Should I Become An Accountant?
Seen as a secure and dependable employment option (the world will always need accountants!), it’s an understandable fact that many new graduates choose to pursue a career in finance.
But is a career in accountancy really for you?
Well, we wish we could say “yes” or “no”, as simply as that. But the straight answer is that when it comes to careers, there’s no such thing as one size fits all.
So, whether or not an accountancy career will be right for you depends on both your personality traits, and your life priorities.
In other words, the more you can understand about what kind of career you’re looking for, what you want to get out of it, and what skills you want to maximise while you’re doing it, the better.
(Download our free Debut App to get clearer about your personal skills and priorities, as well as browsing jobs from top graduate employers).
Why A Graduate Career In Accounting Could Be Right For You
One huge positive about a career in accountancy is the amount of choice you’ll have about how it takes shape.
No matter how large or small, or wherever in the world it happens to be based, EVERY business needs an expert to manage its finance…
…plus, as a profession, accountancy is very much here to stay, so you won’t have to worry about changing world events affecting your employment prospects.
Not only that, there’s a huge variety of accountancy branches to specialise in. These span everyday bookkeeping, providing specialist tax advice, collating financial information that helps business owners feel confident about make-or-break decisions, and even rooting out fraudulent activity.
(And that’s just off the tops of our heads!)
Not only that, you’ll be choosing a career with clear routes of progression, professional growth, opportunities for travel, and high future earning potential.
Accountancy is also a good bet if you think you might want to work for yourself in future – whether you start your own high-flying firm, or you become a self-employed accountant.
Sounds fantastic, right?
But Before You Embark On That Graduate Accountancy Career…
…remember that every flow of positives has to have a reverse list!
Accountancy may not be such a great career choice if you want to finish your degree, then pop open the champagne to toast the end of education forever.
This is a profession that demands continuous learning, so you can keep up with ever-changing regulations, and ensure your qualifications are up to date – particularly if you’ve chosen to specialise in a complex area like tax.
Oh, and you might want to factor in other people’s potentially bored reactions when you tell them you’re an accountant. Even though it’s actually a fascinating, multi-layered profession (numbers can tell just as many stories as words!) – accountancy isn’t often seen as glamorous.
Things can also get pretty stressful, with particularly hair-raising deadlines towards the end of the financial year. So, if you’re easily frazzled, and you’re not looking for a career that’s too demanding, you may need to keep on searching for the right fit.
Don’t forget to download our free Debut App for more information about graduate accountancy careers, and to help clarify whether or not it’s the right option for you.
OK, I’ve Decided I Do Want A Graduate Accounting Career. What Next?
If the negatives we mentioned above haven’t put you off, then you could find yourself more than suited to that graduate accounting career!
Now, it’s time to think about the details… from the size and nature of the company you want to work for, to how they’re going to support your progression.
One golden piece of advice recruiters tend to give is to consider not just how right you are for a potential employer, but how right they are for you.
If you can show that you’ve done some research in this area, it’ll display degrees of diligence and self-awareness that are likely to stand you head and shoulders over the competition.
So, take some time over researching potential graduate employers… with your own criteria at the forefront of your mind.
You don’t have to rely on Google, either – our free Debut App will help you sift through some of the best options available.
Who Employs Graduate Accountants?
The majority of trainee accountants are taken on by dedicated accountancy firms or practices.
You could start your search with the ‘Big Four’: Ernst & Young, Deloitte, KPMG, and PwC, and branch out from there.
Bear in mind that different firms will offer different benefits, which is why knowing what you’re looking for is key. For example, a smaller firm might be ideal if you’re looking for hands-on experience across the entire business, while a large global firm could offer tempting opportunities for travel.
Don’t forget to look into the level of training and development you can expect from your ideal employer, too.
Some larger firms will cover the entire cost of your professional exam and tuition fees, also allowing time for study leave – although in return, there may be a clause in your contract that ties you into working there for a set number of years after you’ve qualified.
Smaller firms may offer less generous benefits at first glance, but there may be more flexibility, and greater opportunities for a wider, more diverse experience.
Oh, and don’t forget the lesser-trodden options of looking outside the finance sector for accountancy employment. The public sector could be a good place to start, along with creative and culture-focused industries.
It could be helpful to ask yourself: what kind of business do I most want to learn about? After all, finance professionals have the potential to work just about anywhere.
How Do I Find Out More About A Graduate Accounting Career?
Simply download our free Debut App, and you’re away.
It’s a fun and easy way to apply to top graduate employers – in just one tap!
You may not even have to apply… since there’s also potential for you to get talent spotted as the star you are, without lifting so much as a finger.
We’ve also packed our app full of authentic career advice, from experts who know what they’re talking about.
Oh, and just in case you were worried about the formality of it all, there’s a range of fun (and educational!) games to help you pass the time…
…plus, our Debut App is proudly ad-free.