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7 top tips to getting a job in accountancy

If you’re someone who has strong mathematical skills, an analytical mind and knows how to manage money, a job in accountancy might be the right career move for you.

Once you’ve decided to pursue an accountancy career, you’ll need to decide on a specialism and look into the qualifications you can work toward to gain fruitful employment. Here are the steps you’ll need to take

1. Get the right qualifications

Typically, the minimum qualification expected from an accountant is the AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians) qualification, but if you want to progress to chartered accountancy, you’ll need an ACCA, ACA or CIMA qualification. In this field, university degrees tend to be desirable rather than essential but the best routes to take tend to be in subjects such as mathematics, finance and business. If there’s a definite career path you want to follow, it’s probably worth looking into which qualifications are preferred.

2. Complete an internship

While the right qualifications are important, real-life experience is also incredibly valuable. In a lot of cases, those looking to pursue this type of career will work full-time while studying so that they can gain an insight into the working world. Some accountancy internships/apprenticeships run by the AAT and can provide you with a fast-track to achieving chartered status with one of the main professional bodies.

3. Choose a specialism

Accountancy can be split into two areas: management accounting and financial accounting and within these areas are further fields of expertise such as financial analysis and budgeting. Financial accounting is required by law and will cover the entirety of an organisation meaning that the majority of people enter accountancy in this area. With financial accountancy qualifications you can enter fields including tax, corporate finance, business recovery and insolvency, audit and forensic accountancy and with each specialism, you’ll have the opportunity to choose between the public and the private sector.

4. Make the most of your experience

Once you’ve managed to secure an internship or an apprenticeship in your chosen specialism, you should ensure that you make the most of it. Commit to a positive, enthusiastic, ‘can do’ attitude and this will show your employers that you really care about the position. In a professional environment such as this, you need to avoid things such as being late, not showing willing and consistently making mistakes.

5. Network professionally

As the saying goes, “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know”, and while it is necessary for you to have certain qualifications under your belt, you’ll also place yourself in a better position if you learn to understand the value of networking. Try to attend some professional accountancy events where you can meet people in the same field, some of which may be able to help you gain employment. The way you conduct yourself online is important too as sites such as LinkedIn and Twitter can give you a boost if you use them professionally.

6. Take time with your applications

When searching for accountancy jobs in London, you need to make sure that you spend some quality time on your applications. Research the businesses you’re applying for so that you can fully understand what disciplines exist there and whether the job will be the right fit for you. Most employers these days use online application forms but for those who request a CV and covering letter, ensure you spend time on each individual application as your prospective employer will be able to tell if you’ve applied with a bog standard cover letter.

7. Prepare well for interviews and assessments

If an employer is interested in your application its not unusual if they invite you to an assessment centre day. Here you’ll be asked to take part in a range of exercises that will demonstrate your skills to see if you’re a good fit for the position. If you do well, you’ll likely face a further one-on-one interview. Prepare for this just as you prepared for your application by researching the background of the company to gain an insight into their values and disciplines and remember to always demonstrate your willingness. 

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