What’s the best route to becoming an Accountant?

Career Path Sign

We’ve all heard the stereotypes about accountancy – it’s boring, you have to be a math genius, all they do is sit at a desk… the list goes on.

The truth is – Accounting is a well-respected and in-demand profession, where no day is the same and you are an integral part of your client’s business. Yes, having an interest in numbers and and being good at math has its advantages in a career in accounting, but so does a keen interest in problem solving and thinking outside the box! Like the sound of that? Read on!

With a new school year fast approaching, you might be at a point of considering your future and your career choice. If that is you, a career in Accounting is something you should seriously consider and the good news – there is not just one path to take!


Exploring your options


If you enjoy studying and have your heart set on going to University to gain a degree, this might be the right path for you. As we said earlier, an interest in math’s is good but it doesn’t mean you have to study this or indeed accounting or economics (though advantageous), any degree can be useful and gives you good experience in taking exams. Once you’ve graduated, you can then pursue professional qualifications like the ACA, ACCA or CIMA to become a fully-qualified accountant.

You can also take an undergraduate course – there are many universities in the UK that offer undergraduate programs. These are typically courses in financial accounting, managerial accounting, auditing, and taxation. You’ll learn about different types of businesses and how they operate. You’ll also learn to develop skills in financial analysis and reporting.



Some people learn best by taking on a more practical, hands-on approach. If this sounds like you, then an apprenticeship might be the best path for you! Apprenticeships offer an excellent way to gain practical experience whilst working towards a professional qualification. You’ll typically work for a company or organisation that offers accounting services. You’ll learn about the different aspects of accounting by working on real-world projects, and you’ll also receive formal training from your employer.


Professional Qualifications

Maybe you don’t want to study accounting at university or take an apprenticeship, and yet accountancy still attracts you. In this case, you can become an accountant by taking professional qualifications. There are many available, some of which are recognised by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW).

If you opt for this route, you’ll study at home or through a distance learning program. You’ll learn about the different aspects of accounting by taking courses and exams. You’ll also be able to gain practical experience by working on real-world projects.


The decision is yours!

If accountancy appeals to you, then there are many different routes that you can take. Which is best for you will depend on your individual circumstances and preferences. No matter which route you choose, you’ll need to be prepared to work hard and to be committed to your career.

At Elsby, our team have different experiences and career paths – no journey is ever the same.

We have several of the team who went to University, with degrees ranging from Oceanography, Criminology to Business Studies and Business Economics. More than half of the team didn’t take the University route and instead did an AAT Apprenticeship. A few of the team are even career changers – going from careers in Marketing or in Adult Social Care before switching to Accounting!

Watch our career videos on our website to see that not all journeys into accountancy are the same and each member of our team has their own story.


If you were interested to learn more, you can also drop us a line to find out more about what’s involved – we can offer valuable insights and advice based on our own experiences. Email help@elsbyandco.co.uk