10 reasons to become an accountant now

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1. Employers always need accountants

According to a report by recruitment company Robert Half, finance and accounting skills are in short supply. In the survey, 92% of finance managers and directors said they found it difficult to find skilled staff.

2. Salaries are increasing

The same survey found accounting salaries are increasing across the board, and part-qualified candidates are being offered salaries at the same level as fully qualified accountants – a sign that companies want to nurture new staff.

3. Accountancy is a great choice if you’re changing careers

AAT training provider Kaplan asked 14,000 people how they got into accountancy. Of the respondents, 55% said they started in a different career before making the switch, primarily for the career prospects offered by accountancy.

4. Accountants are a happy bunch

Of those career changers surveyed by Kaplan, 80% said they were happier working in finance, while 83% said they’d recommended accountancy to their friends and family. “I love my job,” says Georgina Pluck, who is now studying to become a chartered accountant. “Every job I’ve had in accounting I’ve absolutely loved. I’ve moved into different areas with each job, but I love it no matter what I’m doing.”

5. Accountancy is at the heart of everything

What do Disney, London Fashion Week, Glastonbury Festival and Claridge’s have in common? They all need accountants. In fact, large or small, every organisation needs accounting expertise. Shandrae Sampson works at the British Fashion Council in the finance department. She loves the element of glamour in her job. “Part of my job involves going backstage and helping make sure models turn up and designers are happy. It gets me out of the office and connects me with what the organisation is about.”

6. Accountants can fight crime

Ever heard of forensic accounting? Essentially, it involves investigating financial crimes such as fraud, money laundering, weapons trading, and even terrorism. If you want to make a really positive contribution to society through accountancy, this could be the route for you.

7. You can become an accountant without a degree

“I’d intended to go to university, but I couldn’t find a course I wanted to do,” says Kaplan apprentice Jessica Birchall, 22 (pictured). “Learning through an apprenticeship was practical. I could apply my skills and develop them, and I had a chance to earn before I was 20.” Jessica’s story isn’t unusual. Thousands of accountants start their careers in a similar way, and you needn’t be qualified to get a starter role in accounting – you can train as you go.

8. You can become qualified at your own pace

Completing all three AAT Accounting Qualifications can take as long as you like. Andrew Matthews found the Kaplan course offered flexibility, value for money and plenty of support: “I was also encouraged by the pass guarantee and, as someone who works full-time, by the availability of tutors on evenings and Saturdays.”

9. Accounting gives you the skills to run your own company

Lindsey Dove runs her own business, making and selling candles from home: “When you are a one-man band looking to set up your business with limited resources, the costing aspect can be make or break. Having accounting skills enabled me to keep my own records without having to pay someone, and that goes a long way.”

10. Your boss might pay for your training

In Kaplan’s accountant survey, 60% of people got financial support from their employer or training provider when taking an accounting course. So you could gain a qualification and get paid for it.

Insights provided by Sally Brummitt, Kaplan Financial

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AAT Comment offers news and opinion on the world of business and finance from the Association of Accounting Technicians.

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