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How to become an accountant?

swafe Avatar
8y, 7m agoPosted 8 years, 7 months ago
Heeey

Finished my university degree in the summer and I obtained a 3rd, also known as the drinkers degree, now, my degree is in chemistry which obviously isnt accounting however I was told many people doing chemistry go into it, because its a lot of numbers and data which you obviously get some skills at thru solving various equations and such like.

Now, theres the 'big 4' accountant firms, but I havnt got a chance of getting into one of them because they pretty much all specify a 2:1 or higher, I admit I didnt get the greatest degree but I went to warwick, which is a pretty decent and highly rated university which will go into my favour.

4 1/2 A levels, Maths, Chem, Computing and Business - which will all come in handy

My problem is here, how and where do I go ? Im not going to get into a big 4, but Im willing to go into a small local accountants, do the courses they throw at me and work my way up the old fashioned way, but where do I start, and do I need any experience, or other qualifications to go into it?

Also whats the expected starting salery? Seems to be 13-15k off reed.co.uk which is low for a graduate but acceptable for me as Im sure over time it would increase

Any tips, links? Surely with all you money savers must be an accountant hiding in here! :D

Thanks in advance
swafe Avatar
8y, 7m agoPosted 8 years, 7 months ago
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banned#1
what did you get for your alevels?

some times it is good to do a masters and use the summer to do an internship.

if you got good alevels then it will help.. esp maths.

btw what the hell happened in warick to make you get a 3rd?!?
#2
punching above my weight :D it was required BBBBb to get in and i got BBBDc , so was about 50 ucas points off, so it was either coventry uni or warwick, they let me by some fluke and i just had to take the chance, the fact i got out of there with a degree was enough to make me feel like id achieved something, was only 1% off a 2:2 tho! gutted

chem, B, gen studies, B, computing, B, maths D, business studies, b by the way if that helps :)
#3
I think you might need to do a post graduate diploma in accountancy at the very least, before anyone even hires you to do accountancy training.
#4
There's always open university if you want to do it part time.
Also, look into the accounting institutes. I was told the management accounting institutes such as CIMA have easier exams. Some companies will pay for you to do the courses whilst working for them. There would be no harm in phoning up a few companies and asking them some questions. They usually have a specific time of year when they take on people to put them through the accountancy exams which you may have missed out on.
#5
emmajk42
I think you might need to do a post graduate diploma in accountancy at the very least, before anyone even hires you to do accountancy training.


im sure this isnt true

ive heard of people goin into accountancy from school as 'trainee accountants' with little more than GCSEs so im sure another 4 years at uni isnt needed, altho i admit a full degree in accountancy would be more than beneficial
#6
My lad did a degree in Natural Sciences then applied to different accountancy firms on the Net.
Got a job in Birmingham with PKF.
Started on about £15k - became qualified last year and is now on about £35k (he is 26).
One other bit of advice - he got a 2:1 from Durham but says he had to work much harder for his accountancy exams.
banned#7
emmajk42
I think you might need to do a post graduate diploma in accountancy at the very least, before anyone even hires you to do accountancy training.


nah this isnt true.. my brother did a it degree, worked as an it consultant and now works as an accountant for PWC

i'd suggest trying to get some work experience in a placement (dont require as high grades) and work hard to get an offer at the and of it.
#8
Hmm. Not an accountant myself but know a few. :roll:

Basically, you're very unlikely to ever get a job with the Big 4 if you train with a small firm. Depends on your ambitions really - if you want a career in small firms then train with them although you'll probably never make partner because they tend to recruit partners from the Big 4. On the other hand, you could still make a good living either out on your own or in industry. It's down to you really!
#9
had a look at PKF, look like a good firm but are asking for a 2:1 minimum, which rules me out, there a top 10 firm apparently so obviously only want the best, like your lad ;)

this is why im thinking of a smaller one, they wont demand such a high standard & hopefully might be a bit localler to me
#10
tony_s1
Hmm. Not an accountant myself but know a few. :roll:

