Getting started in Accountancy

Posted in Candidates

Posted by Jo Howell
Published on 23 February, 2022

More of a visual learner? Scroll down to view our infographic instead.

Career paths aren't always linear – there are bound to be twists and turns along the way! Besides, nobody's career paths looks identical, and if there's one thing that the last two years have taught us, it's that things don't always go to plan.

Nevertheless, it's still helpful to see what may lay ahead, especially when you're just starting out. So, let's dive right in, and see where you might begin.

First up, qualifications...

A degree isn’t necessary in Accountancy – but qualifications are important. AAT qualifications are generally considered a minimum requirement. ACCA, ACA or CIMA qualifications are required to become a chartered accountant.

Decisions, decisions…

There are two main pathways to follow in accountancy – management accounting and financial accounting. Within each one, you’ll find more niche specialisms, and you’ll also have the choice of working in the public or private sector.

A majority of graduates enter the profession via financial accounting. This often leads to corporate finance, forensic accounting, tax, business recovery and insolvency.

Management accounting, on the other hand, is far more focused on measuring, analysing and interpreting financial information. This is then filtered to senior management teams to help meet the businesses’ overarching goals.

For some examples of the types of Accountancy roles currently out there, take a look at some of the vacancies listed here.

…What next?

Experience is everything. Securing a training contract allows you to earn while you learn, and gain invaluable experience. The cliches are true – get your foot in the door, and well… you might not leave! Work placements, voluntary positions and even part-time roles can lead to permanent opportunities, so go on, take a leap.

…And then?

More decisions! Over time, you’ll learn whether you prefer working in a small or large company. Perhaps you’ll prefer working for non-profit organisations. Regardless of where you end up, gain all the skills you can – be a sponge! More often than not, the knowledge you gain and connections you make may just catapult you in the right direction.

Whether you are looking for an entry-level position or a role as a Financial Director, we can help guide you through the process to find your ideal position with the right company. If you'd like to find out how we can help you, please get in touch.


Accountancy Pathways Infographic

Recruitment Manager - Accountancy and Financial Services

Jo joined Cathedral Appointments in 2012 after over 20 years in recruitment spanning the whole of the UK - Aberdeen, Home Counties, Greater Manchester and the South West! She recruits for both Financial Services and Accountancy professionals and is known in the office for finding the needle in the haystack candidate where no one else can!

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Getting started in Accountancy

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