Accounting is the measurement and disclosure of crucial financial information on which managers and investors base key decisions about the future of an organisation.
Accounting is more than just adding up columns of figures. Accountants need to be judicious in how they prepare their information and aware of whom is going to be using it and for what ends, so as to make it useful to as many people as possible. Students on an accounting course will gain invaluable skills by learning how organisations are managed, how performance is measured, how cash flow is maintained and how prosperity can be achieved in public and private organisations.
To become a working accountant, you will need a professional qualification. Work experience can be useful in achieving this. Many courses have built-in work experience placements but if not, it is worth approaching local accountancy firms or the financial department of a large organisation.
There is a huge demand for well-trained accountants, and graduates go on to work in a wide range of jobs. Many get roles in accountancy firms or with investment banks, insurance companies, as consultants, in finance or in the public sector.
Large multinational accountancy firms are big graduate recruiters. It is also common for government and civil service organisations to recruit straight out of accountancy degree courses. Whichever path you choose, a trustworthy accountant is a valuable asset and salaries tend to reflect that. So if you have an affinity for numbers and an interest in what makes businesses tick, a degree in accountancy might just be the start of an interesting and profitable career.
Why study accounting? A guide to what you will learn on an accounting degree, how to get a place on the best university accounting courses, and what jobs you might get once you graduate