Open Colleges

A Day in the Life of an Accountant

by Elizabeth Harmon
Posted: June 25, 2019

  Return to blog home


If you like mathematics, have an analytical mind or are interested in the world of finance, then becoming an Accountant could be the ideal job for you. It requires a lot of hard work and can be challenging from time to time, but it’s a varied role and offers lots of exciting opportunities. This role often comes with an attractive Accountant salary too and you could find yourself working across Australia!

Read this guide to find out more about pursuing a career as an Accountant…

What is your career outlook?

Accountancy professionals are in huge demand. Realistically, regardless of the economy, there will always be a need for Accountants, to manage budgets, carry out audits and deal with taxes. It’s therefore no surprise that the number of Accountants in Australia has been increasing over recent years. The even better news is that this growth is set to continue. In fact, according to Job Outlook, there are estimated to be around 84,000 new Accountant jobs opening up over the next 5 years, so there are lots of opportunities becoming available if you’re looking to pursue a career as an Accountant.

You can expect to earn around $1,400 per week (which equates to around $72,800 per year), which is above the ‘all jobs’ average of $1,230 per week. When you first start out as an Accountant your salary may be slightly lower, but this should increase as you gain more experience, move up the career ladder or specialise in a sector.

The average Accountant spends 39.6 hours per week at work (which is about average across all jobs), however, at the end of the financial year, workloads could increase so you may be expected to work longer hours to meet tight deadlines.

What does a typical work day look like for an accountant?

The role of an Accountant is much more diverse than many people assume. Here is a snippet of just some of the tasks an Accountant may be required to carry out:

  • Respond to emails and deal with administrative tasks
  • Analyse revenue and expenditure of a business
  • Prepare budgets and forecasts for future performance
  • Prepare reports for performance improvements
  • Report on and present financial information to management and board of directors
  • Provide financial advice and make key business decisions as part of a team
  • Liaise with external and internal auditors and prepare statutory and other reports such as covenant reporting
  • Participate in ongoing training to stay up to date with the latest accounting standards

An Accountant’s day-to-day tasks can vary depending on whether you work in industry (i.e. as an Accountant inside a business) or in practice (i.e. in an accountancy firm such as KPMG, PwC, Deloitte and EY). You may also decide to specialise in a certain sector, such as tax, audit, advisory, forensic accounting and mergers and acquisitions.

To succeed in the role, you must have good communication skills and be highly organised, as you will be required to manage multiple tasks that run simultaneously. You’ll be dealing with confidential financial information, so you always need to be discrete, professional and comfortable taking on responsibility. You also need to be able to work well as part of a team and build a rapport with managers and clients. Don’t forget that you will be using various accounting software’s and spreadsheets, so having good technical knowledge is a must. But these are skills that you can learn with time and practice.

Is accounting a good career choice for you?

Not only do you have great earning potential as an Accountant, but it is one of the most diverse careers. There are opportunities in industry and in practice. You can choose a specialism, work in the public or private sector and work across various industries all over the world, such as aerospace, banking, oil and gas, healthcare, leisure, manufacturing and more. This gives you the opportunity to grow your career by gradually working your way up the career ladder, or you can move sideways to try out different opportunities, to find the right fit for your skills and working style. You could even become your own boss by setting up your own business, such as preparing financial accounts for businesses or bookkeeping.

It may not be a role that suits everyone, but if you enjoy working with numbers, have an analytical mind and an eye for detail, Accounting may be the perfect fit for you. Every day can be new and exciting, so you’ll never get bored.

Interested in kick-starting your career in accounting or want to move your career forward in the finance industry? Enrol in Open Colleges range of Accounting and Finance courses and gain skills in a range of areas, including financial planning, bookkeeping, auditing and payroll.




Elizabeth Harmon

Elizabethis an experienced Freelance Social Media Consultant based in the south of England. She works with a growing number of clients all around the world, showing businesses how to use social media more effectively and helping them to get the maximum benefit from it.

Recommended Course

Certificate IV in Accounting and Bookkeeping

Combine accounting and bookkeeping in the one qualification to become a skilled financial all-rounder, with the FNS40217 Certificate IV in Accounting and Bookkeeping. Learn essential skills such as pr...

View Course

Course areas