I Want To Work In ..... Accountancy


Accountancy Careers


You do not have to have a degree in accounting, business or maths to become an accountant!  Graduates in all subjects, from Anthropology to Zoology can and do become successful accountants.

Accounting employers often require good academic grades with a good GCSE Maths and 280 UCAS points usually being minimum requirements. Top employers usually require a 2:1 but smaller firms may accept a 2:2 if you have good A-level grades.

Accountancy employers also look for a number of key skills, including numeracy, communication, teamworking, time management, analytical skills and attention to detail.

For further details of academic and skills requirements, see the job profiles below:

Job roles in Accounting

“We look for well-rounded applicants and accept applications from all degree disciplines. For us, it is not necessarily a matter of what you study or relevant work experience, it is about experience in general. This can come from many areas, such as travel, community work, sport, charity work, etc”.

Student Recruitment Officer, PwC

Chartered Accountant

Chartered accountants provide financial advice to clients that range from multinational organisations and governmental bodies to small independent businesses. Accountants often specialise in particular areas of practice, including audit, management consultancy, recovery, forensic accountancy, taxation, assurance, and corporate finance.

Chartered Certified Accountant

Chartered certified accountants provide a wide range of accountancy services in a variety of sectors. These range from working with clients in private practice to financial reporting and advice within organisations.

Chartered Management Accountant

Chartered management accountants use financial information to analyse business performance and provide strategic advice to management colleagues.

The difference between Management Accountancy (CIMA) and Certified Accountancy (ACCA)

Management Accountancy (CIMA)

Focused on business and uniquely covers:

  • Operations
  • Change Management
  • Relationship and Project Management
  • Marketing

CIMA putsemphasis on:

  • Human Resource Management
  • Applied management accounting techniques
  • Stronger emphasis on application and analysis of knowledge.
  • Students better qualified to deal with business decisions.

Focuses on broad business management skills: equips trainees to deal with decisions and changes that affect the whole organisation.

Certified Accountancy (ACCA)

Focused on professional practice and uniquely covers:

  • Taxation of corporate and non- corporate entities (using actual tax rules)
  • External audit and assurance
  • Law

ACCA puts emphasis on:

  • Information systems
  • Financial accounting and reporting


Chartered Public Finance Accountant

Chartered public finance accountants provide accounting services and advice to public sector bodies, ensuring that they deliver value for money. They make work within these public bodies, in particular within local government and the NHS, or be employed in private practice, advising public sector clients on a consultancy basis.

Accounting Technician

Accounting technicians support professional accountants and business managers by preparing financial information. They may work in industry, commerce, private practice or the public sector.

This route is open to graduates who may not have achieved the academic qualifications required for immediate entry to a Chartered Accountant training contract. Qualified Accounting Technicians can continue their training to achieve the Chartered (ACA) qualification.

 Vacancy Information

A fine is a tax for doing wrong. A tax is a fine for doing well.

On applications for an accountancy positions:

"I was closely involved in every aspect of my former company, right up to its bankruptcy".

Developed and recommended an annual operating expense fudget.

Proven ability to track down and correct erors.


The "Big Four"

“Accountants are far from the boring stereotype. The accounting industry is now very focused on client service and relationships: gone are the days when accountants sat behind a desk with a calculator all day. The nature of the business has changed and, with it being very client facing, I would say if you are boring then accountancy is not the right path! 

Recruitment partner, medium-sized firm

These are the world’s largest accounting firms, providing accounting, audit and other professional services to clients ranging from multinationals to owner-managed businesses. As well as accountancy and audit, services offered by these firms include tax, management consultancy, risk management, forensic accounting, insolvency, actuarial and much more. Each of these firms recruits several hundred graduates a year into a variety of roles and training programmes.

Medium-sized firms

The “medium-sized” category covers a large range of firms: the largest of these are around half the size of Big 4 firms while the smaller medium-sized firms may have one or two offices and around ten partners. The firms listed below are mostly at the larger end of this category and within the top 50 firms in the UK.

Firms in Kent

Many of these firms are part of larger national and international networks and at least five of the top 30 firms are represented in Kent.

 Finding out more

Last fully updated 2016