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Private practice accountant

Alternative titles for this job include

Private practice accountants prepare accounts and tax returns for businesses and individuals.

Average salary (a year)

£25,000 Starter


£60,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

37 to 39 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends occasionally

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become Private practice accountant

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • training with a professional body


You could do a degree in any subject then apply for a place on a graduate training scheme to work towards a professional accountancy qualification.

If you want to take a more focused route onto a graduate scheme, you could study for an accountancy related degree, like:

  • accountancy
  • accounting and finance
  • business and management
  • maths

Some degree courses may give you exemptions from some of the professional accountancy training modules.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths
  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree

More Information


You could take steps to gain your professional qualifications by applying for an apprenticeship. These include:

  • Assistant Accountant Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship
  • Professional Accountancy Technician Level 4 Higher Apprenticeship
  • Accountancy and Taxation Professional Level 7 Apprenticeship

The apprenticeship level you start at will depend on the qualifications you already have.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship

More Information


You could start as an accounting assistant with an organisation and do professional training on the job, with the support of your employer.

You'll usually need A levels or an equivalent level 3 qualification to follow this route.

Other Routes

You could train with one of the following professional bodies to become a qualified accountant:

They all have different entry requirements and ways to qualify, so it's important to check with them which is the right route for you. If you already have relevant accounting or business-related qualifications, you may be able to qualify in a shorter time.

More Information

Professional and industry bodies

If you've qualified with the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), you can offer most accountancy services in private practice but you'll need to register as a 'member in practice' with CIMA to do this.

Further information

You can find out more about becoming a private practice accountant from:

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • knowledge of economics and accounting
  • maths knowledge
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • administration skills
  • analytical thinking skills
  • the ability to work well with others
  • ambition and a desire to succeed
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • to have a thorough understanding of computer systems and applications

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

As a private practice accountant, you'll:

  • prepare financial statements, business plans and budget reports
  • produce accounts and financial forecasts
  • audit books of accounts and check inventories
  • manage clients’ spending and costs
  • file tax returns and give financial advice
  • investigate fraud - forensic accounting

Working environment

You could work in an office or at a client's business.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could specialise in an area like auditing or forensic accounting, or become a manager in a practice. From there, you could move into a partnership or become a finance director.

You might also become a self-employed consultant or set up your own company.

You could pass on your skills and knowledge through teaching in higher or further education.

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Accountancy Apprentice

  • Wage: £11,648 a year Annually
  • Location: Enfield, London

Level 3 Accounting Apprenticeship

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  • Location: THE HYDE, LONDON

Courses In England

ACCA L6 Strategic Business Leadership

  • Start date: 13 September 2024
  • Location: Chichester


  • Start date: 02 September 2024
  • Location: Oldham

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