Accountancy is usually seen as an unexciting profession by non-finance-related personnel, but it can be one of the most exciting – if you choose to be a startup accountant.
In terms of necessary skills, you will need more than simply being good at math. Analytical, adaptable, and interpretation skills are essential to communicate precise financial information, setting realistic goals, and driving growth.
Even if you have what it takes to be a startup accountant, you still need to choose the area of accounting that best suits you and research the educational requirements for that field.
In this blog, we will check out how to become an accountant UK.
Table of contents
- Why become a startup accountant?
- What skills are required to become an accountant?
- Qualifications to be an accountant in the UK
- How much time is required to become a startup accountant?
- Choose your accounting specialism.
- Final thoughts
Why become a startup accountant?
To many individuals, accountancy does not sound like an ideal career; however, there’s more to it than you may expect. Startups always require talented individuals to handle their finances. That’s where startup accountancy shines as an ideal profession.
It is a skill set that is always in demand in the growing startup ecosystem and is usually said to be one of the few ‘recession-proof’ professions. As a career, it provides excellent job earning potential and growth, with an estimated average salary of £62,000. In fact, many CEOs come from an accountancy background.
One of the best things is the variety of concepts you can learn in a growing startup ecosystem which will help you to make essential business decisions actively.
What skills are required to become an accountant?
While being good with numbers is useful, startup accountants today play a huge role in shaping business decisions across several sectors– not just reporting on financial insights. Here are some of the must-have skills to start a career in startup accountancy.
- Numerical skills– being good at math is a positive start for your accountancy career.
- Attention to detail – startup accountants, cannot afford to glance over the insights. Even a minor error can have a significant long-term and short-term impact on a startup business.
- A strong interest in the mechanics of startup business.
- Communication skills – this skill is a must-have as you must regularly explain potentially complex information to other board members or clients.
- Organisation – the most significant part of this profession is maintaining accurate records, so you will have to ensure everything is in order and you are on top of all your tasks.
- Finally, some technical skills can be beneficial. Cloud technology and AI are two major changes to this career in recent years and might mean less time is spent on the more tedious data-entry tasks going forward. This indicates that accountants are more likely to emphasise customer relationships and overall business planning in their roles.
Qualifications to be an accountant in the UK
The AAT qualification is usually the minimum required for a startup accountant, but to eventually become a chartered accountant, you must advance to the ACCA, ACA, or CIMA qualification.
Although many accountants hold graduate degrees, it’s frequently more desirable than necessary. The degree can generally be in any subject, even if it is a prerequisite for a position.
Numerous finance qualifications are available to people interested in accounting careers, which can be complicated while looking for employment opportunities.
The following are the most popular accountant qualifications:
- AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians) consists of four certifications divided into three levels (Levels 2-4). AAT accounting programs combine knowledge of the profession with real-world work abilities.
- ICAEW- The ICAEW chartered accountant qualification, generally known as the ACA, entails 450 days of real-world experience and qualifying 15 exam modules.
- ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) – There are two levels of ACCA qualifications: Fundamentals and Professionals. The modules cover a wide range of subjects, including auditing and assurance and corporate and business law.
- AIA (The Association of International Accountants) – by obtaining the AIA professional certification, their highest award, you can receive qualified accountant status and be a member of this international organisation.
- CIMA (Chartered Institute of Management Accountants) – If you wish to pursue a career in management accounting, you can study the widely known CIMA professional qualification and CGMA (Chartered Global Management Accountant) designation. Both require a postgraduate-level CIMA Certificate in Business Accounting (Cert BA).
- IFA (The Institute of Financials Accountants) – by obtaining the IFA professional certification, their highest award, you can receive qualified accountant status and be a member of this organisation.
How much time is required to become a startup accountant?
Startup accountants take certain years to complete their qualifications. The ACCA qualification can be completed in up to four years.
During this phase, you might be working in a startup firm to gain relevant industry experience. Make sure to take a suitable position because this job experience usually counts toward achieving chartered status.
Choose your accounting specialism
Accounting careers can be categorised into two main areas: financial accounting and management accounting. These divisions are further categorised into specialist fields such as financial analysis and budgeting and working as a controller.
The difference between management accounting and financial accounting is that the former offers information to individuals who are part of a company, whereas the latter does it for those who are not, such as shareholders.
Management accounting, unlike financial accounting, isn’t required by law and only covers specific products.On the contrary, financial accounting covers the entire organisation.
Most graduates who want to pursue careers in accounting will opt for financial accounting, which can offer a variety of job opportunities, including:
- Forensic accounting
- Corporate finance
- Business recovery and insolvency
If you have got keen math skills and a good eye for detail, becoming an accountant is an ideal career choice. Other perks revolve around flexibility with work-from-home options, a work-life balance, several travel opportunities, and so on.
No career can be more future-proof than accountancy, plus this field paves the path to endless opportunities. So, lose no time and get on the right track to start building your startup accountancy career!