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The term 'accountancy' covers a wide range of graduate roles and there are many career options available and a number of professional qualifications to go with them. From auditor to management accountant, tax specialist to forensic accountant, the opportunities are almost endless. Your graduate job could find yourself working for a professional services firm, visiting clients and working on their businesses or in a finance department of any company, responsible for aspects of the internal finances, profitability and strategy of the organisation.
“Financial services” refers to all services offered by financial institutions. This includes credit cards, loans, financial advice and pensions. This is a very exciting sector to work in as it moves incredibly quickly. For example, the first credit card was introduced into the UK in 1967 where it was considered rare. By 1999, research showed that 50% of UK adults had at least one credit card. By 2003 the average number of credit card accounts per adult had increased to more than two. Financial services are offered in many places these days including estate agencies, travel agencies and supermarkets so your first financial graduate job doesn't necessarily have to be in a financial institution such as a bank.
Graduate jobs include Insurance Underwriter and Insurance Broker. Underwriters assess insurance applications and decide whether to accept them or not and under what terms, based on the amount of risk involved. Getting this right minimises losses for the company and therefore has a direct corrolation to profitability. An insurance broker acts as a middle man between the person or organisation buying insurance and the company selling it. They use their knowledge of the industry to find the best deals according to the amount of risk involved. Brokers are independent and work with many different insurance providers to find the best deal for their clients.
An Actuary is a very analytical and mathematical role. It involves analysing past data using theory and statistics in order to make predictions about future trends, the likelihood of them occuring and the costs associated with them. Your graduate job as an Actuary could see you working within several industries such as pensions, insurance, consultancy and government departments. Actuaries aim to predict the likelyhood of things that are not certain to happen, happening, such as natural disasters or to predict trends in things that are certain to happen, such as death. The information they supply helps to ensure that the organisation or government involved has enough resources to manage situations which will arise in the future.