Results are out! Find what you need...fast. Get quick advice or join the chat
Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free to post

Help a 20 something stuck in crap job get into accounting!

Announcements Posted on
    • Thread Starter
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    Hi guys, I'm 22 and currently working as a Project Coordinator for a Sat-Comms company (very boring + poor pay). Been here for about 18 months now and its definitely not the route for me. I've always found statistics and analysing interesting and I want to go down an Accountancy route. I've read the Sticky thread on Accounting qualifications (thanks was very helpful!) but I'm still a little lost. I don't have any A-levels as I didn't attend college (young & dumb!) and I'm a little unsure about where to start. Would the fact I have no A-levels or degrees hold me back in the future gaining the better positions?

    I would have to study alongside my current job so it would have to be evening/weekend courses initially. From what I've read so far it seems AAT is the best way to enter the profession and from there you can develop as you like - would you agree? I've looked into the differences between Management Accounting and Financial Accounting and I don't know which I would prefer to get into just yet.

    Also is it best to do levels 2, 3 & 4 on AAT before moving onto something else?

    Thanks in advance for any advice!
    • Thread Starter
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    115 views and no replies!? Can anyone give me any advice at all??? Pretty please :confused:
    • 2 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    hey, wow that's a lot of views!
    bets bet is just to google it, from what i know there are lots of institutions where you study and work at the same time so that you can support yourself, just google accounting distance learning options, and something should come up.
    • 1 follower
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    I would look to get an entry level job on a finance team and then see if they'll sponsor you to complete your CIMA or something. I guess not having a degree may make you less attractive to employers but then again having experience is very useful!
    • 50 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    Do Accounting at an Open University?
    • Thread Starter
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    Thanks for the replies people!

    I don't mind paying for the courses myself initially as I did try briefly before getting an entry level job on a finance team and I didn't seem particularly attractive to recruitment agencies given I'm older etc.

    Do you not think jumping with no Accounting experience straight into CIMA would be tough? Would it not be better to do AAT first? Also I understand you can study the AAT in lots of different ways - I thought doing it from home would be quickest because I can take the exams when I like but there would be a risk of taking tests too early in a rush to get the course completed which could be dangerous...
    • 1 follower
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Wannabeaccountant)
    Thanks for the replies people!

    I don't mind paying for the courses myself initially as I did try briefly before getting an entry level job on a finance team and I didn't seem particularly attractive to recruitment agencies given I'm older etc.

    Do you not think jumping with no Accounting experience straight into CIMA would be tough? Would it not be better to do AAT first? Also I understand you can study the AAT in lots of different ways - I thought doing it from home would be quickest because I can take the exams when I like but there would be a risk of taking tests too early in a rush to get the course completed which could be dangerous...
    You need professional experience to get CIMA. No idea about AAT. I don't see why you can just do CIMA straight up, they have entry level exams first before you get to the main body of it. Again I'd try to get a company to sponsor you. Tbh the best way is to ask around your friends and see if they can keep an eye out for positions cropping up in their companies. That or try to switch within your own.
    • 0 followers
    Online

    ReputationRep:
    I would do AAT purely because I'm not sure what your other options would be, I have a friend that did AAT level 2 and got himself in with a local firm to do ACCA. However this is purely anecdotal and he had an unrelated degree as well. I'm not sure what the various methods are but this option doesn't seem to require a degree,

    http://trainingvacancies.icaew.com/j...ACA+Fast+Track

    My only other advice would be if you do do AAT do it as fast as you can because it doesn't seem to be that hard.
    • Thread Starter
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    @partoftheweekend

    The problem is I cannot compete with graduates going for same roles based on my qualifications, not even people out of college with A-Levels. I don't have the option to switch in my own company either

    @monk

    Thanks, I'm starting to think paying for AAT level 2 myself gaining some more understanding and completing that before then looking for another role with study support to help me complete levels 3 & 4 might be my best bet. I just think it gives such a better image of myself to employers saying "I have paid for AAT level 2 off my own back whilst working and completed and am looking to persue a career in Accounting" rather than "I'm working in an unrelated role right now but looking to do AAT and persue a career in Accounting" don't you guys think?
    • 3 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Wannabeaccountant)
    Hi guys, I'm 22 and currently working as a Project Coordinator for a Sat-Comms company (very boring + poor pay). Been here for about 18 months now and its definitely not the route for me. I've always found statistics and analysing interesting and I want to go down an Accountancy route. I've read the Sticky thread on Accounting qualifications (thanks was very helpful!) but I'm still a little lost. I don't have any A-levels as I didn't attend college (young & dumb!) and I'm a little unsure about where to start. Would the fact I have no A-levels or degrees hold me back in the future gaining the better positions?

