Transitioning into Accounting: Career Change Tips and Tricks

As a highly successful global recruitment agency for finance and accountancy professionals, we have helped many people to land top accounting positions around the world since the turn of the century and look forward to helping many more in the future. The majority of these people chose to pursue a career in accounting before heading to university, but not all. We have also had the pleasure of helping many people discover how to change careers to accounting and go on to enjoy a new period of professional success at a later stage in their lives. Becoming a professionally qualified accountant can be your ticket to securing an overseas move as their is a worldwide shortage.

People in their 20s, 30s and 40s – and sometimes even later in life – can build a new career as an accountant if they are determined, self-disciplined and highly motivated. To find out how we invite you to continue reading below.

Transitioning into an Accounting Career: Factors to Consider

If you have decided on a career change to accounting, there may be a variety of ways in which you can achieve your new goal. The best one to take will depend on several factors, including but not limited to the following:

  • Qualifications – The qualifications you need to become an accountant may vary, depending on what part of the world you are in, but will normally include a finance or accounting degree, together with professional certification. If you do not already hold a relevant degree, you will need to include the time it will take to earn one into any plans that you make. If you are in the UK, you will need to pass a series of professional examinations in order to become an accountant, whether certified or chartered. You may be exempt from some of these exams if you hold a relevant degree. If you are in Australia, a combination of a degree and professional examinations will be required.
  • Experience – Many professional accounting bodies require candidates to demonstrate a certain amount of work experience in the field before they can join. With this in mind, you may want to start looking for a local accountancy firm or other commercial organisation that is willing to help you gain the necessary experience. You will probably need to combine work experience with evening study sessions if you want to accomplish a career change to accounting within a reasonable period of time.
  • Financial – If you have a decent amount of savings and live a relatively frugal lifestyle, you may wish to take time off from full-time employment while you focus on obtaining the accounting qualifications you need. On the other hand, if you have no savings and simply cannot afford to stop working, you will either need to combine your work experience and study time as suggested above or continue to work in your current capacity until you have made significant progress on the examination front. Although some firms will allocate paid study leave as part of your training contract. The most practical course of action will depend on your personal circumstances but it should be quite obvious what you need to do, especially if you already have a good handle on your personal finances.

Having considered the above factors carefully, you should now be closer to being able to formulate a realistic plan that will help you to achieve your desired career change. Before you get down to business, here are our promised tips and tricks, which will hopefully help you to achieve your goal in the most efficient way possible.

Tips and Tricks for Making a Career Change to Accounting

If you would like to successfully complete your career change plans in the most efficient way possible, avoiding some of the more common traps and obstacles along the way, we have the following tips and tricks to offer:

  • Find a Mentor – One of the very best ways to ensure you get off to a good start is to find a professional mentor who is willing to spend time with you on a regular basis. This may be time speaking on the phone, via Zoom or Teams or in person: it is up to the two of you to choose the most convenient mode of communication.
  • Enlist Professional Help – In addition to a mentor who you can talk to when things get tough or whenever you feel in need of advice, you should look for a team that specialises in accounting and finance recruitment, such as ourselves. We can help you to find the most lucrative and professionally rewarding positions in countries all around the world.
  • Make Concrete Arrangements and Commitments – Many people are very good at making initial preparations for a career change but lack the ability to follow through on their plans. We find that making concrete arrangements and commitments is a good way to overcome this particular issue. Pay the fee for that first professional course, and apply to study for an accountancy degree if necessary. Do whatever it takes to get the wheels in motion.
  • Research Different Accounting Fields – There are many different fields of accounting: areas in which you may choose to specialise in the future. We suggest spending a little time researching each of these fields to see which ones appeal to you most. They include cost, financial, management and tax accounting, as well as auditing, both internal and external. The most recognised for moving internationally are the Chartered Accountancy or Certified Chartered Accountancy exams, alongside external audit. However other paths may also work for an international move.
  • Talk to Friends and Family – Even if you complete a prodigious amount of research and make detailed plans before attempting to make a move, you could find it very difficult to achieve your career change goals without the support of those closest to you. For this reason, we recommend talking to everyone concerned as soon as possible and making sure they are on board with your plans.

Whether you would like to find out more about how to change careers to accounting or you are already in a position to apply for global accounting jobs, please feel free to contact us. We would love to help you realise all of your finance and accounting career goals.