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An Accounting Career - Advice on Education Programs

Accountancy is a career which offers a graduate environment, variety, people contact, a professional qualification, high salaries and opportunities to work internationally. (Who said accountancy was boring?). Many accountants use their qualification to move into general management or to set up their own business

Accountants work in all areas of business, plus the public and voluntary sector. Many work in firms of chartered or certified accountants (this is referred to as working in private practice or, confusingly, as public practice). Others are employed by banks, manufacturing companies, local authorities, charities, publishers, film companies, hospital trusts, insurance companies, universities you name it!

I want to be an Accountant - Careers

You do not have to have a degree in accountancy to become an accountant

Neither do you need a degree in business administration, maths or any other specific subject graduates in all subjects, from Anthropology to Zoology can and do become successful accountants.

What you do need is a good academic record, particularly at A-level (two Bs and a C is the minumum standard for most firms); good communication and teamworking skills; determination and motivation. Numeracy is, of course, important but most employers require no more than a good GSCE in Maths and a good standard in the numeracy tests which are likely to form part of their selection process

There are several different professional bodies which regulate the training and work of accountants in the UK (see below) but, as a general rule, qualifying as an accountant will involve three years of study, exams and relevant employment. Training for professional exams is provided by employers. Early responsibility and fast promotion is available if your work and exam results are satisfactory.

If you want a career in Accounting and want to break into the market in UK, then make use of an Accounting Jobs UK jobsearch facility. You can use it to list vacancies in UK and many other regions. Alternatively you may be able to benefit from our Accounting career advice section in our career centre.

You may also be interested in searching an online career centre, to help with aspects of recruitment, employment and career development. There are many online recruitment partners that can help you stand out when applying for a job, e.g. there are links to CV writing companies to help create that perfect CV for finding Accounting Jobs in UK. Armed with information about the recruitment process, use an Accounting Jobs job search to identify appropriate opportunities and vacancies to further you career.

Work in private practice is centred on audit: visiting clients as part of an audit team and reviewing their business operations and financial records to establish the validity of the company's accounts. Other work includes tax consultancy, business advice and insolvency work. This gives a broad insight into many different businesses and areas of business, which is why many accountants choose to qualify in private practice before moving into industry and other areas. If you train in private practice you will qualify with one of the chartered accountancy institutes or with the (ACCA)

Accountants in industry and commerce use their financial expertise to inform management decision-making, to advise other departments within their organisation and to maximise its profitability and effectiveness. In the public sector they perform a similar role but with the emphasis on ensuring value for money.