    I would have to study alongside my current job so it would have to be evening/weekend courses initially. From what I've read so far it seems AAT is the best way to enter the profession and from there you can develop as you like - would you agree? I've looked into the differences between Management Accounting and Financial Accounting and I don't know which I would prefer to get into just yet.

    Also is it best to do levels 2, 3 & 4 on AAT before moving onto something else?

    Thanks in advance for any advice!


    It's not about wanting to be an accountant but rather are you good enough to be one?

    Accountant's rarely use statistics........so you if say you like statistics then I'm not sure what exactly you mean.... because accountant requires very little maths but must possess good problem solving skills and keen attention to details.

    If you don't have qualifications for Accounting, then it will be very very difficult but not impossible. Many organisations now ask for A Levels and university degree in any subject.

    Though.........do you really want go spend your years getting those qualification? Are you really passionate about becoming an accountant? I'm assuming if you do your A Level and university degree, including placement year.

    That'll be 6 years from now...and now your 22..... so 28 years old.

    There are many creative ways to becoming an accountant but depends are you pursuing for money??????? or just being an accountant????????

    Right now accountants are in demand everywhere, but with everyone doing their qualifications, I would say the demand will decline in the future. After all, you don't need an accounting degree and who knows, they may not ask for A levels? =z

    To be honest, I think your answer doesn't convince me enough. You can work as an accountant in a small organisation, start with the basic basic stuff.

    Book keeping....

    Experience > Education

    Are you still going to pursue being an accountant when your 28 years old???

    Project co-ordinator is rather a good position, you should climb up the ladder in bigger roles such as management jobs. Who knows...in 7 years time, you can be a manager.


    Who is to say that when you do accounting qualifcations and gain experience in accounting firm and then you decide it's not right for you.......

    If you did not do A Levels, I'm assuming you did your GCSE? requirements for GCSE are either A/B in English and Mathematics. Do you have those?




    Now there is Fast track and School leaver programs, do decide and have a look at those instead. Qualifications is now not needed anymore, experience is better than qualifcations.
    • Thread Starter
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by fourdigit)
    It's not about wanting to be an accountant but rather are you good enough to be one?

    Accountant's rarely use statistics........so you if say you like statistics then I'm not sure what exactly you mean.... because accountant requires very little maths but must possess good problem solving skills and keen attention to details.

    If you don't have qualifications for Accounting, then it will be very very difficult but not impossible. Many organisations now ask for A Levels and university degree in any subject.

    Though.........do you really want go spend your years getting those qualification? Are you really passionate about becoming an accountant? I'm assuming if you do your A Level and university degree, including placement year.

    That'll be 6 years from now...and now your 22..... so 28 years old.

    There are many creative ways to becoming an accountant but depends are you pursuing for money??????? or just being an accountant????????

    Right now accountants are in demand everywhere, but with everyone doing their qualifications, I would say the demand will decline in the future. After all, you don't need an accounting degree and who knows, they may not ask for A levels? =z

    To be honest, I think your answer doesn't convince me enough. You can work as an accountant in a small organisation, start with the basic basic stuff.

    Book keeping....

    Experience > Education

    Are you still going to pursue being an accountant when your 28 years old???

    Project co-ordinator is rather a good position, you should climb up the ladder in bigger roles such as management jobs. Who knows...in 7 years time, you can be a manager.


    Who is to say that when you do accounting qualifcations and gain experience in accounting firm and then you decide it's not right for you.......

    If you did not do A Levels, I'm assuming you did your GCSE? requirements for GCSE are either A/B in English and Mathematics. Do you have those?




    Now there is Fast track and School leaver programs, do decide and have a look at those instead. Qualifications is now not needed anymore, experience is better than qualifcations.
    Hi fourdigit reallyyyy appreciate your thought out reply on this

    My job may sound more glamorous than it is but basically my skills and interests don't tie in with what I'm doing and, if I'm honest, I will never have the management skills to take the leap to Project management (which is the most viable route). I am VERY serious about pursuing a career in Accountancy mainly for job satisfaction and the enjoyment I really believe I will get from doing it. I realise (kind of) that its not all about statistics etc and also realise my opening post might have sounded like someone flirting with the idea aimlessly but I assure you I'm in this for the long run and will do whatever it takes. I work closely with Accounts in my current role and I deal with invoicing and payment chasing but get to see and hear about all the Accountants duties so I do have a rough idea.

