So you want to start a career in accountancy but don't know where to start. There are two main ways to get into a finance role.
Firstly, you can do a degree in accountancy or business studies. My experience of young people with such degrees is that they usually still start in fairly low level roles and although they may progress quite quickly from those, some get stuck in them. A degree also means that you are stuck with the debt from that degree, which can hinder your ability to buy a house and have a real future.
The other method, which I am strongly in favour of, is to study the AAT. Employers really like this qualification as it is extremely good at teaching basic bookkeeping skills all the way through to producing a P+L and Balance Sheet. If you leave school at 18, you can study this over a period of three years and it will then exempt you from some of the examinations of the higher level accountancy qualifications such as the ACA or ACCA. If you studied hard, you could pass those qualifications and be a fully qualified accountant by the age of 24, roughly the same age that your peers are coming out of university with their degrees and still needing to qualify. You would also have been earning and you wouldn't have any debt. Even some of the big firms of chartered accountants are favouring this route to a career in accountancy.
If you want to find out more, the AAT website is www.aat.org.uk
Next week, I shall be talking about the ACA qualifications. Until then, have a great week.
Jeanette Robinson FREC (Hon)