Graduating from university can be one of the most rewarding yet daunting feelings you’ll experience. After three years of hard work, late nights and many library visits, you’ve achieved your accounting degree!
However, leaving university to join the world of work can be tricky to navigate. Especially as there are so many different routes to go down. The type of role you take on will depend what you specialised in throughout your’ course. For example, it may have been accountancy and law or accountancy and finance.
The great news is that whichever topic you specialised in, an accounting degree would have given you some highly desirable skills. This includes organisation, time management and a good understanding of how to run a business. Below, we explain some of the traditional roles that a graduate with an accounting degree can take on.
A business adviser provides information, support, coaching, advice and guidance to businesses. This could range from well-established businesses, large corporations or individuals who are looking to create their own start-up. The sort of advice and guidance you would give may include:
- Providing information on finance, funding and grants
- Offering mentoring and coaching to help a business through a period of change
- Providing support on the business planning process
- Giving advice on business improvement techniques
As a business advisor, your role is crucial in directing a company towards financial prosperity. It is thought that companies in the UK could save an average of six billion a year by improving their resources.
If you have strong business acumen, excellent numeracy and literacy skills and enjoy taking on a leadership role then this could be the career for you. The average salary starts at around £18,000 – £25,000, with senior business advisors earning up to £40,000 per year.
This probably seem like one of the most obvious routes yet. However, you might not know what the role involves entirely. Chartered accountants hold some of the most powerful positions around the world from influential organisations to large global companies.
The key difference between an accountant and a chartered accountant is that chartered accountants hold the same undergraduate qualification; only they have taken exams and have obtained a licence to practice under the Institute of Chartered Accountants (ICAEW).
According to the ICAEW, out of all their member chartered accountants, 30% work in an accountancy firm and 43% work for a business in roles such as finance director or fund manager.
Other areas a chartered accountant can work in include forensic finance, which involves investigations into commercial fraud and personal injury cases, or in corporate finance, which includes helping a company to merge or make acquisitions and capital reconstructions.
What’s more, a chartered accountant earns around £56,000 after two to four years’ experience. Whichever area you choose to go into, being a chartered accountant can vary massively, with a lot of responsibility and pressure to keep up with the latest exams and ICAEW code of ethics.
A retail banker usually works in high street banks and building societies. However, there are now opportunities to work in other areas, such as supermarkets, or retail stores that offer banking services. The role of a retail banker includes:
- Assisting in the movement of money via payment mechanisms
- Authorising loans and overdraft facilities
- Setting up saving accounts and bonds
Your responsibilities as a junior retail banker will include dealing with customer queries face to face or over the phone, serving customers over the counter, processing paperwork from sales, changing customer details, closing accounts, recommending suitable products, making sales and learning about new products, services and processes.
A graduate retail banker trainee can expect to earn anywhere in the region of £18,000 to £25,000, with salaries rising to between £21,000 and £40,000 once trained.
The role of a stockbroker is to support individuals or institutions to make informed decisions on investing in the right stocks and markets at the right time. A stockbroker can operate in a number of environments.
These include institutional, where you provide your services to fund managers and other financial organisations and retail where you provide your services to retail investors. You could also work in a discretionary role where you invest in stocks and shares on a client’s behalf. Finally, you may work in an advisory role, advising on appropriate investments without directly making the decisions.
As a stockbroker your general responsibilities would include:
- Keeping up to date with the latest financial and tax legislation
- Carrying out specific market research and analysis and writing up reports on this
- Regularly updating clients on the state of their portfolio and new investment opportunities
Whilst the working hours can be long and your schedule may be demanding, there is plenty of opportunity for progression and international travel is likely. As a graduate stockbroker you can expect to earn £25,000 plus commission, rising to anywhere between £100,000 to £150,000 with experience and success.
Extracts taken from CV library