11 reasons why you should become an accountant

student wearing a red jumper using a tablet device
student wearing a red jumper using a tablet device

You may have heard of the usual reasons to choose a career in accountancy, which include good salaries and the fact it’s a respectable profession. 

It's also an ever-changing one. So we've listed reasons in this article, which we hope will inspire you to start your career in accountancy this year. Some may surprise you too.

1. You don't need to be a maths genius

It's a common misconception that accountancy is all about maths. In reality, numeracy is important, but it's only one of a number of required skills. Software does much of the number crunching in today's accountancy firm, with team members increasingly focused on providing guidance to clients.

2. You can work in almost any industry

From fashion to entertainment, construction to non-profits, one thing ties (almost) every industry together - they need finance professionals to help manage and advise them.

When you train as an accountant, you gain skills that can apply to almost any industry of your choosing. In fact, go ahead and name an organisation. We're betting you they'll have need for finance professionals somewhere.

3. It's a great basis for being an entrepreneur

If all businesses need finance professionals, it makes sense for those starting them to have some finance experience themselves. With no need to employ an accountant in the company's early days, it's certainly economical - and a fundamental knowledge of how a business's finances should be structured and maintained will also be crucial to keeping the business profitable.

4. It's perfect if you're an adventurer who wants to live abroad

Accountancy is (arguably) the ultimate portable qualification. Not only are the principles universal, applying the world over, but membership of a body such as ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) is also globally recognised and respected. If you harbour ambitions of moving abroad, an accountancy qualification could be the passport to your dream city.

5. It's more about advice than number crunching

We've already covered that accountants aren't mathematicians. So what do they do for their clients? Consultancy and advice forms the bulk of what accountants provide today - using their expert knowledge to help their customers select the right business structure, minimise unnecessary tax expenditure, and forecast their cash flow for the coming year.

6. It's a seasonal business

Late January, February and March represent the close of the financial year, and are dreaded by accountants as 'tax season'. It's the busiest time of the year, but on the flip-side, it can mean an easier time of it during the other nine months. Its predictability makes knowing when to plan holidays easier too.

7. You can use it to be a really valuable volunteer to charities

Love to offer your time to charities and other good causes? If you’re a qualified accountant, your time will be hugely valuable to them - saving them a fortune in fees for business necessities such as tax planning. It's a great way to make an accounting qualification as rewarding for others as it is for you.

8. You don't need a degree

Some accountants have degrees, some don't. Having an accountancy degree can enable you to skip a few exams on the way to full qualification, but generally it doesn't matter whether or not you've been to university. There's nothing stopping you getting in on the ground floor with accountancy courses for beginners.

9. Accountants are always in demand

If all businesses need finance pros, it should be no surprise that those pros are generally always in demand. It's not a career that's going anywhere either - while increasing automation means that there can be less to do on the calculations side of things, that just means that accountants are spending more time consulting and advising on strategy.

10. You get to spend your time helping people

Like helping others? It could be the perfect career. Accountants help their clients all day long, especially ones who work for an accountancy practice. We think helping people solve their problems and achieve their business goals is a pretty rewarding way to spend your time.

11. It's (almost) recession-proof

OK, nothing is 100% recession-proof, but accountancy comes pretty close. When times are hard, it's usually departments such as sales and marketing, which are hardest hit. Conversely, money troubles usually mean a doubling-down on the finance department, to make sure not a penny is misspent.

Studying with ACCA-X is your opportunity to see if a career in accountancy for you is for you. Try our free introductory and intermediate online courses.