Accountancy has always been a popular career choice and it’s not hard to see why – the financial world is a constantly changing and thus the challenges and opportunities presented to accountants constantly change too.
But how do you become an accountant and what progress can you expect your career to make?
Why Become an Accountant?
Accountants are always in demand. Start-ups and small businesses need accountants who can help them order and manage their finances, as well as access investment.
Bigger business can have incredibly complex financial affairs as too can Government departments and public bodies.
In other words, if you want a career in which there are many different avenues to explore, then accountancy could very well be it. But as this comprehensive guide ‘How to Become an Accountant’ shows, it may not be a career that suits everyone.
Skills and Abilities
A passion for numbers is clearly essential in this role but it is not the only factor that drives people to become successful accountants.
The financial world and its laws and regulations can be complex thus, you need the ability to focus and concentrate, sometimes for long periods.
You also need to be able to trace and manage various chains of information and deal with what can sometimes be complex pieces of data. And you need to do this the whole time whilst staying within the confines of financial law and regulation.
Different Avenues of Specialty
As an accountant, you can be employed by a company and work in-house as their financial and accounting expert. This avenue of employment is available in both public sector organisations, as well as large private businesses.
Or you may choose to open your own accountancy practice, choosing to offer your services on a freelance or outsourced basis to clients.
There are also opportunities to develop your career in accountancy, becoming a specialist in key areas such as tax accountancy or forensic accountancy.
It is a career that carries a huge responsibility – businesses and self-employed people rely on you to produce accurate financial information on their behalf – and as such, accountants are people who are sought after to hold various roles.
Take a look at the chief executive officer in both the private and public sector, and you will note that the majority come from a financial background.
With this in mind, you could develop not only your own skill set but find that your career as an accountant is diverse, taking you to places that you never thought possible.
A role with such responsibilities must mean a high level of education and you could be forgiven for thinking that as an accountant, you would need a degree.
Some accountants do hold degrees but not always in accounting or in a financial related field.
To become a chartered accountant, that is where your display a commitment to accountancy with specialist courses and degrees, you will need an accounting related degree.
But many other accountants operate successfully without a degree and this is a perfectly viable option. To call yourself an accountant, you do need to study and gain qualifications in accountancy and related courses. This allows you to understand the finer points of how to account finances on behalf of companies and businesses.
There are few if any pre-requisites to accountancy course but you will need to be organised and meticulous in your approach, with the ability to cut through the complex jargon and sometimes a tangled financial web to drill down to the basic financial information.
Better still, you can start your career in accountancy by studying from the comfort of your own home with online or long-distance accountancy courses.
If you wish to study for a degree, the A Level Accountancy course would be a wise move or you can study a vocational qualification that will see you start on the pathway to becoming a successful accountant.