How to get a job in accountancy

Tips for graduates on finding vacancies and applying for jobs in accountancy.

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Finding accountancy vacancies

Your first step should be the employers advertising on this website. Careers services also advertise vacancies and hold careers fairs and events, at which you can meet recruiters and talk to their graduate employees. Professional associations and institutes have a register of members and approved training firms, and this can also be a good place for leads.

Choosing where to apply

This will largely depend on the area you want to work in. For example, the majority of financial accountants will experience different working environments from many management accountants. You should also take potential career development into account. If you are required to take a professional qualification, for example, it is key that your employer will support you.

Applying for accountancy positions

Some large accountancy firms operate what is known as the ‘accountancy milkround’ in October of each year. Increasingly, students can expect to apply online direct to the firms. Alternatively some firms still use their own paper application forms. The forms are sent directly to careers offices and completed forms are collected on the closing date.

Most of these firms arrange presentations in colleges and universities to inform students of their services, what type of candidate they are looking for and their application process. Check with your local careers service and also on the firms’ websites for specific details on how and when to apply. For accountancy positions with other types of organisations, the application processes will vary but will usually involve an application form or CV, aptitude tests and at least one interview.

Gaining work experience

It will greatly enhance your recruitment chances if you complete work experience with an accountancy firm. The larger accountancy employers run formal internships. These are typically available in the summer (usually lasting ten weeks) and are mostly designed for penultimate-year students. They give you a taster of the different types of work the organisation does, as well as networking opportunities.

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