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How To Become An Accountant

If you have a natural aptitude for finances and calculations then becoming an accountant may be the job for you. Most companies and individuals require the professional and expert ongoing services from accountants.
Written by
Joanna Clare
Content Manager
Published on
August 20, 2023

If you have a natural aptitude for finances and calculations then becoming an accountant may be the job for you. Most companies and individuals require the professional and expert ongoing services from accountants.  An accountant can provide in-depth financial advice, help businesses maximise profits and manage money efficiently, advise on taxes, dealing with probate, investments, audits and so much more. There are several specialties within accountancy, e.g. working as a public practice accountant or a management accountant, giving support to businesses or perhaps a public finance accountant who works within public sector establishments such as the NHS or within a local council.  

There are many niches once you are a qualified accountant and you may find that different qualifications will be required depending upon which type of accountancy that you choose to specialise in.You will usually need a degree then follow on from this with more qualifications in the relevant areas.

The professional examinations you choose to take will give differing qualifications and from differing sectors. For example, The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy offers quite different examinations to The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. However, varying professional qualifications should not prove to be restrictive when applying for jobs as there seems to be a fair amount of flexibility within the profession.

Being educated to a degree level is not always necessary as you can choose to enter the profession by embarking on an apprenticeship or by working your way up once you have entered into the profession by becoming employed by a company in a junior capacity such as an assistant. If you show competency and a proactive interest in finances then they may very well see your potential and offer you the means to progress. Often it helps to have an interest in business, economics or finances which will give you a solid foundation in which to build on.

You will also need to have a flair for mathematics, excellent attention to detail, IT skills, problem solving qualities and an analytical mind. You should also be able to work under pressure and work to deadlines, sometimes long and unsocial hours will be involved. You should have good communication skills and it goes without saying, especially as you may be working with huge financial figures, that you will display honesty and integrity at all times.

Accountancy is a profession that will always be in demand because quite simply, businesses depend heavily upon them and it is a profession that is often described as recession proof for obvious reasons.

Salaries vary from company to company but according to a well known website, in the UK an entry level accountant should start on around £29,000 while an accountant with some years experience will receive around £44,000. There are excellent prospects to climb the career ladder in this well respected and secure profession.

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