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Graduate jobs in accountancy and financial management

How do I get a job in accountancy?

Accounting employers are keen to see graduates with 2.1 degrees, although it is not impossible to get hired with a 2.2. You’ll usually join a graduate accountancy scheme, which will involve studying for a professional accountancy qualification while working. Internships are a great way to gain experience, but are not essential as in this sector many graduates are hired without having done formal internships.

What are the top skills needed to get a job in accountancy?

Accountancy recruiters look for graduates who are:

  • good, clear communicators
  • comfortable working with numbers
  • able to work in a team
  • innovative
  • commercially aware.

During the application process you’ll also need to demonstrate resilience and time management skills, to prove to recruiters that you can cope with working and studying at the same time. You can pick up these kind of skills by doing part-time, volunteer and casual work, not just through completing an internship.

What is it like to work in accounting?

The most common route to becoming a qualified accountant is to apply for a training contract with an accountancy firm. The first few years combining practical work with study can be quite intense, although most graduate employers will provide you with study leave and pay for your exam fees. There are various areas of accountancy you can specialise in, the most popular for graduates being assurance, tax and audit.

Are other degrees welcome or not?

Absolutely. A small number of firms favour economic or numerate degrees, but in the main all degree subjects are sought in the accountancy sector. Work experience - of any kind – is highly valued by employers. It’s up to you to show the skills you picked up can be transferred to an accountancy context.

Professional qualifications

Usually your employer will determine which professional qualification you work towards. If you have a choice or if you are choosing between employers offering different qualifications, consider the focus of the syllabus, how you obtain the training and what your future career plans (eg areas of interest) are.