Careers and Employability Service

I want to work in Accountancy

Job roles


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 mathematics GCSE 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.

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 accountants 

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 accountants

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

  • Chartered public finance accountants

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 technicians

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.

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

The difference between ACA, ACCA and CIMA

  • 15 exams* and 450 days of relevant work experience
  • Often required for the ‘Big Four’
  • Your employer has to be an approved institute for training to be able to offer the ACA


  • 14 exams* and 36 months of relevant work experience
  • Suitable for practice, audit or tax
  • Focuses on accounting principles

CIMA – Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

  • 12 exams
  • Suitable for business and industry
  • Focuses on management accounting, business strategy and financial strategy

*You may have exemptions from your degree if relevant




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Last Updated: 09/09/2019