How to Become an Accountant


If you love numbers and are good with finance, becoming an accountant could be for you. Accountants have varied roles, involving helping businesses with their tax and assembling economic reports, and they must have an excellent knowledge of finance.

Accountants work with various companies and individuals to help them manage their money. While all accountants deal with finances in some way, working as an accountant can be very varied.

There are several different specialisms within the industry, including:

  • Audit – auditors look at business incomings and expenditures and see how they can improve their financial activity, ultimately giving them more profit.
  • Business recovery and insolvency – this involves helping businesses during times of financial hardship, either coming out of the situation or going through insolvency and potential liquidation.
  • Corporate finance – accountants who work in this role guide businesses through their day to day, working out how they can make better financial decisions.
  • Tax – accountants focusing on tax help businesses and self-employed contractors make tax returns and save money on them.
  • Forensic accounting – accountants in this field work with the law and investigators to help finances in various criminal activities.

The ideal accountant should be excellent with numbers and money, and have a keen understanding of their country’s economy. Because finance is constantly changing along with the world’s political and societal climates, it is vital that an accountant keeps up to date with current affairs.

One of the main perks of being an accountant is financial security. With self-employment on the rise, more and more accountants are needed – and being an accountant is typically a very well-paid role. Another draw is the flexibility; many accountants start their own businesses after a few years’ training.

Most accountants have a university degree in related topics, like maths or finance, and then they do an accountancy graduate scheme. It is possible, however, to do this job as a non-graduate; some people who become an accountant don’t have degrees and begin their career as an apprentice or at an internship.

It’s important for accountants to have specialised financial qualifications as they advance in their career, which vary across countries.  Work experience in any financial or economic role is also desirable.


What degree is most commonly held by an Accountant?

  • BA of Accounting
  • BA of Accounting and Finance
  • BA of Accounting and Business/Management
  • BA of Economics
  • BA of Finance
  • MBA
  • BA of Mathematics
  • BA of Business Administration
  • MBA Finance

Career Transportability across Countries

Accountancy and finance skills are excellent for various roles in the economy sector, such as banking or conveyancing. These are considered to be very well paid careers, so there are definitely ways to progress with accountancy skills! However, accountancy doesn’t generally give employees as many people skills like communication and collaboration, meaning the

What is the Salary of an Accountant?

Experience Average salary | year
Accountant $58529 £40224 $72500
Management Accountant $80730 £55481 $100000
Financial Controller $108985 £74900 $135000

What skills are needed to become an Accountant?

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Accounting
  • Financial Reporting
  • Financial Analysis
  • Microsoft Office
  • Financial Accounting
  • Account Reconciliation
  • Finance
  • Management
  • Accounts Payable
  • Microsoft Word
  • Customer Service
  • Auditing
  • Accounts Receivable
  • Budgets
  • General Ledger
  • Tax
  • Accounting
  • Financial Statements
  • Management Accounting
  • Bank Reconciliation
  • Internal Controls
  • Teamwork
  • Payroll
  • Leadership

Relevant Accountancy Courses

Finance and accounting is an ever-changing subject, so it is important to do lots of courses both before and after you qualify. Before qualifying, you might want to take some broad courses about accountancy. Once you are an accountant, courses focused on finance in different global climates, like financial services after the banking crisis, might be worth researching.
  • Introduction to Accounting and Corporate Finance

    Gain an understanding of the concepts related to accounting and corporate finance

  • Bookkeeping for Personal and Business Accounting

    Learn how to balance your books and develop the skills to manage finances in personal and business environments

  • Introduction to Financial Accounting

    Refresh your knowledge of basic accounting processes and discover recent changes in International Financial Reporting Standards

  • Mergers and Acquisitions: Accounting Principles

    Understand how to apply accounting and tax principles with this final course in a program about mergers and acquisitions

Relevant Accountancy Microcredentials

  • Financial Analysis and Decision Making with Xero and Tableau

    Get professional training in financial analysis and learn how to translate financial data insights into deliverable actions

  • FinTech - Financial Innovation

    Investigate the changes brought about by FinTech innovation and harness evolving opportunities in the future of FinTech

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How to Become an Accountant
Most accountants have a university degree in related topics, like maths or finance, and then they do an accountancy graduate scheme. However, people who become an accountant don’t have degrees and begin their career as an apprentice or at an internship, training for their degree as they work. However, all accountants must have an AAT qualification at a minimum. For those wishing to progress further into becoming a CPA, an ACCA, ACA or CIMA qualification is needed; official qualifications are essential CPA requirements. Work experience in any financial or economic role is also desirable.

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