Qualified accountants who specialise in financial accounting need to have the best levels of knowledge of reporting standards and regulations, this knowledge must also be as up to date as possible. The majority of these accountants tend to come from a chartered background: A combination of the ACA syllabus and the practical knowledge gained from auditing the financial statements of a number of companies produces a comprehensive background of knowledge. (However, it must be said that a career in financial accounting and reporting is followed by a number of ACCA qualified accountants and a smaller number of CIMA qualifieds too)
There are a number of technical standards that are often essential skillsets for specific job opportunities in financial accounting and reporting, such as knowledge of UK or US GAAP, IFRS, Solvency II and Sarbanes Oxley. A large number of accountants develop their career to becoming an expert in one or more of these fields; there is a very healthy demand for both interim and permanent candidates who can transfer their knowledge of these specialist, technical areas to a new employer, often meaning that there is a premium attached to the remuneration on offer for the job opportunity.
Listed companies and group companies require a more specialist skill set of financial accounting and reporting. Generally accepted accounting principles on intercompany transactions vary from principles applied by individual companies.
Financial accounting and reporting job opportunities require candidates who are technically strong, with good attention to detail and who have a propensity to achieve uniform standards of presentation and communication. Experience of financial accounting is a vital component in the career of any qualified accountant and can be one of the most rewarding phases. It is a common feature of many of the FTSE 250 Finance Directors to have held a financial accounting role at some point of their careers.