Myths and misconceptions surround the quiet, calculator-carrying, green visor-wearing professionals you see on the street, on the train, or who you may even live with on the other side of the street. In this article, we will break down some of the most common accounting myths and explain how starting a career in accounting is really like.
- You need an accounting degree
There are many myths associated with starting an accounting career. You can study whatever you like and still become an accountant.
Chartered accountants often chose to study a wide range of subjects at university without knowing what their career would ultimately be, from English Literature to Biology. Accounting is great because you learn on the job. In the working world, whether you enter industry or practice, audit or tax, you will gain far more experience and knowledge than you would in a classroom.
Post-graduates, graduates, career changers, school leavers, and people with little or no accounting experience can take advantage of great programmes such as the ACA or ACCA qualification.
- Accountants spend their life looking at spreadsheets
There is much more to accountancy than spreadsheets, invoices, and bank statements, and it is not a boring career. You will interact frequently with clients and colleagues as you solve problems, answer and debate queries, and investigate transactions throughout your day.
As an accountant, you will spend a large part of your day using Excel and spreadsheets. However, your preferred specialty will determine how you handle spreadsheets, invoices, and client information. If you decide to go into VAT or tax, you may have to review transactions for VAT or potential tax relief opportunities, look up missing transactions or unusual transactions, or prepare business accounts by putting together spreadsheets.
During this course, you will also learn some Excel shortcuts that are always useful.
- Accountants are boring
Accountants are painted with the same dull brush and considered boring and uninteresting. In reality, we’re quite a fun bunch! (If you know what we mean).
Accountants are only boring to the outside world. Within the office walls (and office parties) it is a completely different story. Cringeworthy accounting puns and amusing memes are just precursors to fantastic Christmas parties and socials. We also cannot forget to mention the team building days out where everyone ends the day in laughter, with the exception of perhaps that one colleague who does fit the bill of the typical “accountant” and has taken the Lego building activity far too seriously.
- You need to be a Maths genius to work in accounting
The common myth about accounting is that it requires reciting pi 100 times and solving an equation mentally in 10 seconds. However, accounting is more about problem solving and logical reasoning than reciting pi 100 times. It is still common for us to use a calculator just to make sure that 10 + 4 equals 14.
The ability to solve problems, think logically and practically is a skill that naturally comes naturally to math prodigies, but it can be acquired and improved through other subjects and non-academic experiences as well. In addition to quick math, a career in accounting involves a great deal of analysis and investigation, so those transferrable skills are vital.
- Big 4 or Bust
The Big 4 accountancy firms are considered an advantage in many job adverts, however, many companies do not realize the benefits of hiring employees with experience in smaller or medium-sized firms.
In smaller firms, there are greater opportunities to gain experience in various roles within accountancy, since you have the freedom to transfer between departments. Here get about the registration process for how to start a society
It is also possible to take on more responsibility sooner if you are industrious and proactive, as with smaller clients you are able to take on a number of aspects of an audit, or accounts preparation, which will enable you to consolidate your knowledge and experience earlier than your peers in large firms. As a result, you will also be more likely to be noticed, pushed forward, and encouraged throughout your career, and you will be able to build good relationships with a wide range of colleagues.