If you are thinking of switching careers away from accountancy, there are plenty of routes you can go down. A bachelor’s degree in Accounting, backed up by years of professional experience, will have given you a lot of transferable skills, which can be applied to roles in multiple sectors.
In this article, we will examine some of those transferable skills and show you how you can use them in different environments. Furthermore, we have compiled a list of possible new careers for you—some of which you might find surprising!—and highlighted a couple of degree courses from EU Business School that can help you make the change.
So, to find out which are the best degrees for switching careers from accounting, keep reading!
Transferable accounting skills
Just because you’re looking to get away from accounting doesn’t mean you have to leave all the accounting skills you’ve learned behind. In fact, many of the skills you have picked up will be applicable in a general business setting, for example:
1. Budgeting. This isn’t just a business proficiency—knowing how to stick to a budget is an important life skill to have, and as an accountant, you’ll have more experience with this than most. For example, in your previous role, you might have been responsible for creating, analyzing, and reconciling budgets for your clients. Going forward, then, you might be able to help companies create budget plans, review proposals in terms of their profitability, and carry out risk management assessments.
2. Critical thinking. As an accountant, you are probably used to going through confidential financial documents with a fine-tooth comb. This level of attention to detail, plus your ability to analyze and draw conclusions from the numbers in front of you, will make you an asset in multiple business environments.
3. Data processing. Microsoft Excel is still one of the best, and most widely used, analytical tools on the market. Your familiarity with this program and its more advanced features will make you a very attractive prospect to employers looking for candidates with demonstrable mathematical and analytical skills.
4. Legal knowledge. Whether you took a law class at university or picked up legal knowledge on the job, you are likely to have at least some legal knowledge as an accountant. Maybe you specialized in tax accountancy or worked to approve contracts for your business clients. Either way, you are demonstrating expert knowledge, versatility, and have some examples of times you showed excellent attention to detail for when you get invited to interview.
Switching careers from accounting – what can you do next?
What you are going to study—or whether you need to go back to university at all—ultimately depends on what you want to do next. Your transferable skillset makes you suitable for lots of different careers. But if you’re not sure what to pick, we’ve got a couple of ideas for you!
According to a recent US News & World Report, being an accountant is the 13th best business job (and the 75th best job overall) on the planet. However, it can be quite a stressful job, too, especially if you are involved in things like audits. So do you really want to leave this profession, or are you just looking for a change of pace? In that case, you could switch sectors and work as an accountant for a nonprofit organization, or you could become a forensic accountant who investigates financial crimes. There are plenty of roles still within the financial sector that you’d be well-placed to fill after working as an accountant.
However, if you want more of a change, here are some career options that you might not have considered before:
Financial journalists report on matters related to financial markets and prominent corporations for print, broadcast, and digital media platforms. They have a wide network of contacts within the financial industry to feed them stories, plus the ability to explain complicated financial concepts in ways their readers will understand.
As a financial communications associate, you could work for a big corporation, a nonprofit, or a government organization, handling internal and external communications to employees and the public. Again, the ability to explain tricky financial concepts in layperson’s terms will come in handy, as you’ll be responsible for writing marketing copy for print, broadcast, and social media campaigns.
An entrepreneur is a person who starts or funds a new business venture, often based on their own ideas or inventions. In the beginning, many entrepreneurs must fulfill all their business functions, including being their own accountant! With a background in accounting, you could start your own financial advisory business. Equally, you could easily transition into another sector with all those transferable skills we talked about earlier. Your budgeting skills will help you manage the initial setup and launch of your company.
Production managers in the entertainment sphere work in close conjunction with studio finance executives to handle the accounting for a film or television production. This involves maintaining accurate financial records, preparing budgets, managing payroll, writing cost reports, and controlling the daily cash flow on set.
A financial IT technician looks after all the computer-based aspects of accounting, including document preparation, creating spreadsheets, systems updates, and teaching other employees how to use the accounting software. Financial IT technicians are often involved with audits, too.
Business Analysts are responsible for reviewing company data and recommending initiatives to make savings or generate more income. To do this, they look at everything from sales reports, expenses, and labor costs to real estate investments and more.
Degree courses from EU Business School
Sold on switching careers from accounting? Interested in one of the above roles? Here are some postgraduate degree courses from EU Business School that will give you the qualifications you need to break into a new sector.