finding an accounts job

tallyanna Registered Posts: 1 New contributor 🐸
Hi I have recently finished my AAT4 exams and have been trying to get into the accounting profession. However this seems impossible as everyone is asking for previous experience/sage/excell skills.
I was unable to work whilst studying as I had family commitments and as I did accounting qualifications as a career change (I was previously in catering)
I am not sure where to go from here - what jobs should I be applying for even if they are the most junior positions of them all and how do I go about getting this experience I need? I feel all the hard work I put into studying has been a waste if I can't get an accounts job.
replies appreciated thanks


  • burg
    burg Registered, Moderator Posts: 1,441 mod
    It's always a hardone as they want experience but where are you meant to get it.

    I also made the change from a different role and convincing them you are an accountant and not a catering person trying to be an accountant.

    However I was lucky enough tp be able to do some accountancy work on sage for my mum's practice to gain experience.

    It did however take may interviews and time to find someone willing to take the risk. They tell me they are pleased so I was right.

    So stick with searching and just apply. Register with agencies and get your name known the more companies you see the more chance you have got. Meanwhile maybe do some voluntary or temp work to get some experience to add on to your CV.

    Best of luck and I'm sure you will find something

  • jorja1986
    jorja1986 Registered Posts: 210 Dedicated contributor 🦉
    The only thing that you can do it to apply for any accounting job.

    If you have no previous experience it may be advisable to start with a job that says about additional support as it can be daunting if they expect you to know things. Also if you start nearer the bottom you will appreciate it more as you move on up the accounting ladder.

    Keep applying industry and practice - unless you have a preference for one.

    Someone will spot your potential :thumbup: good luck!
  • NewYorkGiants
    NewYorkGiants Registered Posts: 8 New contributor 🐸

    You could try a local credit union to gain the experience needed. It is voluntary but my partner went down this route approx 18 months ago and is now in her 2nd accounting role. It is a banking eviroment but they will let you do accounts work as well if you ask.;jsessionid=aOBpIu8_xQh9?mode=new

    Brush up on your interview technique as well. Dont be bashful and show confidence when being interviewed.

    IMO agencies wont touch anyone without relevant experience and you will more than likely have to start at sales/purchase ledger clerk and then move on.
  • djDougs
    djDougs Registered Posts: 16 New contributor 🐸
    tallyanna wrote: »
    everyone is asking for previous experience/sage/excell skills

    ha ha, tell me about it! thats the same as me when i left University with even more letters after my name :crying:

    i sat on the dole for a whole year and a half, but was working on the side :blushing: making more money than an Accounting Technician, so :thumbup:

    then i got a job doing nothing to do with accounts making 4 times as much money as an Chartered accoutant would, then b@@tard fat Americans bought the place and asset stripped the place and took market control. They are now bust :thumbup1:

    when going for other jobs that give more money (ie bookkeeper, can do blind folded), i find taking off MAAT from your CV, u will get more interviews, as i have tonnes of knock-back letters saying im to qualified with MAAT :thumbdown:
  • Devilishbird
    Devilishbird Registered Posts: 56 Regular contributor ⭐
    The problem today is that the majority of employers would like someone who is both qualified and has the practical experience to cope. I struggled to get a break having gone from horses to chefing and then deciding that I actually enjoyed numbers. I started at foundation with no previous exp, I passed then made it my mission to have a job/experience with accounts to help aide Intermediate.
    My break was given to me by the NHS I cold called them along with the Inland Revenue etc to see if they would give me "work experience". I wasn't looking for any payment but they let me go in and help as it was coming up to their year end (april) and the bonus was I did get paid for it aswell as being paid to attend college by them (I was a temp with them)

    So my advice to you, Persistence! It will pay off in the end and it also makes you a stronger, more determined person who is eager to show what they are made of.
    Good Luck, I have no worries that you will get a job/career from it :thumbup1:
  • Richard
    Richard Registered Posts: 373 Dedicated contributor 🦉
    Have you considered looking at your local colleges? Many of them offer Sage courses that only last a few weeks. It gives you something else to put on your CV.

    You could also look into the European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL), this will give you some experience with working on Microsoft Office packages ie Excel, Word, etc.
  • SueP
    SueP Registered Posts: 4 New contributor 🐸
    Agency work


    Have you considered registering with an agency firm?

    The company I'm with uses agency staff currently in the Accounts Payable / Payroll department just to clear a backlog of work due to a company change, so it can be a method of getting some experience for your CV.

    Good Luck!
  • Nich
    Nich Registered Posts: 49 Regular contributor ⭐
    I started as an Accounts Assistant 4 years ago, i didnt have any experience and wasnt even studying AAT at the time. I just done the very basics, Logging invoices, paying in cheques, sales invoices etc and found that the more i wanted to learn, the more my boss showed me. I think if you are prepared to start at the bottom and do the not so interesting jobs, it will reward you in the long run.
  • Poodle
    Poodle Registered Posts: 711 Epic contributor 🐘
    Hi Tally

    Just to say, good luck with your search, what will be will be and it will all be worth it in the end.

  • System
    System Posts: 103,151 🤖 Admin 🤖
    finding an accounts job

    I am aware that it is difficult to find a good job in accounting just after having finished university but despite that you should try applying for any relevant position just to gain some experience so that you would have something more to offer whilst applying for a job in a "better" company. Remember any experience is good as employers require employees that know what they are doing...

    If you would want to get some info on credit control etc. visit
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