Accountancy is all about number-crunching, right? Wrong…
Accountancy is about so much more than numbers. To be successful in accountancy and finance you will need a number of ‘soft’ skills such as stakeholder management, strong communication skills and the ability to work in a team. As an accountant you are able to go into any sector and industry in a wide variety of roles, where you will be able to put these skills to good use and develop them further. Click here to find out more about the types of roles you can go into, such as forensic, management and financial accounting, and the skills required for each one.
The good news is that you don’t need to do a related degree to get into this field. Regardless of what degree you have done, to become an accountant you will need to undertake a professional qualification, such as ACCA, after you graduate. This consists of three main elements: exams, ethics and practical experience. Click here for further information about the structure of the qualification.
The ACCA qualification will help you to develop both the soft skills and technical skills required by all accountancy and finance employers, which you can see through the new ACCA competency framework, along with further information about job roles available in accountancy.
Start preparing while you’re at university to get ahead of the game!
Now is a great time to think about how you can develop your skills and knowledge to help you prepare for a career in accountancy:
Have you got any work experience?
Particularly in a related field. If not, try to apply for finance internships, or some part-time work in a finance department. Even some voluntary work in a finance role will stand you in good stead and will impress employers. Even better, this will start to count towards the practical experience requirement of the ACCA qualification.
Are you a member of a student society?
Think about joining business and finance student societies and nominate yourself as a committee member. Or why not become the treasurer for a student society? This will prove to employers that you have a keen interest in accountancy and are willing to go the extra mile.
Do you have industry knowledge?
One of the key things that lets candidates down at interview stage is a lack of commercial awareness. Why not listen to ACCA’s commercial awareness podcasts developed for each of the four main sectors you can go into as an accountant? This will help both at the application and interview stage. Consider regularly reading topical publications such as Accountancy Age and The Economist. Finally, sign up to Potential, ACCA’s free monthly e-magazine for anyone thinking about a career in accountancy.
What skills are you developing?
Work out the skills you are gaining on a regular basis and start adding them to your CV. Ask yourself regularly, how are the skills I am learning going to help me when I start my career? This will help you to work out how you can stand out to employers.
Want to find out more? ACCA will be at the University of Kent regularly during the Autumn term delivering presentations, skills sessions and attending the careers fair. Follow us on twitter @ACCAUK_OnCampus to find out when and where we’ll be on campus and come and see us with any questions you may have! In the meantime, check out our graduate website www.accaglobal.com/ukgraduates and careers website www.accacareers.com for further information.