

You will spend time creating, updating and analysing spreadsheets, and you will work with others to produce the reports and information that enable management teams and directors to plan ahead from a position of knowledge and ensure the company’s future prosperity. Career opportunities in this field are wide ranging.

Typical tasks include:

  • Managing cash flow (Making sure all money due to the company is received and all money due to suppliers is paid)
  • Keeping records of all transactions
  • Completing necessary paperwork such as VAT returns

In a more senior role, you would take on more complex tasks such as:

  • Preparing financial statements and reports
  • Financial planning and budget control
  • Carrying out profit forecasts
  • Liaising with external companies, bankers and auditors

Hours & Salary: 

A career in accounting and finance will usually involve working standard office hours, Monday to Friday, but there may be occasions when it is necessary to work late, particularly in more senior roles.

  • Newly trained accountants can earn in the region of £14,000-£25,000
  • Trained with experience accountants can earn in the region of £29,000-£55,000
  • Senior, chartered or master accountants can earn in the region of £60,000-£80,000

Salaries typically depend on location, employer and level of responsibility. Salaries and career options improve with chartered status. 

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Case Study

I have responsibility for preparing the monthly management accounts for the different divisions of Lindum. This includes Cost Value Reporting (CVR) for our current/active sites to forecast future revenue and costs to predict the margin levels at the end of the project (i.e. how money we’ll make at the end). I also have responsibility to reconcile our bank account on a daily basis, as well as reconciling key control accounts throughout the month.

What do you like about your job?

Lindum is a great company to work for – they look after their employees and make you feel valued, they listen to your opinions and encourage you to make a difference. I also enjoy the problem solving aspect of my job, nothing is ever straightforward so you have to use your brain and take logical steps to get to the bottom of the problem. My job is very varied and the wide ranging tasks that I have to undertake on a day to day basis keeps it interesting.

What’s your working day like?

It’s often very busy at times, especially when I’m working towards the preparation of the monthly management accounts, but each working day is different as you can juggle the different tasks around depending on workload and deadlines to suit you. 

What skills do you need in your job?

You definitely need to have a high level of accuracy and a good eye for detail for solving problems.

What was your background before starting this role?

I studied Accounting, Business Finance & Management (ABFM) at the University of York, and did an 8 month work experience working alongside an accountant to gain valuable experience. I also completed the AAT qualification which has helped me gain MAAT status recently.

What are you most proud of in your career?

One of my best achievements was graduating with a 2:2 in my accountancy degree, and then completing the AAT qualification via home learning in my spare time so I could gain my MAAT status. I’m also really proud of securing my job at Lindum and developing my skills within the company.

Where do you see yourself in ten years’ time?

Hopefully, I’ll still be working for Lindum, but undertaking more advanced tasks and gaining increased responsibilities. I’d also like to move onto a more advanced qualification to develop my knowledge further, such as ACCA/CIMA/ACA.

A bit of advice of anyone thinking of a career in construction?

Construction is not just about ‘building things’ and ‘working on site’ – there are loads of opportunities within the industry which people may not realise e.g. Accounts, Marketing, Legal, HR. It’s a fast paced environment and things are always changing – so if you like to keep busy and are up for a challenge, then a career in construction is definitely worth considering.

Stephen McKane is an Accountant for Robertson Group Limited

What does your role involve?

My role involves the weekly consolidation and reporting of Robertson’s cash flow forecasting and all monthly statutory reporting of VAT and CIS Tax.  I also assist with monthly management accounts reporting, annual budgeting processes, inter company reconciliations and audit process.

What do you like about your job?

I enjoy the satisfaction of producing accurate management reports whilst adhering to strict time deadlines and reporting to external bodies with quality information.

What's your working day like?

My working day is normally a series of tasks that have a cyclical repetition both weekly and monthly.  I also assist other colleagues with accounting queries.

What skills do you need in your job?

You need to have good interpersonal relationship skills and good MS Excel and Word abilities.  You also need an excellent adherence to detail and a general flexible attitude to workload.

What was your background before starting this role?

I have had a variety of accounting roles, mainly in manufacturing environments.

What are you most proud of in your career?

It is difficult to single out a specific moment. I am proud of every task when done well, adhering to reporting deadlines and making a perceived contribution to the company’s worth.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years' time?

If not retired and enjoying myself, then doing exactly what I am doing today, hopefully for the same company.

A bit of advice for anyone thinking about a career in construction?

If you take pride in doing a task well to strict deadlines with adherence to detail, then why not?!

Qualifications & Training

Many roles in accountancy and finance require specific qualifications or a degree.  Opportunities also exist for school leavers wishing to gain an entry level internship or apprenticeship. For this, A Level Maths or Scottish Highers will usually be required.

More senior roles will often require an accounting or finance related degree or equivalent, and/or specialist accountancy training.

There are a number of professional bodies with their own exams and qualifications, including the following:

  • ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants)
  • CIMA (Chartered Institute of Management Accountants)
  • ICAEW (Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales)

These qualifications are often undertaken whilst working in an accountancy role, and supported by the employer in many cases.

Want to find out more?

Try our Matching Service for work experience opportunities in your local area, with new opportunities being added on a regular basis. 

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Total Jobs

The number of jobs vacancies related to your preferred job role may vary daily, as these are external websites. Check regularly to see new opportunities as they are posted.

Career trends and forecasts

16690 additional staff needed

According to the latest Construction Skills Network research, the UK construction industry will need an additional 16690 non-construction professional, technical , IT and other office based staff (which includes accountants), every year for the period 2017 - 2021. The majority of this demand will be in the South West followed by Greater London, and Yorkshire and Humber.

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