Accountancy has always served as a dependable career and it will remain that way for the foreseeable future. If you think accountancy is just about numbers, think again. There are plenty of opportunities within accountancy that don’t involve just working with numbers. Additionally a career as an accountant offers many rewards, both professionally and for your personal life.
No matter your age, accountancy is a solid career choice to consider, but here are some factors that you also need to consider if you are thinking of embarking upon a journey as an accountant.
- A Head For Numbers
Yes, numbers aren’t always everything in accountancy, but they do make up quite a bit of the job. Not everyone has the knack for numbers that means analysing the figures and identifying the patterns comes easy to them. If you don’t have a knack for numbers, don’t worry!
You don’t need to “love” numbers or have a natural talent for them to have a successful career as an accountant. You just need to be able to methodically work through them and be comfortable enough with maths that the volume of calculations you will have to do will not send you running for the hills!
- Numbers Aren’t Everything
Yes, you need the numbers to add up, make sense and be correct. However, your work as an accountant will be more than just that. As an accountant you need to be able to interpret the data, work it, and present your findings by communicating them in a way that others, who are not accountants, will understand.
Your clients will expect you to help them to see the patterns that they cannot identify for themselves. Based on these patterns you should be able to suggest particular strategies to solve problems.
The rise in use of technology and accounting software has led to a changing role for the accountant and he, or she, needs to make sense of the data in ways that software cannot. As an accountant you will need to see the data in context and apply the best solution to the real life problem being presented.
- Different Ways to Train
Training to be an accountant doesn’t need to be a full-time endeavour. Instead you can fit your training around your life, so you don’t need to sacrifice so much of your family time and you don’t need to cut back too many hours at your existing job.
It is even possible to have a little work placement before embarking upon any official training. Doing this will help you to weigh up whether a career in accountancy is really for you. Also, the practice of accountancy in real life situations can often be very different to the theory that you’re taught on a course.
The theory may be more easily applied if you have knowledge of what it is like in real life.
- No Such Thing As Bad Experience
Experience of real life accountancy situations is, as already mentioned, a good thing, especially if you get it as early as possible. In the UK we are often led to choose careers without really experiencing first hand what it is like to work in a particular job.
So many people spend years training for something only to find that it isn’t really for them. Far better to try something and then undergo the training if you think it’s your cup of tea.
Don’t just do one placement, find as many as you can and take in as much experience as possible in all areas of accountancy. Don’t just focus on the ultimate job that you think you would like to do. Get a placement doing anything at an accountancy firm to get a feel for what it is like. Consider even completing admin placements if it is at an accountancy firm just so you can soak up the atmosphere and get a look at what life as an accountant is really like.
Seek out a placement shadowing qualified accountants and don’t forget that you can find placements shadowing people performing other accountancy related tasks such as bookkeeping and compiling tax returns.
In short, accountancy is a very rewarding career choice so just go for it and see if it can work for you!
Able Accountants are local UK accountants with an active blog of helpful tips and tricks.