Basically, you're very unlikely to ever get a job with the Big 4 if you train with a small firm. Depends on your ambitions really - if you want a career in small firms then train with them although you'll probably never make partner because they tend to recruit partners from the Big 4. On the other hand, you could still make a good living either out on your own or in industry. It's down to you really!


woops, maybe i didnt make it clear, i pretty much have ruled myself out of anyone pretty big, due to my low degree, and also im not a great salesman so when it comes to interviews i cant compete with the 200 odd candidates they get

im more than happy to work for a smaller firm, infact i think id prefer it, pay will be less but im sure id enjoy it as much :)
banned#11
swafe
had a look at PKF, look like a good firm but are asking for a 2:1 minimum, which rules me out, there a top 10 firm apparently so obviously only want the best, like your lad ;)

this is why im thinking of a smaller one, they wont demand such a high standard & hopefully might be a bit localler to me


dont sell yourself short dude... apply to all different types. trust me.

I applied to all sorts of jobs for a placement and I ended up getting a place at a major investment bank.. i didnt even know their name before applying..

its worth a shot :thumbsup:
#12
swafe;1987933
im sure this isnt true

ive heard of people goin into accountancy from school as 'trainee accountants' with little more than GCSEs so im sure another 4 years at uni isnt needed, altho i admit a full degree in accountancy would be more than beneficial


Fair enough... but a PGD takes less than a year, and gives you a chance at the biggies.
#13
well, true, worth a shot altho it is pretty unlikely as these days they must get raided by thousands of candidates

regarding training, i was kinda hoping to learn it all on the job, however some say 'must be studying the AAT before applying', does this require a college course? seem to have found about 3 courses for it AAT, ACCA and CIMA, are these all normally taught in the job, or do you need to get them seperatly, & do you need them all to be a fully qualified accountant? not really too sure on it
#14
I'm just in the first year of doing accountancy and got a letter from Ernst & Young offering to pay for my course , but I would have had to go to Lancaster Uni which is a bit too far away . Mind you i've also changed my mind now and i'm planning to start Business Studies in my second year .

My local council was taking on people without any accountancy skills and was paying for the courses . The salary was good too - starting at £21000 and going up to £26000 whilst still training.
#15
MrSharpshooter
I'm just in the first year of doing accountancy and got a letter from Ernst & Young offering to pay for my course , but I would have had to go to Lancaster Uni which is a bit too far away . Mind you i've also changed my mind now and i'm planning to start Business Studies in my second year .

My local council was taking on people without any accountancy skills and was paying for the courses . The salary was good too - starting at £21000 and going up to £26000 whilst still training.


if only i liked where u live!
#16
swafe
well, true, worth a shot altho it is pretty unlikely as these days they must get raided by thousands of candidates

regarding training, i was kinda hoping to learn it all on the job, however some say 'must be studying the AAT before applying', does this require a college course? seem to have found about 3 courses for it AAT, ACCA and CIMA, are these all normally taught in the job, or do you need to get them seperatly, & do you need them all to be a fully qualified accountant? not really too sure on it


ACA is generally regarded as the best, then ACCA and CIMA and then a myriad of other letters of lesser worth. :) It depends what you want and what you think you can do. Do a Google search and you should find details of requirements for membership of the different institutes. Start here:

http://www.icaew.co.uk/

Best of luck. :thumbsup:
#17
is there any other way? have found a local chartered one on there, only take 3 on a year and want a 2:1 but hopefully ill hear from them, pwc and bdo tho i dont think ive got a chance with! :(
#18
I think you sound too interesting to be an accountant. :-D
#19
When my brother started off in accountancy the first step was to remove all traces of personality and humour........................

Only kidding!

He went down the route of Management Accountancy and was sponsored by Swinton Insurance, working 3 days a week and studying for CIMA qualifications for the other 2. He left school with 3 A levels with fairly low passes (2 D's and a C).

The personality bypass came much later!

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