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Exploring Job Positions in Financial Services for Newly Qualified Accountants

 24th Aug 2023

Financial services (FS) is a dominant industry in Scotland and with this comes lots of opportunities not only for those already working in the sector but also those considering making a move into it. Despite what many may think, opportunities in FS are not limited to the traditional roles that you might first think of. If you’re about to finish your training contract or are considering your options but not really sure where to start, then this is the blog for you.

Financial Services in Scotland

Scotland has a well-established and internationally recognised financial services sector that plays a significant role in the country's economy. Edinburgh is often referred to as a major financial hub in the United Kingdom, second only to London. The sector encompasses a wide range of activities, including banking, insurance, asset management, fintech, private equity and more.

Opportunities for Newly Qualified Accountants

Regulatory Reporting / Financial Reporting / Fund Accounting

If you are coming from an FS auditing background, you’ll know all about this! In this area, you will continue growing your skills and form the financial statements for the auditors to review. These roles are vital for keeping a company's financial health in check and serves as a solid foundation for a future in finance management, as well as enabling the company to meet its regulatory and legislative obligations.

Asset Management

For those with a passion for investments and a keen eye for market trends, becoming an investment analyst is an exciting path to consider. These roles provide you with the opportunity to enhance your knowledge of financial products and different sectors/markets, along with developing your relationship management skills by working directly with clients.

Risk & Compliance

By moving into risk or compliance you become part of building resilience, safeguarding assets and maintaining integrity / reputation of a company. This provides the opportunity to negotiate and build relationships with senior stakeholders by taking on an advisory role, giving you great exposure, often across multiple business areas.

Internal Audit

In financial services, auditors play a critical role in ensuring transparency, accuracy, and accountability. If coming from external audit, your keen eye for detail and knowledge of auditing standards will be highly sought after in this line of work.

Commercial Finance

Commercial finance professionals provide financial insight on an array of business issues to assist decision-making. In FS, this could mean analysing the performance of various financial products or business areas, and acting as a trusted advisor and business partner to key stakeholders.


If you have expertise in tax regulations and a desire to help individuals and businesses optimise their tax strategies, a role as a tax consultant could be ideal. Your expertise will be vital in advising clients on tax planning, preparation, and compliance matters, helping them make informed financial decisions and minimise tax liabilities.


Treasurers are strategic financial managers managing the cash, liquidity, capital and funding of a business and their decisions directly impact the profit, loss and financial health of a company. Roles for newly qualified accountants cover a broad range of areas such as liquidity, funding and investor relations - offering exposure to a diverse range of financial instruments.

Benefits of Working in Financial Services:

  • Constant Learning: The financial services sector is ever-evolving, necessitating ongoing learning and professional development. As a newly qualified accountant, you'll gain expert knowledge of industry regulations and insight into the complexities of financial products.
  • Global Impact: The financial services sector plays a crucial role in driving economic growth and empowering businesses worldwide. By contributing your accounting/finance expertise, you become an essential part of this global impact.
  • Diverse Career Paths: The financial services industry offers a myriad of career paths as discussed above. As you gain experience, you have the opportunity to work within specialist subject matter.
  • Training & Career Progression: The sector's diverse range and volume of job positions, coupled with a culture of professional development, ensures that your career growth remains a top priority.
  • Competitive Compensation: Financial services roles in Scotland are known for their competitive compensation packages, reflecting the sector's importance to the country's economy and its commitment to attracting top talent.

In conclusion, key accounting skills are sought after within FS and are seen as a big advantage. Qualified accountants hold key decision-making positions in large, medium and boutique-sized FS firms, for newly qualified accountants seeking a dynamic and rewarding career, financial services could be an ideal destination.

For more personalised and detailed advice about job opportunities and a career in financial services, you can get in touch with a member of the W&A team here.


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