How Did You Get into Accounting?

Nathanael Registered Posts: 11 Regular contributor ⭐ ? ⭐
Hi there,

I'm Nathanael from the AAT Comms Team. I'm looking for any AAT members who have an unusual story to tell about how they got into the world of accounting.

This could be along the lines of an strange or quirky job or hobby you used to have before you decided to take the plunge with accounts.

You would be asked to give a quote that (hopefully) might appear in the national press.

So, if you are interested and have a story to tell, please PM me with your details.

Nathanael, AAT Comms Team


  • timwright116
    timwright116 Registered Posts: 9 Regular contributor ⭐ ? ⭐
    Nathanael wrote: »
    Hi there,

    I'm Nathanael from the AAT Comms Team. I'm looking for any AAT members who have an unusual story to tell about how they got into the world of accounting.

    This could be along the lines of an strange or quirky job or hobby you used to have before you decided to take the plunge with accounts.

    You would be asked to give a quote that (hopefully) might appear in the national press.

    So, if you are interested and have a story to tell, please PM me with your details.

    Nathanael, AAT Comms Team

    When I was at school I really hated maths and really anything that took brains! I left school a was working for my Dad as labourer and I was going to become a bricklayer (not implying bricklayers have no brains, but as my Dad has his own building company it was my best option).

    I then stopped working for my at the age of 17 and got a job at a local builders merchants as an Accounts assistant, and took to it really well. By the time I left the compnay just over 4 years (I was made redundant) I was the main contact for the accoutns deptartment dealing with pretty much all of the aspects of the business. I then got another job quickly as account assistant as I had lost my job, at a local Factory which didn'nt last long as I hated it!

    I now work for a recruitment company that deals with Oil & Gas personnel. They are paying for all my AAT tuition fees. And hopefully will pay for my CIMA ones which I hope to start in the next couple of years. It's a great place to work and I think I have good prospects here!

    My point is that however good, or not so good you do in school it is'nt the end of the world! If you want something enough you can still have a good career aslong as you listen to people, and work hard! :lol:
  • blacksheep
    blacksheep Registered Posts: 56 ? ? ?
    I 'fell into' it too. At school (and right up to the day I started an HNC at college three years later) i was determined i was going to be a vet, and took alll the sciences; my worst grade was in maths. My friend wanted to be an accountant and I thought she was joking - what a rubbish job!
    Then when i moved down NorthEast, i needed a job so badly and ended up working as a junior in a local practice. Left a year later, still with my mind on vet practice, then found out i could study Accounting at my local college and decided to give it a go, since it seemed too late for anything else.
    Never stopped since, i'm now working as a cash adminsitrator for a large firm and studying Technician and enjoy every (mostly!) minute.
  • axl2derv
    axl2derv Registered Posts: 172 ? ? ?
    I was working as a Lab Tech and used to ride the train to work with an old friend from school. He was studying ATT at the time. After the Lab Tech Career didn't work out, I just decided I wanted to be an accountant. Might never of happened if I never bumped into that old friend on the train to work.
  • troy
    troy Registered Posts: 275
    Every one knows you do not have to be good at maths to be an Accountant!

    I worked in shops since i was 16, but less than two years ago i got employed by the NHS in their accounts department. (I sahll be 40 soon :crying:) And i know i was lucky to get a job!!!!!
  • speegs
    speegs Registered Posts: 854
    :laugh:I was a trained theatre designer and everybody that the natural progression from theatre design is accountancy.
  • farmergiles
    farmergiles Registered Posts: 1,693
    I worked in accounts shortly after leaving school, then joined the RAF and worked in Airmens pay. After demob I spent 1 year in an office in civvie street and then gave up, vowing never to work in an office again!! I ended up in sales for over 20 years, including running my own business. I lost a very big client, nearly 45% of my turnover, and couldn't fill the gap with small clients. So I ended up declaring bankruptcy.
    Whilst discussing the end of my bankruptcy with my accountant, I obsrved that he was in need of a credit controller and 3 days later he offered me a job. I was 52 at the time.
    Just after my 53rd birthday he offered to pay for me to take the AAT course. Here I am now, 57 next birthday and resitting 2 exams I failed plus trying to get my head around that stupid project. I also have a small practice of my own, I've been teaching bookkeeping at college and will possibly move on to teaching A'level Accounts at another college.
    Who say's you can't teach old dogs new tricks!!!
  • Cariann65
    Cariann65 Registered Posts: 19 Dedicated contributor ? ? ?
    I fell into accounting as most of the others seem to have too!

