Careers Focus: Finance in the 21st Century – What kind of accountant

Our research identified four key types of accountant. Most of you are broadly satisfied with your career. However, there are significant pockets of you who are not. See which category you fall into. THE DEDICATED ACCOUNTANT Probably single, under 35, female and working in practice. You feel appreciated at work, proud of your qualification and confident about your future. THE BUSINESS ACTIVIST Likely to be single, probably under 35, male, and working in business. You may well already be an FD but your aspirations lie elsewhere – either higher up your own organisational ladder or elsewhere. THE FRUSTRATED ACCOUNTANT

Unlikely to be married, probably 35-45, male, and working in the public sector with a CIMA qualification under your belt. Entrepreneurial but you feel your employer does not appreciate accountants. However you lack energy to go and do something different.


You are not engaged in the project process in your organisation and are far less likely than others to be consulted on decisions. Likely to be married with children, around 35-45, male, owning and living in your own home and working in the public sector.

Leading market research agency NOP Business conducted the research among fully qualified accountants working in practice, business and the public sector this summer. It included those who are still pursuing accountancy as a profession and those who have moved on to other roles.

The research involved focus groups, in-depth interviews and telephone interviews with around 500 accountants. Some 39% were members of the English ICA, 34% ACCA, 20% CIMA, 6% AAT, 5% Scots ICA, 4% CIPFA and 3% Chartered Institute of Taxation. Around 44% work in practice, 44% in business and 12% in the public sector. By size 48% work in organisations with fewer than 250 employees and 52% in organisations with more than 250 employees.

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