How to Start a Career in Accountancy
If you’re thinking about starting a career in accountancy, you might be feeling overwhelmed. Accountancy is very accessible to people from all walks of life, so it doesn’t matter if you’re looking for a career change or just starting in the world of work. This blog will help you find the right path for you and go through the key steps you shouldn’t miss on your journey.
This might seem obvious, but before applying for jobs, you’re going to need to make sure you have the relevant qualifications to work as an accountant. There are lots of exams and courses you can take, so do your research to make sure you’ve found the right ones for you. Beware of free courses and unaccredited schemes on websites you don’t recognise. You don’t want to put lots of time and effort into something that employers won’t recognise. It’s best to stick to reputable providers to kickstart your career in the right way.
Brush Up Your Knowledge
Did you know accountants have to be able to use different types of computer programmes? From payroll software to reading online bookkeeping records, you’ll need to be well-versed in all things digital. This is especially key with the MTD (Making Tax Digital) initiative increasingly coming into play. You’ll need to stay afloat of industry changes and understand how to help businesses transitioning from paper records. It might seem like experienced accountants will stand out in this respect, but by showing your understanding of past and future processes, you’ll stand out from the crowd.
Agency, In-House or Freelance?
There are many options out there for accountants, so consider if you’d prefer to work for a single company or an agency. Once you’ve built up enough experience, you might even decide to set up your own practice and become a freelancer. Each working environment offers something slightly different and while you might not know which one you like best until you try it, think about what your personality would be better suited to. It’s also worth thinking about whether you’d like to work for a larger or smaller firm as well.
If the above point leaves you feeling stuck, then work experience could help you make up your mind. Try to find paid opportunities for a few weeks or months at a time. Sometimes these roles even turn into permanent full-time positions. However, if you’re really struggling or are yet to get all your qualifications, unpaid internships or opportunities to shadow experienced accountants can be really valuable. Don’t forget to look out for any firms that will sponsor your progression as an accountant and help you take more exams to improve your skills.
A career in accountancy can be rewarding, but you won’t reap those results without some hard work. You don’t need a degree to become an accountant, but you could speak to an education centre or university advisor if you need more advice.