    Parents had their own business, Mum did the accounts and Dad the sales/marketing side. Mum was diagnosed with cancer, and was really concerned that no one could do the accounts if something happened to her. So I offered for her to teach me to do it, 6 months later she died. I realised there was gaps in the knowledge due to Mums answer to questions being "because its always been done that way!" plus I begrudged paying the accountants to do the end of year stuff when I knew with some qualifications I could do it myself ... So here we are 2 years later, and I have just complete NVQ3 fasttrack, while nursing Dad who was diagnosed with cancer 5 months ago (and working, and family etc etc) and will start level 4 in September.
  • Monsoon
    Monsoon FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 4,071 ? ? ?
    When I was 23, I fell into accountancy via a hippy down the local pub...

    I bumped into this chap, who I'd met once a year previous, and we got chatting. An hour and a half later on a Saturday night, having been discussing accounts and tax, he said, "Jenni, have you ever thought about becoming an accountant?"

    Having staunchly rejected ever wearing a suit and possessing a degree in Music Technology, with 2 years of being a hippy on the dole under my belt, of course the natural answer to his question was, "Yes, actually I have!" :lol:

    "Get thee to college and study AAT."

    And I did. 5 years later I'm running my own company, taken on a business partner, and yesterday we moved to larger offices. Onwards and upwards! :thumbup1:

    I still remember phoning my Dad to tell him gleefully, "Dad! Guess what? I'm going to be an accountant!"
    I could hear the confusion and hope in his voice, "Wow, Jenni might actually do something respectable with her life... but this is Jenni, she must be joking... please, God, let her be serious." :lol::001_tt2::laugh:
  • KVeevers
    KVeevers Registered Posts: 67 ? ? ?
    hi I got into accounting due to moving to the UK its quite simple when your Husband is a British Soldier and is Posted in Germany there get 400 pound extra in the month then we found out the Regiment is moving back to the UK everybody was starting worrying so I sorted all the money out. Spreadsheets for income expenses and realised I do like that. And here I am a German (who didn’t like English in school:lol:) study in English accounting and I do enjoy :lol:
  • taskey
    taskey Registered Posts: 1,800
    Pretty much the same here. moving around with hubby in the forces, and then working for the army as a civi, you pretty much pick up any job and get on with it.

    i used to be PA and liked doing all the expenses etc. It was then i decided i would rather be doing accoutns than booking flights and trains and making cups of tea.

    I got speaking to another lady and she was studyiong the AAT, so i took the plunge and here i am.

  • Ell1e
    Ell1e Registered Posts: 26 ? ? ?
    I did A Levels in science related subjects and went to Bristol to study pharmacology. I had had a few family problems while studying and realise I needed a break from studying so went and worked for a family member in their accounts practice originally as an audio typist, then I moved onto the accounts area and when I was ready to go back to studying decided to do my AAT. I started Level 2 in Sept of last year and I am due to take my Level 3 exams in June.
  • KVeevers
    KVeevers Registered Posts: 67 ? ? ?
    jeah tasky

