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Accounting Career Pathway

Accountants plan and provide accounting systems and services relating to financial dealings for both companies and individuals. They also advise on associated record-keeping and compliance requests.*  

What does an accountant do?

Accountants assist in the formulation of budgets and accounting policies. They prepare financial statements for presentation to board of directors, management, shareholders and statutory bodies. In addition to these tasks, they may conduct financial investigations and undertake audits.

They prepare reports, and advise on the sale of businesses, mergers and capital funding. Other areas of accounting include investigating suspected fraud. Accountants can work across all types of business, depending on their area of expertise, and they could also be a small business accountant, or a corporate accountant. Accountants will also examine operating costs and the income and expenditure of institutions, and provide assurance about the accuracy of information contained in financial reports and their compliance with statutory requirements. A career in accounting is varied; accountants can provide financial and taxation advice on business structures, plans and operations. They provide financial and taxation advice on business structures, plans and operations.


What’s it like working as an Accountant?

Accountants work in offices and during Monday to Friday business hours, however after hours work often increases during tax time. 81.5% of accountants work on a full-time basis.

According to the ABS Labour Force Survey, the average weekly hours worked is 39.6 hours.

How much do accountants earn in Australia?

The average annual salary for accountants in Australia is $94,963, in addition to this - the amount for bonuses depends on the organisation they work for and their experience level.

As an accountant gains further competencies and progresses through their career, their earning potential generally increases.


Accountants Career Outlook at a glance

Median age is: 38 years old

Employment level trends & growth




There are a range of specialisations within accounting. A selection of these include,  financial analyst, insolvency practitioner, and taxation agent.

What are some related job titles to Accountant?

  • Finance Manager
  • Accounting Clerk
  • Auditor and Company Secretary
  • Payroll Clerk


What education do you need to be an accountant?

Accountants will need a Bachelor degree in accounting or similar or higher qualification, or at least five years of relevant experience. Sometimes, both a formal qualification and experience is required. Employers highly regard prospective employees who have been accredited by the Institute of Public Accountants, (IPA), CPA Australia (CPA) or the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Australia (ICAA).

Online accounting courses at SCU

Here's a list of SCU's accounting-related postgraduate courses:



*Australian Standard Classification of Occupations (ASCO) 2nd Edition, ABS Catalogue No. 1220.0, p131. **Australian Jobs Matrix, 2017 Australian Government Job Outlook:


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