How to start a career in accounting

Posted: 12 June 2024 at 9:00 am | Author: CAW Business School

If you’ve ever considered a career that combines meticulous detail with the thrill of influencing business decisions, accounting might be the perfect field for you. Renowned for its critical role in every business, accounting offers a stable, rewarding career path with ample opportunities for growth. Whether you’re a school leaver or thinking of a career change, this guide will help you understand how to start your journey into the world of accounting.

Step 1: Understand the Role of an Accountant

Before diving into the qualifications, it’s essential to understand what an accountant does. Accountants are responsible for preparing and examining financial records, ensuring accuracy, and that taxes are paid properly and on time. They also perform overviews of the financial operations of a business to help it run efficiently. Specialisations within accounting include forensic accounting, management accounting, and auditing.

Step 2: Get the right qualifications

A. Education

In the UK, you typically need a combination of A-levels and further education. A degree in accounting or finance is highly beneficial but not necessary; in fact, undertaking an AAT qualification is just as beneficial and often cheaper than a degree. Universities and colleges, including CAW Business School, offer relevant courses that are tailored to give you a strong foundation in the field. You can find our full range of AAT accounting courses here.

B. Professional Qualifications

After your degree or qualification, or alternatively, you can pursue professional qualifications from recognised bodies such as the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) or the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW). These qualifications are crucial for progressing in your career and are well-respected in the industry.

Step 3: Gain practical experience

Internships or trainee positions are excellent for gaining hands-on experience. Look for opportunities in accounting firms, large corporations, and public sector organisations. Practical experience not only enhances your CV but also gives you a taste of various accounting roles, helping you decide on a specialisation.

Step 4: Continue Professional Development

Accounting is a dynamic field with continuously evolving regulations and practices. Continuing professional development (CPD) is essential to keep up with these changes and maintain your certification. Engaging in workshops, seminars, and further courses can also expand your expertise and network.

Step 5: Apply for jobs

With the right qualifications and experience, you’re ready to apply for accounting roles. Tailor your CV to highlight your education, experience, and skills relevant to accounting. Use job boards, recruitment agencies, and your professional network to find opportunities.

Starting a career in accounting is a promising path that offers diverse opportunities and the potential for excellent remuneration and professional growth. By following these steps, you can build a strong foundation and propel yourself into a successful accounting career.

Remember, every step you take now is a building block for your future. Whether you’re starting with your A-levels, entering a degree program, or embarking on professional certification, each phase is crucial to your success in the vibrant field of accounting.

More Articles

Course Search

Not sure which course to choose or need some advice? Request a call back.

Cookie Consent

This site uses cookies and HTML5 local storage, to help improve our service to you.

Click 'Accept' to continue with these settings or 'Read more' to amend your local data preferences.

I'm fine with this Just give me live chat Find our more / turn off