“Woke up, fell out of bed, dragged a comb across my head” – a day in the life of an accountant

I’m sure you’ve all wondered (or perhaps not), but here’s a brief outline of what on earth it is we do all day.

It’s Tuesday, and at 8.30am our whole team gathers in reception for our weekly meeting. The usual business is covered, a bit of background on the new clients that joined in the week, some news about a new server we’re getting and a reminder of deadlines approaching.

Back to the desk for quarter to and it’s onto a set of accounts, a limited company, a plumber. It sounds strange, but I actually enjoy preparing accounts, for a few hours I can be completely engrossed in someone’s business, looking at how they’ve grown through the year and how there are so many facets to a plumbers business that I never realised as a child, subscriptions, advertising, telephone expenses.

At 11:00am it’s time for a catch-up with one of our directors; we’ll discuss my current workload, and set a plan for my work over the next few weeks.

Back to the accounts and before I know it it’s 1:00pm and lunchtime.

After lunch I’ll schedule our VAT and bookkeeping work for the next few days, there may still be weeks until the next VAT deadline but we need to plan the flow of the work now to ensure nothing slips by us and jobs aren’t rushed or below our usual standards.

The accounts are now in draft, so I’ll write up a set of notes and queries about the key changes in the figures and then sit with the manager to discuss the accounts and hand-over ready for the client meeting.

It’s quarter past 5 and before I clock out I’ll make a to do list for tomorrow morning – I’ve read somewhere that we’re at our most productive in the morning so I’ll schedule the day accordingly then brave the traffic and head home.


Matt Smith