Is Accounting a Good Career Choice for me?
Is Accounting a Good Job?
Accounting today is one of the most promising professions there is. 2017 to date has seen a double digit growth in specialist consultancy positions across the Big 4 and leading consultancy firms. Salaries are also on the rise for Chartered Accountants, increasing by 10% over the last three years according to the Chartered Accountants Ireland Leinster Society.
As an Accountant, you can choose to work in general practice or in areas such as;
- Auditing – conducting independent checks on an organisations financial statements
- Tax – dealing with Tax returns or advising organisations about Tax
- Corporate Finance – consulting businesses on mergers and acquisitions
- Recovery and Insolvency – helping businesses if they enter bankruptcy or helping them avoid this
- Forensic Accounting – Detecting and preventing fraud
Jobs in the accounting sector, are plentiful within the above areas. It is always good to do your research and even speak with Accountants within the above sectors to give you an honest overview.
A career in accountancy will also give you the opportunity to use many skills including leadership, problem-solving, team building and communications skills with many accountants reporting that their ability to help and work directly with people gives them a great deal of job satisfaction. Many accountants play a huge part in ensuring many parties including the health service industry and the national government achieve value for money as well as ensuring economic successes for many businesses.
Accounting jobs pros and cons
Pros of Becoming An Accountant:
- You know your path
Unlike those studying less focussed degrees, students pursuing accountancy courses will have a clear vision of your career path from day one. You will receive specific training applicable to your career along the way too, which may further consolidate your choices and set your career path in stone.
- Potential for growth
A career in accountancy has fantastic growth potential. Having begun as an entry-level associate, you’ll be moving up the ranks in just a few years. If you choose to stay in practice, you’ll be supervising the new entry-level associates and then moving up as a manager, director and eventually partner before you know it. Choosing industry on the other hand will make for a diverse and challenging career.
- You’ll be high in demand
Accountants will be in demand as long as money exists. They keep businesses within budget and foresee future spending implications. If you choose to pursue a career in accounting, you can look forward to a stable career. Whether you choose financial accounting, management, auditing or taxation, you’ll have a wide-ranging choice of where you work, be it for the government, a large multi-national or for yourself, helping small local businesses.
- The Salary!
The pay is one of the main reasons to consider a career in accounting. Not only do accountants have the potential to earn a very generous salary, they’ve also been known to receive great pensions, healthcare, holiday time and other benefits. You might earn your salt in accounting, but it can be some great salt.
Accountancy Career Cons:
- Getting Qualified
Although you can look forward to all the above-mentioned pros of being an accountant, you still have to be qualified to one. Following your four year degree course (the most common path), you will have to become ACCA, ACA, CIMA or CPA-qualified. This means more studying and more exams to take, which can take its toll if you’re doing this while simultaneously beginning your career as an entry-level associate in a big firm somewhere.
- Work-life balance
Another con of being an accountant can be stress, coupled with extra hours in the office. Although it is typically a 9-5 job, accountancy is, like many other industries, cyclical. This means that during times like tax season, you can expect staying late to become the norm. If you’re still getting qualified (as above) or if you’re pursuing a higher degree, this can really take its toll. On the plus side, for reasons of security, accountants can’t take their work home!
So, do you have what it takes?
Now that we’ve helped you decide if you would like a career in accounting, we should consider if you have the necessary skills. Accountants need to have excellent attention to detail, great organisation skills and a natural knack for planning ahead. If this sounds like you, then you might be made of the right stuff.
In very simple terms, if you want a pre-defined career path with plenty of potential for growth and great remuneration, accountancy may just be for you (if you can put up with a little overtime, a very formal dress code and extra exams!). However, if you’re still unsure about whether it’s the right move for you, please feel free to get in touch with the team at Quest. We’d be more than happy to discuss this with you in more detail.