A technical accountant, or accounting technician, is an accounting or finance professional who can work at various levels within different types of organisations.
In large organisations, an accounting technician may form part of a larger finance or accounts department, and may be responsible for specific aspects of the accounting function, such as preparing financial statements, performing financial calculations, and assisting with audits.
In smaller organisations, an accounting technician may be responsible not only for the accounting function, but for the bookkeeping duties as well.
Let’s have a look at a typical day in the life of Mike, a technical accountant for a medium-sized events management company:
- 05:00 – I wake up and head for the gym. Morning exercise helps to prepare me for the day ahead, where I usually spend plenty of time sitting at my desk.
- 06:00 – I complete my workout at the gym, have a quick shower, grab some breakfast, and head off to work. While sitting in traffic, I think about the tasks that are on my to-do list for the day, and wonder whether I will have time to get through them all by 17:00. I usually try to plan my day’s schedule in advance, but, as a technical accountant, I’m often faced with unexpected challenges. Like yesterday, when I was informed that I would need to help with the annual audit next week, as the person who usually supports the audit team is away on extended medical leave.
- 07:30 – I arrive at the office, which is still nearly empty, and greet one or two colleagues who have also come to work early. Once I get to my desk, I check my e-mail, then make myself a cup of coffee and settle in to make sure that I’m ready to start with the serious work by 08:00.
- 08:00 – My goal is to get the day’s most challenging tasks out of the way first, so I start working on this month’s financial statements and reports, which are due by the end of the week. I meant to do most of it yesterday, but the accounting software programme that I use kept crashing, and it took the IT department most of the day to troubleshoot and fix it.
- 09:30 – I’ve picked up a problem with an item in the financial statements, so I decide to do a bit of research on how to fix it before I go off to our team meeting at 10:00.
- 10:00 – We have a weekly team meeting to give feedback on our current assignments, to discuss our plans for the week, and to make sure that everyone is up to date with what’s happening in the finance department. This week’s meeting is a bit longer than usual, since we also need to discuss the upcoming audit.
- 12:00 – The meeting is finally over. I return to my desk to check e-mails and to handle any queries that have come in while I’ve been away.
- 13:00 – It’s time for a quick lunch break before taking on the afternoon’s tasks. A colleague and I decide to walk down to the nearby grocery store to buy sandwiches. While we walk, we chat about the upcoming audit, and how it’s going to affect our workloads over the coming weeks.
- 13:30 – I continue working on the financial statements and reports. My research this morning luckily helped me find the solution to the problem I picked up. Thank goodness for the internet and search engines!
- 15:30 – It’s time for a short break. I get up to make a cup of coffee, and quickly check my e-mails to see whether there’s anything urgent that needs to be done before the end of the day.
- 15:45- It doesn’t look like anything urgent has come up, so I use the last hour of the day to prepare tax returns, catch up on admin tasks, and plan my schedule for tomorrow.
- 17:00 – Time to go home. I might work regular office hours, but when I get home, I still need to study for my upcoming exams, since I’m studying towards my qualification as a Chartered Accountant. It’s tough to work and study at the same time, but I know that the rewards will be worth it in the end — my boss has already offered to give me a promotion as soon as I complete my qualification.
Does working as a technical accountant sound like something you would like to do?
Click on the button below to find out how you can prepare for your own career as a technical accountant: