Accountants do much more than squint at spreadsheets in a dusty room. Behind every successful UK start-up there's a wise accountant. Here's why it should be you.
Accountancy is coming out of the shadows and into the light. Recent developments in politics and technology have highlighted the importance of accountants to the UK economy. And it’s not a role inhabited by beige men in dusty offices, either.
In fact, there are many reasons you should seriously consider a career in accountancy. Here are just a few.
You’ll Always Be in Demand…
Take a look at the hilarious stories which come out of the woodwork whenever it’s tax return time and you’ll get some idea of how much people (especially people running SMEs) need accountants. But that’s just the very tip of the iceberg.
As an accountant, you’ll do far more than submit tax returns and administer payroll for your clients. You could find yourself advising them on key decisions affecting the future of their business, and you may be involved in financial statement audit.
…And Demand Is Growing
We’re an entrepreneurial nation in the UK. Happily, enterprises seem to be bouncing back from the effects of the 2008-2013 global downturn, and have now returned to pre-recession levels. What’s more, this pattern is present in all regions of the UK.
No wonder 70% of UK entrepreneurs say they feel confident enough to increase their staffing levels over the coming months. It’s also notable that disruptive technologies are rapidly changing the face of UK business, all of which means more work, and more interesting work, for accountants.
Take Your Pick of Locations
Have accountancy qualifications and experience, will travel. Although you may think of accountancy as a purely city-based career, the statistic above hints that this isn’t so.
Businesses in every region of the UK rely on the services of in-house and external accountants, as do businesses all over the world. Moving to another country may mean that you need to brush up on a different system of law, but this is ultimately an extra string to your bow.
Be Well Paid
Accountancy is a career with good earning potential. A chartered accountant can expect to earn between £26,000 and £90,000 per year, with a median annual salary of £34,060 (some £7,000 more than the national median wage). It’s a well laid out career structure, too, so you’ll never be left without a logical next move.
One of the most interesting aspects of working as an accountant is the opportunity to see how businesses operate. You’ll get a close look behind the scenes, and find out which strategies work for companies, and—perhaps more importantly—which fail. This puts you in the perfect position to start your own successful business venture.
Have You Got What It Takes?
Contrary to what you might believe, you don’t need a high-powered maths-based degree to be an accountant. You don’t even need a degree at all, because many employers are looking for the right candidates to fill trainee positions.
What you do need is a good, solid academic record, especially at A level. Granted, accountancy probably isn’t the career for you if you suffer from dyscalculia or numbers phobia, but if you’re meticulous, intelligent and have the ability to pay attention to detail, accountancy really is the best career choice for you today.