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Is accountancy a good career choice?

A big heart made up of quotes

According to the many students we talked to: yes it is. We created a survey to find out what current and former accountancy students like about their chosen profession. Here’s a summary.

Accountancy is a broad area of study and employment, and there are numerous reasons why people are attracted to it. After receiving hundreds of responses to the question ‘What do you love about accountancy?’ we discovered some patterns.

Most of the responses fit into one of the 4 categories: making a difference, intellectually satisfying, variety and financially rewarding.

Making a difference

Many of our respondents showed a desire to help people, across a range of sectors and circumstances. One pointed out that they like ‘enabling people to understand a daunting subject and plan their future projects’.

Be it a small firm or large, many enjoy the ‘relationship building’ and ‘helping [companies] understand their numbers and achieve their financial goals’.

The feedback reinforced the point that working in accountancy can give you a certain amount of leverage in a company. Your opinion is valued. One refers to their enjoyment of ‘Being a guardian of the books and records of a firm, providing information that can be trusted and providing additional value to clients’.

Working in accountancy in the NHS involves helping patients and the public, behind the scenes. I enjoy the fact that my work helps to ensure public value for money and great patient care.

- Leanne, former student.

And it’s not just providing a snapshot of the current financial position that appeals to many: ‘What I enjoy the most about accountancy is the fact that it’s a precise science that can help you understand what happened in the past...but also it can be a great support for predictions and forecasts’.

The real satisfaction for many seems to be this very powerful ‘ability to provide clarity’.

Intellectually satisfying

For most people, they stop any form of intense study once they leave school, college or university. But for many of our respondents, there was much pleasure gained by delving back into the world of education and intellectual stimulation.

One response said they were simply happy ‘Just to be learning again’ and another took some joy from the fact that ‘There is always a right answer!’.

Undoubtedly, numbers have a recurring presence in their field of work and many responses were appreciative of that ‘I just love the numbers, I know it sounds boring, but for me it’s a pleasure’.

We often saw passionate responses in relation to the problem solving areas of accountancy: ‘It's really just a massive 3D jigsaw puzzle of numbers - everything has its place and when you do it right, the last piece always fits in perfectly in the last open slot’.

The accountancy calculations and concepts appealed to many of our respondents’ desire for order and logic: ‘It always balances (hopefully) and everything ties together. The awesome beauty in its relative simplicity - the amazing way you can summarise hundreds, thousands, even millions of data points into a comprehensible analysis that is universally understood’.

It is a language, and a unique way of communication and viewing the world.

- Jiho, former student.

Variety

As the saying goes, variety is the spice of life, and that is certainly the case with accountancy roles. There are a vast range of roles to choose from and each one provides numerous challenges. This has been consistently commented on and lauded, as many have shown a desire for variety in their careers.

One comment states: ‘There are vastly different areas of work where our skills are required, from personal experience I focus on manufacturing but I have worked both in beauty cosmetics and more recently seafood!’.

And the variety comes in many forms, with some referring to the travel opportunities that accountancy jobs open up: ‘I love the freedom of movement that accountancy gives you. I hope to travel and work once qualified. Accountancy provides a unique global standard to allow one to explore the globe!’.

The word "Bookkeeping" is the only English word to contain three sets of double letters back-to-back-to-back!

- William, former student.

Financially rewarding and job security

It’s no secret that a career as an accountant is often very financially rewarding and can offer great stability. Many Chartered Accountants earning upwards of £80,000*.

So unsurprisingly some of our respondents referred to this as a big driving force behind their decision to work in this field. One simply stated that they were attracted to ‘the money’ while another pragmatically said it offered ‘prospects for the future and a firm base for supporting my family life’.

Ultimately what we do can help shape the course of someone's life in terms of their business and I think that's a pretty cool thing to be part of.

- Jaspreet, former student.

If you are considering a career in accountancy either visit our other blog pages for more information on career options or visit our accountancy qualification pages to start your journey.

*https://www.prospects.ac.uk/job-profiles/chartered-accountant