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18th December 2019

What Qualifications Do Accountants Need?

Posted in: Career Change
how to become an accountant

If you have your heart set on becoming an accountant, read our blog to learn which qualifications are needed to begin a career in the financial sector. Having a university degree isn’t needed, so don’t worry if you didn’t complete A-levels in economics or didn’t get a degree in math. Although a university degree helps when applying for accounting jobs, it’s not necessary to become the accountant you wish to be.

Learn what it takes to become an accountant below and contact Recruit Mint with any questions you may have. We’ll connect you with the job you need to begin a successful career.

What Qualifications Do You Need to Be an Accountant in the UK?

To become a certified accountant in the UK, you only need to attain an AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians) qualification. If you wish to become a chartered accountant in the UK, you must also attain an ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) qualification and ACA (Association of Chartered Accountants) qualification in addition to your AAT qualification. Should you wish to be a management specialist, you’ll want to earn a CIMA (Chartered Institute of Management Accountants) qualification on top of your AAT.

Keep in mind that UK chartered accountants are required to maintain their status by partaking in an annual Continuing Professional Education (CPE) training. It’s also important to note that it takes between nine to 18 months to earn the minimal AAT qualification.

What’s the Difference Between Management Accounting and Financial Accounting?

Not sure which to specialise in: management or financial? The answer depends on who you wish to help. If you want to create financial statements to be read by lenders, stakeholders and financial analysts, specialise in financial accounting. But, if you’d rather help a company make financial decisions by evaluating its costs, profits, budgets and break-even points, we recommend specialising in management.

Can You Get an Accounting Job with No Experience?

Although possible, we highly recommend gaining real-world experience before applying for jobs. By gaining hands-on experience, you’ll enhance your skills and build connections with professionals who are already working in your field. You can gain valuable accounting experience by:

  • Volunteering at a local firm
  • Becoming the Treasurer of your university’s club
  • Securing a part-time job at a firm
  • Securing an apprenticeship and shadowing an experienced officer at work
  • Securing a summer internship with an accounting firm
  • Securing a training contract that allows you to work and study for qualifications simultaneously

What are Basic Accounting Skills?

Wondering which traits make for a successful career? If you possess any of the following characteristics, you could have an excellent career working as an accountant. Desired traits include:

  • Skilled at math and economics
  • Strong attention to detail and fact checking
  • Strong organisational skills – can maintain books/records and stay on top of work
  • Analytical – good with numbers and can analyse and interpret data
  • Exceptional at managing money
  • Strong communicator of complex information

Think you have what it takes to become a great accountant? Apply for our open accounting jobs to begin a career in finance today. The Recruit Mint team will help you find the right company for you, so you can hit the ground running and succeed. Contact us to get the ball rolling now!