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Do I need to be good at maths to study accountancy?

An apple sat on a stack of 3 open books, surrounded by mathematical equations

This could be the shortest blog in the world if we just said - no, you don’t need to be good at maths to study accountancy. But we thought you’d like to know why maths isn’t the be all and end all of being an accountant.

There’s much more to accountancy than calculations, and you might already have the skills to make you great at it.

What level of maths do I need then?

To enrol on an entry level accounting course, such as AAT Foundation, you need a decent grasp of maths, preferably GCSE grade 9-4 (A*-C). So you don’t need to be a maths genius, or have a maths degree.

What skills do I need to be an accountant?

So we’ve established you don’t need incredibly sophisticated maths skills. But you will need to have good analytical skills, alongside an attention to detail. You’ll need to be able to spot anomalies and analyse why they could be there, and report to the business your findings.

Good communication skills are also essential. You’ll have to be able to explain potentially complicated accounting in layman’s terms. The people you’ll be talking to might not completely understand the world of accountancy - it’s your job to make sure they comprehend what’s going on in their finances.

Being organised is accountant 101. You’ll need to be able to keep track of multiple accounts, meet deadlines, and follow proper reporting procedures. You’ll need to be able to keep track of paperwork - one missing piece could cause massive delays for your business or client.

Time management goes hand in hand with being organised. Financial reporting adheres to strict deadlines, so you can’t just put off something you don’t want to do, or take too long working on one issue. Hitting deadlines is something that will need to be second nature.

Computer literacy and the ability to adapt to new software is very important too. When you study accounting you’ll learn about different software packages, but the business you go into may use something different. You’ll need to learn quickly and get to grips with their systems.

Being proficient with spreadsheets is also a great skill to have - you might want to do a separate Excel course to make sure you’re comfortable with them.

What can I earn as an accountant?

Like any other career, it can depend on location and experience. But the average UK salary for an accountant is £42,500* per year. This can rise to well over £100,000 if you become a Chief Financial Officer - so a career in accounting can be rather lucrative.

Interested in accounting?

If you’re ready to find out more, have a look at AAT - it’s the start of a great accounting career.