If you want a career that gives you the opportunity to work in pretty much every industry sector, in an environment that is intellectually does insurance pay for viagra challenging, while gaining qualifications that are recognised worldwide, then accountancy is worth considering.
While the reputation of banking has been severely battered during the downturn, accountancy is still seen as a thoroughly professional sector. Being a chartered accountant opens up a wide range of career opportunities – not just in the UK but around the world. At one time accountants were seen as number crunchers but these days there is much more to it than that, and there is a whole range of specialist areas within the profession, whether you end up working in an accountancy practice or in business.
Stephen Isherwood is Head of Graduate Recruitment at Ernst & Young, one of the Big Four accountancy firms. He explains that although many accountancy firms did trim the number of graduates they recruited during the recession recruitment figures are now heading back up. ‘In the downturn Ernst & Young still recruited 500 graduates across
the UK and Ireland. That number is now going up by about 10 or 15 per cent this year, which kind of puts us on a par with where we were two years ago. We normally set our figures over the summer period so when we go to market in September we know how many we need to recruit for the year, but as the economy is becoming more buoyant those numbers are increasing mid-term, so the message to any graduates out there thinking of coming into accountancy is we are still recruiting. We have also increased the number of our internships by about the same figure.’
Also on the rise is the number of applications Ernst & Young is receiving — up 20 per cent on where they were last year. ‘I think that’s partly because people see this as a safe profession — when people are unsure about the banks they maybe gravitate more to the professional services,’ Stephen explains. ‘Because people get professional qualifications with us graduates see that as getting something out of becoming an accountant, they see it as a very good building block for a business career. The old cliché that a chartered accountant qualification is a working MBA still holds true. If you look at our captains of industry, many of them have a chartered accountancy background because you get to know the business from the ground up; you get to know how the money works and if you know how the money works you know how a business works. My view is it is a great way to really start a commercial business career in levitra heart attack a highly professional environment, surrounded by and working with other bright, intelligent people. Having the chance to get professional accountancy qualifications will give you a great start and they can’t be taken away from you. We deal with the biggest clients in the world and the exposure you get by working for a company like Ernst & Young, you don’t get
that kind of breadth or depth in other graduate careers. Also we pay well above the average graduate salary.’
Most of the graduates at Ernst & Young pharmacy online do the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland’s (ICAS – see box) CA qualification, which Stephen describes as being ‘very practical – it applies to business as it is done now’. But you don’t have to have done a mathematics degree in order to become an accountant. ‘When you look at our statistics 60 per cent of our intake have done what you might call relevant degrees, but that is very broad and includes business subjects as well as economics and mathematics. The other 40 per cent includes the liberal arts and we get a lot of people who have studied psychology because it teaches you to analyse and to understand problems, and psychology students also tend to have a strong numerical base.’
Much more important than the actual degree you have done is that you are an all-round graduate. ‘We need people who are intelligent and can solve problems, but we also need people with great inter-personal skills,’ explains Stephen. ‘We are client-facing and if you can’t understand the issues your client has, or can’t find the right solutions to their problems, and can’t communicate those solutions back to your client, then you can’t function. You do not exist sat in a booth number crunching; you are working in teams so inter-personal skills are very important. However, buy viagra the bottom line in accountancy is we need people price of cialis at costco who are able to pass exams, because if you can’t pass exams you can’t qualify as an accountant.’