How to Get into Accounting

If you’re planning a career in accounting, you need to know how to get there here are a few of the options that you could choose from.

There are a couple of ways in which you can start your career in accounting from the traditional route of university and now even a modern apprenticeship in accounting. Whichever way you choose you can become an accountant.


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If you choose the university option what should you study?

If you are planning on applying to any university, but certainly any of the top universities, you need to plan your future before even applying. The big choices come after your GCSEs when it’s time to choose your AS levels. This is an important choice, if you choose the wrong subjects your career could have ended before it has begun (that may be a bit harsh, you’ll just have to start again a couple of years later in order to study the right subjects). If you’re serious about becoming an accountant then forget about your degree for a second and think about you’re a levels as this is going to be a difficult two years with the subjects you’ll have to study. The obvious list of subjects would start with Maths and Further maths, then economics for certain then pretty much anything else you like (physics and chemistry are regarded highly) if you choose to take accounting as an AS level it is advised that you drop this at A2 as it is generally regarded as a soft subject by universities.

Anyway, when your A levels are coming to an end you will have to apply to universities, then the question comes of what course should I do?!?

Well, the obvious degree courses would be accounting (whether as a single honours or combined with another subject), economics and finance; you could even mix them all together and do accounting and finance or something of the sort. After your degree you would have to apply for a training program with an accountancy company in order to complete an ACA qualification; this takes around three years to complete. However, if this is not the route for you it is also possible to study for accounting without an actual accounting degree you could apply for an apprenticeship.

Apprenticeships in accounting

An accountancy apprenticeship doesn’t necessarily mean you working for an accountant, but you could. You could work in a bank, or a financial section of a company. There are many job roles available with an apprenticeship at many different levels. If you take on an intermediate apprenticeship then after its completion you also have the chance to progress onto further levels of the apprenticeship. However, depending on your age and school grades you may be able to begin at a higher level. An apprenticeship gives you the chance to gain on hand experience whilst also earning a wage. This is some ways seen as a better approach than university, you won’t have any debt, you could if you wanted to get to the same position but there are also so many more opportunities for you to explore. During your apprenticeship you are not necessarily doing one job all of the time, you will obviously have your preferred positions but you will also be given the chance to try out other roles within the company.

This article was written for – leading accountants in tax planning Ireland – by financial adviser Colette Jenkins.

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