I’m an introvert and love working alone - what type of accountant should I be?

honeybee9 Registered Posts: 7 New contributor 🐸
edited October 2021 in AAT member discussion
Hi everyone, I’m currently finishing off my level 4 studies, planning to move onto either ACCA or CIMA. I currently work as a management accountant in a large company. I do enjoy my current role but often wonder if there’s something out there within the accountancy field where I could deal with people less that I haven’t thought of yet.

As much as I wish I wasn’t like this, if I had to give an honest answer, the only thing I really dislike about any job I haven’t liked is dealing with people especially difficult managers.

I feel being a self employed accountant might mean I’d have to deal with just lots of difficult managers in different companies. Is there anything where you don’t really work in a finance team but instead work alone most of the time?


  • Pian32
    Pian32 Registered Posts: 474 Dedicated contributor 🦉
    No matter where you work you will likely have to work with someone even if only occasionally. I work at a small firm and each set of accounts I'll mostly be working solo but still need to get confirmation from owners/directors as part of the process.

    Some will have no queries, others question every line and some will produce more information after you thought you'd done everything.

    I'd say you'd probably have less in a small accountancy firm managing sole traders and partnerships.
    AAT Level 4, MAAT
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  • Neillaw
    Neillaw Registered Posts: 307 Dedicated contributor 🦉
    I think you'd be looking for small SME, they are always set up as a group collective of we are in this together as against a larger company where your just a number. Working in a small company may also help in making you feel more comfortable and no problem managers.
    I've done a number of Mangement accounts roles to which I'm working within a small team which may be what you would be looking for.
    Self-employment would mean a lot of client facing and dealing with problem clients which is a pain at the best of times.
  • MattW
    MattW Registered Posts: 40 Regular contributor ⭐
    I'd turn your hand to financial accounting instead. I've worked in all sides of finance and finance systems over the years.

    Management accounts I did not find satisfying as I felt I was broadly there to regurgitate commentary with finance insight on someone else's work. Perhaps it was the sector I worked in but there wasn't much technical accounting I had to lead, yes perhaps regurgitate (there is that word again..) what the financial techie accountants said to budget holders but as a result management accounting has a large share of dealing with people.

    Over the last 3 years I've been a Financial Contoller of a mid sized organisation. I find the role far more interesting as the work is more about technical accounting and tax- I lead the year end, tax and vat, oversee all financial accounting, cash, systems, facilities, mortgage, building sale, implemetation of systems with finance integrations etc etc and we even produce the management accounts as part of the month end in my team for the analysis side of the team to do the management accounts commentry process. For the first time in 18 years of a finance role I have a satisfaction of tangible outputs.

    There is a much greater proportion of technical work on this side of finance but I still spend a good amount of time in meetings. Just not as many as the analysis guys do with budget holders.

    Perhaps this might be an angle you aim for?

    I side stepped into it and had a lot to learn having come from a pure finance system manager background in a larger company for 5 years. I had the experience of financial and management accounting earlier on in my career. If you're working your way up you could look for a Finance Manager role with a job spec that focuses on the financial accounting, cash management, reconcilations, systems, audit, overseeing AR and AP as a stepping stone towards a FC role.
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