Is Accounting a Good Career Choice for me?

Choosing a career is always a daunting prospect. How do you know if you’ll like it? What are the hours like? And what are the opportunities for growth?

At Quest, we know all too well that these questions, and many more, are racing through your mind when deciding on a career path.

Today we will address some of these questions in relation to jobs in the accounting sector, to help you figure out whether accounting is a good career choice for you. so we thought we’d answer some of these questions in the hope it aids you in your decision.

Accounting jobs pros and cons

First off, the 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.