    I definitely believe I'm good enough to be an accountant and I'm a firm believer I can do anything I put my mind to. Regarding results I was an idiot at school but I do have B/B in English and A in Maths for what its worth...I guess really I just want to know what the best route for me is? (maybe only I can answer this). I would like to do AAT to gain some decent understanding knowledge and confidence to go into an assistant Accounting position of some decription preferably with study support towards ACCA or CIMA. Going down the route of A levels and university is not an option for me I will admit that. Studying alongside work is what I want to do. I would like to be working as a fully qualified accountant in 3-5 years I guess.

    Sorry if post seems sporadic!
    • 2 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Wannabeaccountant)
    Hi guys, I'm 22 and currently working as a Project Coordinator for a Sat-Comms company (very boring + poor pay). Been here for about 18 months now and its definitely not the route for me. I've always found statistics and analysing interesting and I want to go down an Accountancy route. I've read the Sticky thread on Accounting qualifications (thanks was very helpful!) but I'm still a little lost. I don't have any A-levels as I didn't attend college (young & dumb!) and I'm a little unsure about where to start. Would the fact I have no A-levels or degrees hold me back in the future gaining the better positions?

    I would have to study alongside my current job so it would have to be evening/weekend courses initially. From what I've read so far it seems AAT is the best way to enter the profession and from there you can develop as you like - would you agree? I've looked into the differences between Management Accounting and Financial Accounting and I don't know which I would prefer to get into just yet.

    Also is it best to do levels 2, 3 & 4 on AAT before moving onto something else?

    Thanks in advance for any advice!
    A lot of the advice in this thread isn't very good, I stopped reading the post which read "are you good enough to be an accountant", very stupid post, let me set it straight.

    YOU DON'T NEED A-LEVELS OR A DEGREE TO BECOME AN ACCOUNTANT!

    A lot of the advice on this forum however, will be catered towards this route but if you do the research yourself there's dozens of other ways. The best route for you would be to self-study the AAT levels 2, 3 & 4. A couple of places you may want to study with is Kaplan, BPP & Eagle Education, the prices are listed on there website, you can study at your own pace, sit your exams when you want. It can be very expensive but it's the price everyone has to pay.

    Depending how smart and motivated you are you could breeze through them, level 2-3 are like easy GCSE's tbh. During this the most important thing will be to find employment (increasingly hard industry for starters at the moment), best way is to get some work experience any way possible, this may be temping or volunteering. A lot of accountancy firms will look for AAT students and sign them up for a contract to study through to chartered status, that's what you should be aiming for if you wish. Of course you might decide after a few years you want to go freelance, start up your own company or do something else but heading to chartered is the way to go and there's a good handful of specialisations e.g. ATT (tax), ACA, CIMA etc etc....

    As I said this forum is catered towards "the big 4", get a good degree and top A-Levels, they don't have a clue that most private firms disregard A-Levels if a candidate is showing enough heart. With experience you can head to the bigger companies.

    Good luck!
    • Thread Starter
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Cupid Stunt)
    A lot of the advice in this thread isn't very good, I stopped reading the post which read "are you good enough to be an accountant", very stupid post, let me set it straight.

    YOU DON'T NEED A-LEVELS OR A DEGREE TO BECOME AN ACCOUNTANT!

    A lot of the advice on this forum however, will be catered towards this route but if you do the research yourself there's dozens of other ways. The best route for you would be to self-study the AAT levels 2, 3 & 4. A couple of places you may want to study with is Kaplan, BPP & Eagle Education, the prices are listed on there website, you can study at your own pace, sit your exams when you want. It can be very expensive but it's the price everyone has to pay.

    Depending how smart and motivated you are you could breeze through them, level 2-3 are like easy GCSE's tbh. During this the most important thing will be to find employment (increasingly hard industry for starters at the moment), best way is to get some work experience any way possible, this may be temping or volunteering. A lot of accountancy firms will look for AAT students and sign them up for a contract to study through to chartered status, that's what you should be aiming for if you wish. Of course you might decide after a few years you want to go freelance, start up your own company or do something else but heading to chartered is the way to go and there's a good handful of specialisations e.g. ATT (tax), ACA, CIMA etc etc....

    As I said this forum is catered towards "the big 4", get a good degree and top A-Levels, they don't have a clue that most private firms disregard A-Levels if a candidate is showing enough heart. With experience you can head to the bigger companies.

    Good luck!
    Thank you ever so much this has helped immensely!

