Financial accountants record and externally report the financial position of an organisation. Financial accountants are responsible for retaining, disclosing and submitting the right information to external authorities . They need a good knowledge of:

  • company law 
  • financial reporting standards 
  • IT software and related digital developments. 

Financial accountancy lies at the heart of corporates’ accounting operations and so offers a satisfying and well-regarded role for finance professionals.

Entry and progression

Financial accounting is key and has roles in:

  • practice
  • corporate sector
  • public sectors
  • financial services
  • shared service organisations. 

These sectors provide many entry points into financial accounting.

ACCA develops the skills and knowledge required by forward thinking professional accountants, including financial accountants.

Financial accountants may progress to senior levels in such positions as:

Study and exams

The fundamental financial accounting skills are used by accounts clerks and bookkeepers to keep a financial paper trail of transactions.

These financial skills can be obtained from ACCA’s Applied Knowledge suite of entry qualifications. They would provide an entry route to the ACCA qualification and progression towards becoming a professional financial accountant.

For those who work in financial accountancy, or aspire to be a financial accountant, the most relevant exam is:

Options exams

A good knowledge of tax and audit is important for the work of financial accountants and therefore useful options exams are:

Performance objectives

Remember it’s not just about exams. You need to have the right experience so that you are competent – you have the experience and knowledge – to start and continue your career as a financial accountant.

Performance Objectives (PO) which would provide great experience and must be signed off as part of the Practical Experience Requirement (PER) could include:


High level competencies required by a financial accountant include:

  • Corporate and Business Reporting

    A. Prepares financial statements, corporate financial and integrated reports for external stakeholders using appropriate technology.

    B. Leads effective decision making through analysing, evaluating and communicating performance and position of entities.

    C. Prepares financial statements for groups of entities using appropriate technologies.

    D. Monitors, critically evaluates, and advises on the relevant accounting standards, regulation and conceptual and reporting frameworks.

  • Ethics and Professionalism

    A. Develops advanced ethical values and professional skills in the promotion of public interest and the profession.

    B. Demonstrates personal effectiveness in fast changing environments.

    C. Encourages innovative thinking within the context of professional scepticism.

    D. Thinks proactively about the future, applying professional judgement and commercial intelligence and seeks specialist input when needed.

    E. Communicates effectively and influences others.