Overview

Group accountants typically work at the head office of a group of companies.

As corporate reporting experts they are responsible for:

  • consolidation of subsidiaries for statutory reporting purposes
  • making sure that all entities within the group are following the correct accounting standards
  • providing the information that is needed for group reporting purposes. 

In some companies, the group accountant may also be involved in the production of management accounting information at group level.

The group accountant is an important position which makes accounting and reporting happen in complex organisations. Accuracy, multi-tasking and hitting deadlines are requisites for these roles.

Entry and progression

A group accountant is a professional who has qualified with, and is a member of ACCA, or other accountancy bodies.

Those who are hired to start work in group accounting may be completing their professional exams and have gained relevant experience in finance.

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

Exam options

For those who work in group accounts, or aspire to be a group accountant, the most relevant exam options are:

The group accountant is often a key point of contact with the external auditors. An understanding of the role and objectives of audit would be valuable. The most relevant exam option for this is:

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 group accountant career.

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

Competencies

High level competencies required by a group accountant include:

  • Financial Management

    A. Links developments in global trade, markets business practices and the economic environment to required improvements in the financial and risk management of an organisation.

    B. Advises on business asset valuations, capital projects and investments using appropriate analytical qualitative and quantitative techniques.

    C. Identifies, evaluates and advises on alternative sources of business finance and different ways of raising finance.

    D. Communicates and advises on the impact on financial decision making on current developments in regulation, governance and ethics.

    E. Assesses and advises on appropriate strategies to manage business and organisational performance regarding business and finance risk and effectively communicates the impact.
     

  • Stakeholder Relationship Management

    A. Positively develops relationships with internal and external stakeholders.

    B. Communicates and gains commitment from internal and external stakeholder.

    C. Uses emerging technologies to collaborate and communicate effectively with stakeholders.

    D. Applies professional and ethical judgement when engaging with stakeholders.

    E. Aligns organisational strategic objectives with stakeholder needs and manages expectations.

     

  • Sustainable Management Accounting

    A. Applies development and performance management in the wider business and technological environment in the context of strategic planning and implementation.

    B. Directs organisational performance through the selection and measurement of financial and non-financial performance indicators.

    C. Collaborates on the key tactical and organisational areas of budgeting and control, capital investments, people and resource management.

    D. Consults on the design and use of current and emerging technology and information systems to improve strategic decision-making and organisational performance.

  • 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.