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Knowledge, skills and behaviours

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  • Publish date: 12 October 2017
  • Archived on: 05 October 2018

The knowledge, skills and behaviours that an apprentice will need to demonstrate are shown below.

Knowledge

Technical knowledge (Option 1 - Accounting) Knowledge and understanding of the core elements of double entry bookkeeping and accounting standards enable accountants to create and report financial information to the users of accounts. A Professional Accounting Technician will understand and / or validate the accounting standards for basic accounts preparation and / or the drafting of financial statements. Depending on their role they will also have specialist knowledge in other aspects of accounting, for example management accounting and tax accounting.
Technical knowledge (Option 2 - Tax) A Professional Tax Technician will be required to have knowledge and understanding of the core elements of personal and business taxation and accounting principles. They will be required to prepare tax calculations, prepare government forms, understand and comply with filing deadlines, and document client paperwork. Depending on their role they will also have specialist knowledge in other areas of taxation, for example Business Compliance, VAT, Inheritance Tax, Trusts and Estates and Corporate Tax.
Business Awareness Financial information is an outcome of an organisation’s activities in the industries and environments in which it operates. In its simplest form, financial information reflects the transactions arising from the purchase and sale of products and services. A Professional Accounting/Tax Technician will understand the industries and environments in which an organisation operates, including customer and supplier needs, in order to create and / or validate and / or report financial information. 
Ethical Standards Ethics and integrity are fundamental to the role of all finance professionals as they often independently verify financial information that affects individuals and institutions that are separate from the management of an organisation. A Professional Accounting/Tax Technician will understand and apply the relevant Ethical Standards to their own behavior and appropriately challenge the actions of others where they do not meet these standards.
Regulation and Compliance Accounting and Tax are governed by a series of standards and regulations which must be applied where relevant. A Professional Accounting/Tax Technician will be able to understand and apply professional standards and legal regulations to an organisation’s financial information, and to comply with the fundamental principles of integrity, objectivity, professional competence and due care and confidentiality.
Systems and Processes
Financial information is created, verified and reported via a combination of systems and processes, such as accounting/tax systems, internal control systems and IT systems. An understanding of these systems and processes is fundamental to an accountant’s ability to perform their role. A Professional Accounting/Tax Technician will be able to understand and evaluate an organisation’s systems and processes and make recommendations for improvement, as appropriate. Depending on their role they may also have a basic understanding of external and internal audit’s function in giving assurance over these systems and processes.

Skills

Analysis Create and interpret information, and show how that information can be used most effectively to add value to the organisation. 
Communication  Effectively communicate relevant information across the organisation and to appropriate stakeholders in both written and verbal formats.
Leadership Proactively manage their own development and is committed to the job and their profession. 
Planning and Prioritisation
Work to tight deadlines and respond to changing priorities. Effectively plan and prioritise time and coordinate the input of others in order to meet both deadlines and changing priorities 
Produces Quality and Accurate Information  Apply accounting/tax knowledge to consistently deliver high quality, accurate data and information in a timely fashion. 
Team Working and Collaboration Work effectively in a team and with others, maintaining effective, professional working relationships both internally and externally across organisations. 
Uses Systems and Processes Understand the systems and processes of the organisation sufficiently, as applicable to the role. Proficient in the IT systems applicable to the role. 

Behaviours 

Adaptability Willing to both listen and learn and to accept changing priorities and working requirements and has the flexibility to maintain high standards in a changing environment. 
Adding Value  Actively engage in the wider business, as appropriate, and look to provide information that positively contributes to influencing business decisions. Continually strive to improve own working processes and those of the organisation.
Ethics and Integrity
Honest and principled in all of their actions and interactions. They will respect others and meet the ethical requirements of their profession. 
Proactivity   Takes responsibility. Demonstrates the drive and energy to get things done, even under pressure. 
Professional Scepticism  Demonstrates an attitude that includes a questioning mind, being alert to conditions which may indicate possible misstatement of financial information due to error or fraud.