Why train to be an accountant?


Tracey Tivey, HR Manager at Knill James, looks at all the benefits and opportunities an accountancy qualification can offer.

If you're analytical with a keen eye for detail, a good communicator and aspire to work in a well-paid and rewarding profession, a trainee accountant role can be the springboard for a long-term career in the dynamic field of financial services.

What is a trainee accountant role?

Trainee roles are often associated with the 'Big Four' and other Top 20 accountants, but it's not just the larger firms that provide them. Smaller accountancy firms like us also offer training schemes and often these are more personalised and adaptable to the individual. 

Trainee accountant roles serve as an entry point for individuals seeking to delve into the world of accountancy and finance. These positions are designed to provide hands-on experience, allowing aspiring accountants to gain practical knowledge while working alongside knowledgeable, seasoned professionals and completing their accountancy qualifications. Trainees learn the fundamentals of tax and accounting principles, financial regulations, and software tools essential for the role. 

Where can a trainee accountant role take me?

The beauty of starting as a trainee accountant lies in the array of career opportunities it opens up, and not everyone realises how many different directions it can take you.

First and foremost, you can remain at an accountancy practice, working with a portfolio of clients across a variety of different sectors. No two days will be the same and you will get the opportunity to work directly with clients making it an incredibly interesting and varied career option.

Alternatively, you can work in-house in a business, charity, or the public sector: every organisation needs an accountant! Whether it's the beauty sector, sports industry, or the field of education, you can combine your passions and interests with your accounting qualification. Not only will it offer flexibility across industries, it also allows you to work in any size organisation – whatever suits you.

Plus, if you study to become a chartered accountant, this globally recognised qualification will allow you to work anywhere in the world.

Fancy being your own boss? No problem! Accountancy qualifications are a fantastic foundation for anyone seeking to start their own business. Or you could climb the corporate ladder to become a CFO or even CEO of a large company: many chief executives have a background in accountancy because of the great grounding it gives for understanding and managing a business.

Alongside being flexible, secure and interesting, as a qualified accountant you can also look forward to a very competitive salary.

Ultimately, an accountancy qualification serves as a great launch pad for numerous roles, and there are many areas of specialism you can go into, such as tax consulting, auditing, financial analysis, management accounting, business advisory, corporate finance, insolvency and many more.

What's involved in a trainee practice accountant role?

Trainee accountant roles in practice offer exposure to many different facets of accounting and the opportunity to gain practical experience alongside studying for exams to gain a professional qualification, be that AAT, ACA, ACCA, ATT, or CTA. Whether you are a school leaver, college leaver or university graduate, there are opportunities to undertake a level 4 or level 7 apprenticeship in each of these qualifications with training periods of varying lengths.

The type of day-to-day work you can expect to be involved in typically includes assisting with bookkeeping, accounts preparation, assisting on audits, assisting with the preparation of tax returns and utilising accounting software. Trainees usually have a mentor for guidance and support, and will collaborate with teams, gaining insights into how financial decisions impact businesses.

How do I get a place on an accountancy training scheme?

To find a place, search for phrases such as 'trainee accounting roles' and 'accountancy apprenticeships' and look on the careers pages of your local accountants' websites. Do start looking early though, as often closing deadlines are months in advance of the start date.

Next you will want to tailor your CV to highlight relevant coursework, internships, and any accounting-related or business experience. Always thoroughly research the firm you are applying to and be able to demonstrate your interest in the field. Get ready for interviews by preparing examples that will showcase your eagerness to learn, attention to detail, and strong analytical abilities.

Looking for a trainee accountant position in East Sussex?

Come and join us! At Knill James, we take pride in offering exceptional trainee opportunities and undergraduate work placements designed to nurture budding talent. Our apprenticeship programmes provide a blend of theoretical learning and hands-on experience, allowing individuals to earn professional qualifications while gaining the practical skills essential for success in the field. 

Working at Knill James you will have a dedicated internal training manager and mentor, as well as a coach supplied by an external training provider. You will have dedicated time allocated to study and what's more, your studies will be financially supported! You will gain invaluable practical experience from our knowledgeable team of experts in a friendly, supportive and encouraging work environment. Read more on what it's like to work at Knill James and our exceptional competitive benefits here.

Are you ready to kickstart your career in accounting? Don't miss the chance to join Knill James for a Summer 2024 start. Apply now and unlock the doors to a promising future!

Apply here

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