For some, attempting to build a career within the accountancy profession can seem daunting, especially if you’ve just left school or are looking for a change of career direction, and have no relevant qualifications or experience. Here, InterActive’s Oliver Buxton takes you through a step-by-step guide to fulfilling your accounting career ambitions, no matter where you’re starting from. The good news is that there’s a well-trodden path into this lucrative and diverse profession, and by taking full advantage of the flexible opportunities presented to you by online learning, you can even up-skill without compromising your day-to-day professional commitments.
Get started with AAT
In terms of ‘getting your foot in the door’ you can do no better than starting with the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) qualification. Amongst UK employers, AAT is now the most highly sought-after accountancy qualification, making it the perfect gateway to a range of entry-level accountancy jobs across an exciting range of industries, with the average salary of qualified AAT members (MAAT) around £25,000. And with no formal entry requirements, there’s nothing stopping you from taking this all important first step.
Climb the career ladder
With one accounting qualification under your belt, and the skills, knowledge, and access to the jobs market that come with it, you can now shift your focus to gaining experience and taking the next step up the career ladder. With a range of professional development options open to you, you may choose to supplement your skill-set with specific accountancy or management competencies via short courses, or use the credit from your AAT qualification to join the second or third year of a degree programme.
Go even further with ACCA or CIMA
By now, you will have all of the experience and qualifications required to earn accreditation from chartered accountancy bodies such as ACCA or CIMA, which are prestigious and internationally recognised professional associations. Gaining certification as a chartered accountant is the next logical step as you seek to push your career to the next level and set your sights on top jobs with leading international firms. These qualifications represent the highest standards of excellence within the field of accounting, which is reflected in average salary expectations of over £65,000 per year.
Start your own business
Equipped with the expertise you’ve amassed so far, you have everything you need to rise right to the very top of your chosen industry, and compete for accounting and management roles in any sector – the sky really is the limit. Many accountants even decide to start their own consultancy business, so if you like the idea of becoming your own boss, there’s nothing stopping you from establishing your own accountancy practice to provide financial services to corporate clients, and enjoy the freedom and financial benefits that come with it.
Want the full lowdown on becoming an accountant? Check out our handy Career Guide!