Accountancy as a career provides a variety of different work, contact with people, high pay and myriad opportunities to work abroad. Accounting services are needed in all sectors of the economy and once qualified, people can either work in firms or set up their own practice. The job description for an accountant demands financial expertise to advise management in the decision making process for optimal productivity and whilst roles might change depending on the field of operation, an accountant basically acts as the financial adviser for businesses. A career in this field is very attractive to people with a keen interest in finance and business operations but like other professions, there are some important lessons you need to learn before starting a career in accounting.

To become an accountant in the Ireland, you need three years of study in a recognised institution. The training of choice is often dictated by the direction you want your career to take. Those who fancy working in practice or the private sector will find the Association of Chartered Accountants (ACA) or the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) training more appropriate while those who want to work for the public sector might choose the Institute of Certified Public Accountants (CPA) qualification. There are many routes that you can take as an accountant, which is all the more reason why you should conduct ample research before reaching a conclusion on which path to take. Whatever you decide, always remember that qualification doesn’t exempt you from further study, as you constantly need to refresh your knowledge to remain relevant in the changing market.

The job market

More people choose to take up a career in accounting, which creates a situation that makes employers look beyond academic qualifications when hiring. While a university degree is a great advantage, you should also enhance other competencies that will increase your chances of employment or attracting clients compared to the competition. Internship and volunteer work are great ways to gain some hands-on experience that will definitely place you ahead of the pack when it comes to that all-important interview.

Career outlook

Accountants with certifications are well paid in any industry as their training provides them with important skills for business to take advantage of. A degree and some work experience will open opportunities for you as a junior accountant handling things such as payroll processing, managing ledger entries, and billings while those that pursue further training can get a job as auditors with more complex roles in their specific industries – a role that often comes with higher pay.Starting a career in accounting can be particularly daunting with so many options to choose from but if you receive the relevant training to become an accountant do not let the competition deter you. Carefully choose your path and keep studying to maintain your bearing and stand out among other accountants in your field.

If you wish to set up private practice, be sure to follow all local authority procedures and come up with asolid business plan, which will help you define your objectives and specify your scope as an accountant. You’ll also have to think about where to get your customers, so some marketing knowledge is a good idea. Although it won’t cost much to set up your own accountancy business, it may take a while to pick up customers, but using free services such as social media platforms (LinkedIn is a good one) and building a website should certainly be considered, as you can build your contacts and advertise your services this way.

With a good plan, proper training and a good attitude, starting an accounting career should give you a long term career you can be happy with, but if you are confused about which path to take, it might be best to seek the aid of a professional career adviser.

Article supplied by Priority Placements – leading Irish recruitment consultancy specialising in accountancy and financial sectors.

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