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When people think about prestigious jobs with numbers, accountancy always comes to mind. But do you need a degree to become an accountant? Is it a good job in the UK? Will you make decent money? Are employers actually hiring accountants? We’re answering all your core questions and more in this quick read.
First, let’s back up just a second and make sure you’re clear about what an accountant actually does. In short, an accountant for both businesses and individuals will record and summarise all relevant financial transactions and then make sure those figures are correct before analysing and/or reporting those results to financial bodies like HMRC. This means they should know all the rules, laws and best practices related to whatever field they are in - be it corporate or personal accounting.
No. You don’t need a degree to become an accountant, but it sure is helpful. Studying accountancy at Bolton or in higher education will help you prevent major errors that could land you and your clients in hot water legally. That’s because being an accountant isn’t just about adding and subtracting; there are laws around what’s permitted on, say, capital allowances, and doing it wrong can have harsh penalties. So, getting a degree in accounting will help educate you on requirements and best practices so you can serve your employers or clients with prestige and professionalism. Plus, you’ll get all the soft skills you need like time management, record keeping, tech training and more.
To be an accountant, you should earn at least 3 GCSEs at grades 4/C or above or the equivalent. These must include English and Maths, at a minimum. A-levels with As and Bs are desired with a 2:1 on your degree. However, most employers now are a bit more flexible due to a renewed belief in the value of experience and aptitude over just good marks and a shortage in the job market for qualified accountants.
In addition to GCSEs, an AAT is usually the bare minimum. And, should you wish to become a Chartered Accountant, you’ll want to pursue qualifications with a relevant professional body as well. Taking an accountancy course that’s accredited by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) or the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Scotland (ICAS); like our BA (Hons) Accountancy course is, can be a great first step.
No. Becoming an accountant in the UK is not hard. But it does require dedication and perseverance. You’ll want to invest in yourself and your skills by taking the right courses and committing to a lifestyle of continuous improvement. That’s because the rules for accounting change often and it’s critical that you keep up to date so you can advise your clients or employer. If you have an enthusiasm for learning and a love of numbers, you could excel as an accountant in the UK.
Yes! Accountants are well-paid in the UK. According to ACCA Global, 90% of employers looking for accountants and finance talent are facing staff shortages and that’s leading to an increase in demand and more attractive benefit packages. And there’s always the opportunity to work from anywhere in the world as most modern accounting work is totally digital. This widens up the job market for accountants significantly. Remote workers don’t have the commute and other soft costs that come with working outside of the home and they should include this in their total remuneration figure.
According to Glassdoor, the average salary of an accountant in the UK is just over £43k nationwide. Graduates can expect to earn up to £40k per annum for entry-level roles and chartered accountants average a salary of £84,500 plus bonuses. Plus, with a qualification as an accountant, you could open your own firm, commanding a virtually uncapped salary and hefty bonuses. This doesn’t include benefits which will sweeten any employment contract. Plus, being an accountant is a role that comes with great work-life balance, inherent structure and excellent opportunities for advancement built into the structure of nearly every company you might work for. If you decide to open your own business as an accountant, you’ll be able to set your own schedule and rates; making it as lucrative as your drive and passion will allow.
If you want to be an accountant, Manchester will see you spoiled for choice. With roles at thousands of organisations, you could work as an accounts associate for ClearCourse in a desirable hybrid role or as an assistant management accountant apprentice for North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust right here in Bolton. And if you want to open up your own accountancy firm, there are hundreds of businesses right on your doorstep that want your services as an accountant.
Ready to forge your own path as a skilled accountant? Getting a degree in accountancy can provide you with the skills and training you need to excel. At Bolton, you’ll learn in a supportive and friendly environment where the small class sizes mean more one-on-one time with your instructors. And, with great links to the city centre, you’ll be well-placed to jump right into a fabulous accounting role right after graduation.
Future accountants click here to learn more about our popular accounting courses. Or, if you have questions, pop an email over to firstname.lastname@example.org or call +44 1204 903142 to speak to a member of the team. We’re ready to welcome you to #UniAsItShouldBe!