    I think I will start out by getting AAT level 2 & 3 off my own back whilst staying at my current job as I need the money to fund it. At a guess I could probably get 6-8 hours a week study in between work/gym/girlfriend but would like to get levels 2 & 3 completed ASAP.

    How important would it be to get level 4? I realise this is harder, lengthier to get and more expensive so just want to make sure its worthwhile. I'm guessing I'll learn a lot of important information in level 4 and employers will take me more serious if I'm studying towards/have level 4 passed... Just trying to figure out if I can go on to CIMA with levels 2 & 3 passed or if by getting level 4 it will make the journey a lot easier by either being more confident and knowledgeable to go into CIMA or by having more opportunities from employers/being taken more seriously?

    Can I ask what route you went yourself? I'm going to have to constantly search for trainee/study support sessions whilst working at current role and whilst studying which will be difficult and a tad stressful but fully prepared to do this. I am hoping the fact I'm doing it off my own back and leaving an OK steady job at the age of 22 (or older when I make the move) will convince an employer to take a slight gamble with me...

    Appreciate the advice!
    • 0 followers
    Online

    ReputationRep:
    Once you've done 2+3 I'd focus on moving on to a firm that will sponsor your chartership.
    • 3 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    To be honest, I'd think AAT level 2 and 3, learn some bookkeeping, nominal accounts, sales ledger, purchase ledgers, etc

    Should only take you like a week to learn the basic stuff and have a practice and when your confident, go volunteer at an accountancy firm and ask if you can do small roles for them for free.

    If they see your good enough, they may ask you to help on more roles but your limited to do only so little, just bare that in mind.

    Finding someone to sponsor you is difficult, even high grades aren't enough anymore. Experience is more the judge factor now and most people are equipped with experience.
    • Thread Starter
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    Thanks again guys.

    Levels 2 & 3 are what I really need then to show I'm serious and have atleast some knowledge. Obviously I would rather get a job at a firm paying money (albeit low money) than volunteer, but if volunteering is my only way into a role initially then I'll just have to try and do a day or two a week either along current job (if boss allows which is doubtful!) or get a part time job to pay for rent etc whilst doing it...

    Big sacrifices have to be made but thats life
    • 4 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    Not sure if this will help you but I go past this place in Faringdon which runs accountancy courses. I think they might be free for some people, not sure, but they run evening classes too so you'll be able to work and learn. Also, I know this guy who works for a government department in the finance bit and is allowed to take one/two days off a week to go to university to study accountancy, he gets paid to do his job and has his fees paid for. This might be something you want to look into?

    Hope this helps
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    My advice would be DO NOT get into accounting. I've been one for 6 years (28 now) I did CIMA and AAT and are both good quals but working as an accountant is grim I can assure u!! All u do is run reports all day and re-allocate costs.. Pretty soul destroying
    I'm currently looking to either get into a more commercial role or start up my own investment company!!
    Accounting doesn't even pay that great!! Really depends what u want out if life though!!!
    • 5 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    Okay, because you have no A-Levels, you basically get two worthwhile choices (all the other options involve a lot of wasted time and money on academic qualifications like A-Levels and degrees). If you one day want to be a Financial Accountant, you can start with AAT Level 2. If instead you would rather leverage some of your existing experience as a project coordinator, then do the CIMA Certificate in Business Accounting.

    AAT will give you access to study ACCA, which you would otherwise have to wait about 3 years for in order to do the mature entry route. I think it will also give you access to the ICAEW. CIMA's certificate will obviously give you access to their own professional qualification.

    You should also think about getting into a suitable role. Easier said than done but start looking for account assistant roles and the like. As you're on low pay anyway, there will be no harm in taking a low paid entry role and working your way up. Three years good experience and you should command a salary of at least £30k anywhere in the country (with the potential for a lot more of course).
    • 15 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    Come on guys, this thread is 2 years old... OP hasn't been seen since May 2012...

Reply

Submit reply

Register

Thanks for posting! You just need to create an account in order to submit the post
  1. this can't be left blank
    that username has been taken, please choose another Forgotten your password?
  2. this can't be left blank
    this email is already registered. Forgotten your password?
  3. this can't be left blank

    6 characters or longer with both numbers and letters is safer

  4. this can't be left empty
    your full birthday is required
  1. By joining you agree to our Ts and Cs, privacy policy and site rules

  2. Slide to join now Processing…

Updated: March 25, 2014
New on TSR

The future of apprenticeships

Join the discussion in the apprenticeships hub!

Article updates
Useful resources
Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.