Careers in accounting

Many students who elect to study Accounting and Finance do so with the intention of becoming a professional accountant.

What many students don’t realise, however, is that an Accounting and Finance degree is neither necessary nor sufficient to become a professional accountant. Of course the reverse also holds – career opportunities for Accounting and Finance graduates are certainly not restricted to the accounting profession!

Wide range of opportunities

The image of accountants as dull, middle-aged men dressed in grey suits is fast disappearing. The accounting profession is associated with high salaries and a bewildering array of career opportunities, including traditional auditing and assurance work, management consulting, corporate finance, IT consulting, tax planning, human resources (HR) and insolvency. In addition, the leaders of many of the UK’s top companies are qualified accountants.

Discover the sorts of careers Lancaster accounting and finance graduates have gone into by looking at some of our alumni profiles.

In the UK, the process of qualifying as a professional accountant involves gaining work experience with an accounting firm and passing a series of tough examinations set by one the four professional accountancy bodies. This basic route applies to all graduates, regardless of the specific degree subject studied.

At this very general level, therefore, it makes little difference whether you have a degree in archaeology, anthropology, astrophysics or accounting: qualifying as a professional accountant will involve several years post-university training comprising a mixture of on-the-job experience and formal examinations. Consequently, the accounting profession boasts members drawn from a wide variety of disciplinary backgrounds.

Four of the major professional accountancy bodies are:

Find out how each of these bodies recognise Lancaster Accounting and Finance degrees in terms of accreditation.