Meet the amazing accountants tackling industry challenges head on

Accountancy is way more exciting than you might think


There’s been a huge vibe shift in the world of young people. The past few years have been the most turbulent times for several generations, with most of us being flung into working from home. It’s massively impacted how we view our careers and lives, with workers now more likely to look for jobs that offer a good work life balance.

So, when you think of accounting, you might not immediately consider it as your career of choice, as lots of people typically picture number-crunching office dwellers. But you’d be wrong to think that. Accountants are actually low-key the coolest people you’ll meet and some have very interesting side hustles too. Mark my words: accountants are currently having their time in the spotlight.

So, here are a few reasons why accountants are in right now, and why you’d be a fool to not at least consider a career in accountancy. We even spoke to some professionals in the industry who can vouch for it.

Accountants are cool, you heard it here first

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Callum Tingle, Managing Director of Fresh Business Solutions, is familiar with the stereotype that accountants are often lumped with. He says old-fashioned accountancy is “stuck in the past” and can lack creativity. But accountants like Callum are a breath of fresh air for the industry.

Callum is one of the many accountants embracing new ways of working and using their spare time to explore fun side hustles. On top of running his own accountancy firm, Callum also owns an axe throwing business with his brother. He also runs a bar and restaurant next door!

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Another cool accountant is Alex Beattie, Managing Director at KRW Accountants, who outside of work is an Army Reservist. He needs to commit 27 days to this service every year. This includes a two-week exercise where they practise a full deployment, and several long weekends away from home. Alex says that his team is really supportive and collaborative in these periods though, and his business partner is super understanding.

There’s also Hilary Dyson, Founder of Bridge Financials, who is an actual opera singer on the side of her accountancy job. Hilary loves the fact that her hobby allows her to meet new people that she might never have done before.

As these accountants show, you can do absolutely anything you want and still have a stable, well-paid job like accountancy.

Tempted to get into accounting? Click here to read stories from real accountants

Being an accountant isn’t just for people who go to uni

Neil Criddle is the founder and CEO of NDC. He is passionate about music and a heavy metal DJ in his spare time.  He believes that being an accountant isn’t just for people with loads of experience and university degrees. Neil says: “I consciously made the decision to hire less experienced people but that have more personality. In my experience, you’re either a good technical accountant, but struggle with soft skills, or you’re more of a business coach but not as good at accountancy – the latter is usually the best.”

A key attribute Neil looks for when recruiting new team members is people who have a willingness to learn on the job. Neil tells The Tab: “There are currently massive brick walls to entering the industry. My two employees would have found it difficult to get into a standard accountancy practice with their lack of experience, and if they had, they would have just been doing remedial work.” Neil admits the industry needs to start focusing on soft skills over qualifications if it is to attract the talent it needs to grow.

Accountants are at the centre of small businesses

Just when you thought it was a mundane job, accountants actually have the ability to change lives. They can make a huge impact on businesses. According to stats from Xero, 61 per cent of clients claim their accountant supports them in areas they struggle with or are baffled by, and 43 per cent state their accountant played a vital part in their business survival during the pandemic. The evidence is clear, accountants help people, and what bigger satisfaction is there than that?

Neil says one of the best things about accountancy is the clients he gets to work with. He tells The Tab: “The main draw from day one is there are always different stories to tell – it doesn’t matter whether the client is a plumber or recruitment agency, our discussions are always different and we can find new creative ways to tell numbers to people.

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“Clients get advice from us that they’d struggle to find elsewhere in the way we can explain it – it’s often a lightbulb moment for them when we speak. Ultimately, it’s not a client service, it’s a partnership – we don’t work for them, we work with them.”

You can meet a wide range of people

Zahra Kassamali, an accountant at Jaffer&Co, also works as a hotel manager on the side. She says when she trained to be an accountant, she helped out a lot with tech and website design having done a physics degree. She admits her career pathway was unusual, having done physics at uni, before going on to be a school teacher, and then an accountant.

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Zahra says the best part about being an accountant is “how many doors and opportunities it opens.” Also, the fact you’re able to meet loads of interesting people because it’s such a big industry. Zahra tells The Tab: “A friend of mine worked in management accountancy so works for very big companies and it’s totally different to what I do. There are so many different things you can do and it’s possible to move into different roles.”

Thinking about a career in accountancy? Go for it!

Getting started in this career is more straightforward than ever. For people still wanting to go the traditional route, most universities offer accounting courses. However, as shown by these modern accountants, there are multiple ways you can kickstart your career.

It can be as easy as searching for accountants in your local area and getting in touch to see if they can offer you an apprenticeship or internship. You also shouldn’t be put off if you’ve already started down a different career path. As shown by Zahra, the skills you develop in other careers can easily be transferred to accounting. All it takes is for you to take the first step.

So, what are you waiting for? If you like the sound of a career that gives you the ability to help others, while also pursuing your own dreams, start looking for an accountancy position today.