Accounting technician

Financial services

Career outlook for accounting technician

UK Salary Ranges





Currently employed in Scotland


Salary information is provided by the "National Careers Service". "Oxford Economics" supplies job forecasts and employment figures. Due to COVID-19 the jobs market is constantly changing. Some of the information may not reflect the current situation.

What's it like?

You would make sure a business pays its taxes and bills and that its employees get their wages on time.

You'd deal with accounting and finance in all types of businesses.

In larger companies you would work as part of an accounts team. In a smaller firm you might be responsible for dealing with all the wages and invoices.

You would:

  • Process and pay invoices
  • Record receipts and payments
  • Prepare and check ledger balances and other monthly and yearly accounts
  • Complete and submit tax returns, VAT returns and National Insurance contributions
  • Handle company expenses

With experience, you might take on supervisor responsibilities and do more complex tasks. You would:

  • Prepare financial reports
  • Make financial plans
  • Control budgets and spending
  • Help qualified accountants with accounts inspections (audits)

Working conditions


In a full-time job you would usually work standard office hours, Monday to Friday. Part-time hours and temporary work are often available.


You would mainly be based at an office.


If you help accountants with audits, you may travel to visit clients' businesses.

UK employment status





Self employed


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  • Verbal communication
  • Working with technology
  • Problem solving
  • Working with numbers
  • Observation
  • Attention to detail
  • Developing a plan
  • Time management
  • Analysing
  • Understanding

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Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you'll need.

Foundation Apprenticeships

Choosing a Foundation Apprenticeship as one of your subjects in S5 and S6 can help you get a head start with this type of job.

You'll get an SCQF level 6 qualification (the same level as a Higher) plus valuable work placement experience and skills you can't learn in a classroom.

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There are no set entry requirements, however you could enter through studying an accountancy course at college or through gaining a relevant work-based qualification such as a Modern Apprenticeship in Accounting (SVQ level 2/3).

Useful subjects

  • English (required by many courses and employers)
  • Maths (required by many courses and employers)
  • Accounts
  • Economics
  • Business
  • Administration

You will also need

Once in work you will need to pass accounting technician exams through the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) or Certified Accounting Technician (CAT) Scheme.

If you are completing a Modern Apprenticeship in Accounting (SVQ Level 2 /3) this is incorporated within the qualification. If you enter this job with a relevant college course you may be exempt from some parts of the exams. 

Helpful to have

Qualifications that show your employability skills and/or offer relevant work experience such as Skills for Work Financial Services (SCQF Level 5).  

Once qualified you may find it helpful to become a member of AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians).