ron81
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I graduated in 2012 with a First in a Humanities subject
from a top 15 redbrick university. I've spent the last 8 years doing advice and support work in the charity sector and I'm ready for a complete change. I'm thinking about accountancy, because I've found myself doing some very basic bookkeeping and financial forecasting for a voluntary organisation. I quite like it, and I think management accountancy might be a good fit for me.

I'm thinking about doing AAT Level 2 or 3, but have also been considering applying for grad schemes to get up the career ladder quicker. I'm concerned an application would be disregarded though because of my age, time since graduating, and my very different work experience, something AAT might slightly rectify? I'm overall not sure what route to commit to so advice appreciate.

I have loose ambitions/dreams to be a CFO at a charity.
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ajj2000
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(Original post by ron81)
I graduated in 2012 with a First in a Humanities subject
from a top 15 redbrick university. I've spent the last 8 years doing advice and support work in the charity sector and I'm ready for a complete change. I'm thinking about accountancy, because I've found myself doing some very basic bookkeeping and financial forecasting for a voluntary organisation. I quite like it, and I think management accountancy might be a good fit for me.

I'm thinking about doing AAT Level 2 or 3, but have also been considering applying for grad schemes to get up the career ladder quicker. I'm concerned an application would be disregarded though because of my age, time since graduating, and my very different work experience, something AAT might slightly rectify? I'm overall not sure what route to commit to so advice appreciate.

I have loose ambitions/dreams to be a CFO at a charity.
What were your A level results and what part of the country are you looking to work in?

I dont think that your age or time since graduating would be an issue for training schemes - you would need to show yourself to be knowledgeable about the career and about the different pathways to be credible. Have you thought about what sort of organisation you would like to train with? There are plenty of charities which hire trainee accountants, likewise the professional firms often have charity and public sector divisions. What about money? How much do you need to earn?

For now I wouldn't start with AAT - the road to getting anywhere is too long considering your past education.
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ron81
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(Original post by ajj2000)
What were your A level results and what part of the country are you looking to work in?

I dont think that your age or time since graduating would be an issue for training schemes - you would need to show yourself to be knowledgeable about the career and about the different pathways to be credible. Have you thought about what sort of organisation you would like to train with? There are plenty of charities which hire trainee accountants, likewise the professional firms often have charity and public sector divisions. What about money? How much do you need to earn?

For now I wouldn't start with AAT - the road to getting anywhere is too long considering your past education.
In a 2 year sitting, I got ABC in Chemistry, Maths and Politics respectively, and after a resit I achieved an A in Politics bringing me up to AAB. So either 300 or 320 tariff points depending on how generous the sifting is.

I'm in Liverpool and willing to move but dont think London is for me. I have no dependents so earnings is not a factor, but my eventual earnings and the rate I'll get there plays into my decision-making. I'm on 28k and in my line of work it'll take years and years of promotions to get even near 40k, so I'm willing to take a paycut if it means getting a bit further quicker.

I have a habit of not being as ambitious as I should be and I want to aim high, so i think i should start looking around at trainee schemes and putting in applications.

Any final advice again appreciated.
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ajj2000
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Well, you should get through the A level sift without any drama so thats ok. I think your first action should be to know how accountancy careers work - the difference between working in the profession and outside, how qualifications work and how people pass the qualifications.

I would also research how many qualified accountant positions in charties/ not for profit there are in Liverpool. My wild guess is that there are not a huge number of senior roles so you do need to check this and see what the pay looks like. It might be more dangerous specialising too early there than, for example, London.

The best thing to so is to spend a little time reading up about the profession, and then speak to people to make sure you have an understanding. I'm sure if you check on linkedin you'll have school friends and other students from your university who work as accountants and can give some useful facts and insights.
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Toriar
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Please don’t worry that your age or lack of relevant experience will be a problem. I know multiple people who retrained at age 30+ from a range of careers such as policeman and primary school teacher and it was never an issue for them. If this is something you’re truly interested in then I would seriously consider applying for a grad scheme, accountancy firms are crying out for trainees at the moment (well mine is at least!).

My firm (and I’m sure probably other mid tier firms and big 4) also offer roles specifically in not for profit audit which could help towards finding a career in finance in a charity after completing your professional qualification.
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