23 Jun 2023

What a career in Accountancy can offer

The journey to a career in accountancy usually begins with a passion for numbers and maths – accountants have a tendency to be naturally numerically talented. However, strong communication skills are also essential, as the role of the accountant tends to be very client focused.

There are two main routes into accountancy; either a degree (not necessarily in accountancy), or through a school leaver programme such as an apprenticeship. The most beneficial degrees tend to be in Accountancy, Economics, Finance or Business Management. Typically graduates will complete a professional qualification such as ACA which will cover all areas needed to be a successful accountant. For school leavers, A-levels that will be most beneficial tend to include Accounting, Economics and Maths. School leavers generally then complete an Apprenticeship whilst working such as AAT before progressing onto ACA. These can be a great option for those who want to learn on the job and avoid rapidly increasing university fees.

Monahans offers apprenticeships and if you choose to do one, you can expect to gain qualifications at varying levels from AAT level 3 and level 4 to professional chartered accountancy qualifications, such as Associate Chartered Accountant (ACA), or the Chartered Tax Adviser (CTA) qualification, all while enjoying client exposure and early responsibility.

For newly qualified accountants, there are two paths on offer – there is the option to work in practice or to work in industry.

Working in practice means you join an accountancy firm like Monahans and you work with multiple different clients in a range of areas. This is arguably the best way to train in the early years of your career as you are exposed to a greater variety of scenarios and have the opportunity to become a very well-rounded accountant. There is clear career progression working in practice, especially if you are ambitious and motivated, as you can work towards being a senior manager in the firm, or even becoming a partner and owning part of the business.

Working for one company in the industry means there is less variety but it’s a good option if you have a specific area you would like to work in. This option tends to offer lucrative benefits as you will be part of a much larger company and, due to the nature of industry roles, you may see a clear career development path with a steady salary increase over the years.

What are the different kinds of accountants?
At Monahans, we like to offer the freedom for our employees to specialise in an area they are passionate about. We have accountants that specialise in audit, small to medium sized businesses, own managed businesses, personal tax, corporate tax, insolvency and business recovery amongst other services. As a firm, we cover every aspect of accountancy, meaning businesses and clients can have all questions and queries dealt with in one place, by specialist teams within the firm.

A key benefit of choosing a career in accountancy is the fact it provides many opportunities beyond working in practice or industry. The skills learnt in accounting can provide you with a solid foundation of skills and knowledge that can be transferred to various roles and industries.

Financial services, planning or analysis roles are a common route to take, as you will have built the analytical skills to excel in supporting strategic business decisions in addition to providing the knowledge to evaluate investments, manage cash flow, conduct financial due diligence and support acquisitions in an organisation.

With a strong understanding of financial data and business processes, accountants can transition to management consulting roles seamlessly. These positions involve advising organisations on various aspects of business, including financial performance, operational efficiency, and strategic planning, skills which an accountant has covered in their job title.

Entrepreneurship and business ownership is another route for accountants. Accounting knowledge is invaluable for individuals starting their own businesses or becoming self-employed. It helps with managing financial records, understanding profitability, handling taxes, and making informed financial decisions. It’s a popular choice for those who have built up their experience and have the ambition to create their own business.

Another option for those who are interested in accounting but know they want to have their own business early on, is to complete a bookkeeping qualification. This path gives a more general offering, but many businesses need extra hands to manage accounts, therefore it can be a lucrative business venture.

Essentially, the versatility of accounting skills allows for a wide range of career possibilities.

If you are interested in a career in accountancy, get in touch with the team today to find out what opportunities we can offer.

Ellie McQuade