What qualifications do I need to become an accountant?
Accountancy is a profession which appeals to a huge number of people who are proficient with numbers. While the demand for good accountants remains high, it is important that those keen to enter the profession make themselves aware of the steps which will be necessary on their journey to employment.
Beginning with the qualifications obtained from college and university, the road to becoming an accountant is one which will be made far easier with a little planning. Here, we take a look at the best ways for young people to prepare themselves for a career in accountancy.
Demonstrating your numerical skills
The number one talent which is necessary for a career in accountancy is an ability to handle numbers. The best way for young candidates to prove this is through consistent high grades in mathematics as well as obtaining relevant qualifications. Any mathematical qualifications will work to your advantage not only by demonstrating your ability to work with numbers but also through proving your interest in the field.
Linking your talents to knowledge
An ability to work with numbers is a key starting point but an accountant's job entails far more than numerical proficiency. Just as important in the eyes of the majority of employers will be your ability to relate your talents to something tangible. In most cases, you will be working as part of a business. Therefore, it can be a great help for you to offer a potential employer some proof of business knowledge.
A Levels in Business or Economics can be a great way for you to show your grounding where it counts. Remember that accountants' day to day jobs vary from working with taxes to offering advice on business issues, so you need to show diversity and knowledge of various financial avenues.
If you are hoping to become a chartered accountant you must complete an ACA qualification. This is obtained from the Institute of Chartered Accountants which seeks to provide training for graduates looking to try their hand at accountancy.
While a background in finance is always a great way in, graduates from other fields are also able to apply. High grades in mathematics are always desirable but a strong degree in just about any subject area can be enough to put you on track for a career as a chartered accountant.
Having obtained your qualifications, be it an ACA or a degree in a relevant subject, it will be important for you to achieve work experience within an accountancy firm or similar profession. This will provide you with hands on experience applying your skills to the industry in which you plan to work.
Don't be put off by positions which don't offer high levels of pay right away as what is most important in the early stages of your career is obtaining the qualifications and experience which will set you ahead of other candidates now and in the future.
If you are looking for accountancy jobs a good place to get started is with one of the accountancy recruitment agencies such as Randstad.