4 common myths about accountancy

Reversed Published wc 9th November

Accountancy is an in-demand profession, but it is often misunderstood and can be subject to outdated stereotypes. Many people still think of an accountant as someone who is a bit boring and sits behind a desk all day crunching numbers.

However, that’s simply not true. Accountancy is a fantastic career option that deserves recognition beyond tired jokes about grey suits. So, we’ve decided to debunk 4 common myths and misconceptions about accountancy.

Myth 1: Accountants are boring

If you found maths boring at school, you might be guilty of assuming accountancy would be a boring career. Well, rest assured, a career in finance is nothing at all like sitting through lessons in higher maths.

There are an incredible variety of accounting jobs. Every organisation and industry needs sound money management, so you could end up working anywhere from high-end luxury goods to your favourite sports team.

If travel is your thing, accountancy can take you places as those who work within international businesses travel the world, all expenses paid. Or if you dream of being the boss one day, accounting is the place to be – over half of all top UK CEOs are from a finance background. Plus, with the high salary you can earn, your free time will be anything but dull.

Many fulfilling jobs sound dull on the surface – don’t let it put you off exploring what could be your ideal career.

Woman analyzing documents while sitting at home

Myth 2: Accountants have to be math geniuses

When most people think of accountancy, they picture spreadsheets full of numbers and equations, but many accounting roles only require basic maths skills.

The job often involves more report writing than number crunching, so having a knack for written communication is more important than being a mathematician.

There are a whole lot of skills that are more valuable to an accountant than being able to do complex maths. These include problem-solving, analytical skills and time management. So, don’t discount a career in accountancy if you weren’t top of the math class!

Businesswoman working on laptop at a cafe

Myth 3: All accountants deal with taxes

You wouldn’t expect a cardiologist to be an expert in brain surgery as it’s not their speciality and like medicine, accountancy has several areas in which you can specialise. Yet, we often expect everyone who works in this profession to be able to give us tax advice.

If the thought of spending your days filing tax returns fills you with dread, you needn’t be put off a career in finance. Accountancy is so varied that you can have a busy career without so much as looking at a tax form.

You could become a forensic accountant and CSI your way around financial records, ensuring they are compliant with laws and uncovering any errors, omissions or outright fraud.

Or why not become a cost accountant? You’ll get to examine and streamline organisations’ expenses, making them more efficient and effective.

These are just two examples. There are so many different career options in accountancy that you’ll never be limited to doing something you find boring!

Serious pensive thoughtful focused young casual business accountant bookkeeper in office looking at and working with laptop and income tax return papers and documents

Myth 4: You need a university degree to be an accountant

You wouldn’t be alone in assuming that you need a university degree if you want to work as an accountant, but guess what? That’s another myth!

Professional accounting qualifications are a great alternative and at the beginner levels, such as the AAT Foundation course, there are often no entry requirements. These qualifications give you practical, industry-focused knowledge that you can use from day one. They can also be studied online, allowing you to keep your current job or get some work experience while you learn.

All the major UK Chartered bodies have a fast-track path for AAT graduates, so if you’re aiming for Chartered status, you could potentially get there faster than by going straight to university. Accounting apprenticeships are another brilliant option, again often allowing you to become fully Chartered in less time than going to university.


Looking for a job in Accountancy or Finance? Check out the latest vacancies at jobs24.com.

Posted on November 3, 2020