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A career in the public sector | Why a career in accountancy | ICAEW Careers

A career in the public sector

If you are interested in getting involved in the community, then you might want to think about working in the public sector. As an ICAEW Chartered Accountant you can play a part in the running of local authorities, schools and health services, or provide information that influences decision making at the national level.

Key skills:

Communication skills

Numerical skills

Objectivity

Time management

Analytical skills

Interpersonal skills

Working in the public sector

Chartered accountants working in the public sector help to shape public spending at the local, regional and national level, ensuring that tax payers are receiving value for money from service providers. 

You could work for local government and be a part of deciding how money is spent on housing or policing, for example.

Or you could work for the government in any number of departments, from the Treasury to the UK Border Agency, providing analysis that shapes national policies. 

You might be involved in:

  • creating financial records and preparing and interpreting statements, such as annual reports;
  • managing and communicating financial management information to senior stakeholders;
  • developing profit projections and cash-flow forecasts; and
  • formulating accounting and reporting policies.

Why work in the public sector?

The public sector is a great place to work for anyone who has a passion and interest in society and how communities live and learn together.

A career in the public sector provides chartered accountants with the chance to make decisions that ensure the best use of public money and have an immediate, positive impact on society.

Who can you work for?

Working in the public sector offers as many potential career options as working in industry or practice. You could, for example, work within the finance team of a school, hospital or city council, supporting the management of day-to-day financial activity.

Alternatively you could work for a regional organisation, a national body or government department offering broader analysis of financial trends and supporting the creation of policies and legislation.

National Audit Office logo

National Audit Office

Location: UK

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£71.4k

average basic salary of ICAEW Chartered Accountants working in government and agencies in 2015*

*Data source: ICAEW Salary Survey 2015

Find your ACA training agreement

You can find ACA training opportunities, placements and internships via our Training Vacancies website, where you can sign up to receive alerts when new vacancies are posted.

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