Written by Kimberley Startup | July 30, 2013
Ever considering pursuing a career in accounting?
While a job in finance may not be everyone’s dream career, an increasing number of people are now choosing to pursue a job in this sector due to its variety – not to mention the healthy pay packets. But what, exactly, does a job in accounting involve?
This week, I decided to catch up with Natalie, Webrecruit’s (www.webrecruit.co.uk) Accounts Assistant, to find out the ins and outs of pursuing a career in finance, including the highs & lows and what it involves.
So without further ado, here is a real life testimonial of working as an accounts assistant.
Why did you choose to pursue a career in finance?
Before I progressed into an accounts position, I actually started working as a junior administrator. I’d always had a keen interest in finance and I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to get involved with a number of basic accounting tasks within my job remit which reinforced my passion for numbers.
I expressed my interest in this field to my employer who gave me the opportunity to study towards my AAT qualification which would ultimately broaden my knowledge and skills so that I could be of more assistance to the business.
In fact, I strongly urge anyone who is interested in pursuing a career in finance to ask their employer if there are any tasks that they can get involved with in addition to their normal duties, such as credit control or preparing invoices. It’s a great way to start gaining some experience and the extra responsibility always goes down well with your boss too.
What does your role entail?
I’m fortunate enough to have a job that includes plenty of variety. On a daily basis I get involved with everything from preparing and sending invoices and dealing with all aspects of the sales and purchase ledger to preparing management accounts and assisting with payroll.
My role also requires a large element of reporting and statistical analysis which I must present to my Manager. Key skills that are required for such tasks include a good head for numbers, accurate data entry skills and an exceptional eye for detail.
What are the perks of your job?
For me personally, the best perk of my job is being able to gain exposure to all aspects of the accountancy function. No two days are ever the same and I’m always presented with plenty of variety and new challenges to sink my teeth into.
Do you find anything challenging about the job? And if so, what?
Like any job, there are always some tasks that can become slightly repetitive after a while. For me, this is data entry. But it’s not all doom and gloom.
I have found that over time, and in particular while studying for my AAT, there are new skills I have developed that I have been able to apply to such tasks making the job even more enjoyable as I’m constantly learning new things.
If you do find there are parts of a job that are slightly repetitive or a bit mundane, a fresh approach or a new set of skills that you can apply to the task always makes it more interesting.
What do you find most rewarding about working as an accounts assistant?
The most rewarding part of my role is knowing that tasks I complete, such as preparing management reports, are an integral component to the successful running of the business.
For example, having management reports that you’ve created discussed by senior members of staff reaffirms the importance of my job function within the company, making me feel even more valued as an employee.
Even though I don’t have direct involvement with senior decision makers of the company, it’s fulfilling to know that my work can assist them with making important choices that will help take the business to the next level.
So, what advice would you give to people looking to pursue a career in accounting?
The best bit of advice I can give if you’re looking to pursue a career in accounting is to speak to your employers and find out if there is any opportunity to get involved with the accounts function within the business. No matter how small or large the task – every bit of experience helps and will provide you with good exposure to the accountancy field.
Also, if you don’t have a degree, don’t be disheartened and think that you won’t succeed. I never went to university, but that didn’t stop me from pursuing a career in finance.
If you show your commitment and passion to pursuing a job in this field, such as studying alternate qualifications like your AAT or completing an internship or work experience, it will be recognised. And most importantly, if you get a knock back, don’t panic. Just pick yourself up and try and try again.
Looking to pursue a career in finance? Check out Webrecruit’s latest accountancy jobs here.