    thats right a friend of mine she was the manager for the Taxfree shopping(central bank) in paderborn when the regiment moved back she only had the army qulification she got strigh away a job and now she is study towards the cima. and me applyed beginning of the year in a internal change from domestic engineer to Mess accountantbut there so :mad2: (my boss is like 1 time domestic allways domestic i think there just got the fear i am mor qualified then the others)any way there know i want this job but there put it today in the Jobcentre page how nice is that
  • CJC77
    CJC77 Registered Posts: 62 ? ? ?
    I also hated school - I just wanted to be a hairdresser and had already been offered a job straight after school at 15. I always seemed to have trouble with fractions, so never did particularly well at maths. After training in a salon (for £200 per month - Labour had not yet got in and introduced minimum wage), I decided I wanted more money and applied to work in a betting shop - It was there that I finally understood fractions!....after becoming a manager I started gettign restless and wanted to get into local government - but my D result in Maths GCSE meant I didn't even make it to interview stages. I went back to college and re-sat my Maths GCSE. When the results paper cam I thought I had failed when I saw an F - I then realised it referred to my gender ;o). I was then hired in office jobs. I did a stint in a call centre before moving into a job in payroll where I reconcile accounts. My work pay for me to do AAT as they think it is a worthwhile qualification and will also pay for me to do ACCA / CIMA / CIPFA if I wanted to progress further. So far there are 4 of us throughout our accounts department who are at various stages of AAT and approx. 6 people studying higher. It really helps if your employer is supportive in the way that mine is. I would just like to know how I can get a job working from home so I can save money on bus fare!
  • Mog17
    Mog17 Registered Posts: 91 ? ? ?
    I was good at maths at school but really didn't get why it was important in any way and paid no attention whatsoever. After A'levels and a brief attempt at university I trained as a professional dancer then danced round the world for a few years on cruise ships and in casinos and gala stage shows. Eventually tired of living out of a suitcase and came home, started temping. got offered a job from one of my temp jobs which fell in nicely with other things going on at the time. Job was with an SME which had recently been aquired by a group of companies. At the time the MD was still doing all the accounts stuff. Bit by bit I took over the finance stuff from him - sales invoicing, project finance and WIP reporting, draft management accounts, audits, budgeting, forecasting, cash flow, debtors etc etc etc until we get to now where I'm just (hopefully) finishing the Advanced Certificate for AAT. Bizarre career change from Professional Dancer and one I'd never in a million years have thought would happen!!!
  • jen
    jen Registered Posts: 13 Regular contributor ⭐ ? ⭐
    I went to college when I left school and wanted to be an interior designer. I was good at maths and sience at school so decided to do A-Levels on Design Tech Maths and Chemistry. When it came to applying for uni, I did all the application forms for interior design courses, realised I had to do another course before I could even go to uni, then suddenly realised that I really didnt want to be an interior designer!!
    I had no idea what I wanted to do so got a job working in a bank (what my mum did at the time). I progressed within a year to senior cashier, and realised that I was good at (and really enjoyed) reconciliations! (Sad, I know!)
    I had never thought about accountancy before, and I didnt really know what it was all about, but I somehow came to the decision that I might be good at it!I decided to sign up for AAT and start looking for an entry level accounts job. I got a accounts junior job, mainly sales ledger, and started aat.
    Within 12 months, I was promoted to Purchase Ledger, and 12 months after that was given more responsibilities.
    I am now responsible for and produce all the management accounts and reports, still do Purchase Ledger and supervise the Sales Ledger Clerk.
    I really enjoy it, and I know I have found the right career for me. I can't beleive I went into it completely blind! I feel very lucky that I managed to stumble on the right career, and job!
  • Tiger
    Tiger Registered Posts: 63 ? ? ?
    I was on a career break and suffering from depression. I needed to do something and took up AAT accounting as evening classes as it seemed like a good thing to do get my brain active again!!! 3.5 yrs later I'm MAAT and working part time in practice. Best thing I ever did.... I have time with family, and I love my part time job...that keeps me happy and positive ....not given in to depression since!! :thumbup1:
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