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Guide to studying accountancy

In this guide you will find out why accountancy makes such an attractive career and get help deciding which accountancy qualification is right for you.

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Why study accountancy?

When you study accountancy, you'll be working towards a career with an excellent salary, real career stability and plenty of opportunity for progression.

It is also a very stable career - businesses always require accounting or financial expertise - and this demand provides stability and opportunity. In 2015, it was estimated that the UK's top 75 accountancy firms brought in over £12bn to the UK economy*.

At Kaplan, we have been training accountants for over 70 years and our pass rates consistently exceed the national average.

Salary - do the numbers add up?

When you start training, employers will typically take you on as an Accounts Assistant or Clerk. Some may even offer to fund your training. At this level you can expect to earn up to £18,400 a year.

Once you gain your first qualification (such as AAT or CIMA Certificate), you could expect to earn up to £35,000 a year as an Accounts Technician, Finance Manager or similar. You could even work for yourself with the skills you've learned!

If you want to continue further training, you can progress to a Chartered qualification (such as CIMA or ACCA). This will open up more opportunities and allow you to specialise within a particular area or industry. You could see your salary jump to well beyond £60,000 a year, increasing over time with experience.

Not just number crunching at a desk

Featuring at the heart of every business, accountants don't just spend their days number crunching in the office. They work across all areas of the business, helping to keep it running, analysing performance and contributing to future growth and strategy.

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Travelling the world with the
'Big 4'

If you decide to specialise in auditing, tax or consulting, you may find yourself working at one of the 'Big 4' doing everything from presenting to clients to auditing stock levels in warehouses across the world!

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Working on a product launch for a big company

Alternatively, you may find yourself advising the CEO or CFO of your company about a new product launch. It could be anything from launching a new iPhone, building the next Ferrari model or even producing a Hollywood blockbuster! You would be involved in deciding the right price to sell at, ways to reduce the cost of production or forecasting sales volumes.

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Working for yourself as a Bookkeeper or Tax Accountant

If you don't like the sound of working for somebody else , why not set up your own accountancy company? Once you gave completed the AAT qualification, you'll be able to provide accounting services such as preparing financial statements or tax returns to individuals and businesses who don't have the time or skills to do it themselves.

What's next?

If accountancy sounds like the career for you, take the next step by looking into the types of qualification:

Routes into accountancy

Explore the different routes for school leavers, graduates or career changers.

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Compare qualifications

View the full details of each qualification in a comparison table.

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Thinking about changing career?​

We have prepared some useful advice from career-changers and those who helped them.

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Read our guides to the top three accountancy qualifications

Choose the right qualification, plus find out why our 70 years of experience makes our courses the best on the market.

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