Accounting vs Quantity Surveying

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harrylynn
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Hey guys,

I am considering the two professions as I am good with numbers and interested in business. I am also an introvert/extravert hybrid - I love meeting new people but running a pub would be a nightmare! I like a one-to-one type of jobs (e.g. GP or psychologist) or small group projects. I also dislike overly hierarchical structures so army or navy would not be a good fit! I value independence in my area of work and I'd rather have a bit to accomplish on my own and then add it to what others did (like software/code or financial report).

I have a keen interest in business and investing in general and hope to jump into property development, refurbishment etc. at some point in my career.

Which profession would you think would suit me better and offers more regarding job opportunities, security, salary ceiling, going self-employed - accounting (with ACA or CIMA) or quantity surveying?

Cheers
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MindMax2000
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I can't say much about qnatity surveying, but I can shed some light on on accounting.

Accounting would probably involve you communicating on several aspects, and it's very unlikely you will be able to sit in one corner and just get on with your work. This applies for financial and management accounting. At senior levels, you cannot help but get involved with management and people in general.

The thing with accounting, is you don't particularly get a lot of freedom to do what you want to do, but I think that applies for a lot of professionals. In accounting, you're following laid out rules dictated by management and senior partners, and just sitting there and processing information and data. They call the professionals bean counters for a reason. So in this sense, there is a lot of hierarchy, even in flat structured firms. It's necessary/inevitable because of the number of laws, regulations, office politics, etc.

Having said that, the knowledge you pick up in accounting can help you with business, investing, and the financial side of property development. The knowledge you need isn't particularly advanced though, and you should be able to get it from either ACA or CIMA. In fact, former ACA accountants have written books on buy to lets. I also particularly find the financial analysis you do on a property deal before going into it very valuable, even though it's not rocket science.

If you intend to go for job opportunities, salary, and self employment, ACA should be the better option, since you can't run a financial accounting practice using CIMA but you can run a practice and go into management accounting with ACA. I can't speak about ceilings on salary and promotions, since it's not dictated by the type of qualification as much as the firm you work at.
In terms of versatility, I would suspect accounting would open more doors since you can pretty much work in any industry, whereas quantity surveyors are only able to work in one. However, you might want a second opinion from a quantity surveyor first.
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