To ask if this is a sensible career choice? (Accountants/Consultants)

(11 Posts)
KristinaKringle Mon 22-Feb-16 23:23:00

Have posted this in a couple of places so apologies, in need of a quick answer really.

Is it worth doing the ACA qualification (and working in a financial job in the Corp Fin sector) if you would actually like to work as an HR Consultant down the line?

Someone I know is very torn. Her dream is to work in change management/HR Consulting but she is on the path to becoming a chartered accountant.

She doesn't know any work she can talk to and it's really not my area of expertise...

tava63 Tue 23-Feb-16 10:03:02

I've worked in HR for over 20 years and have met a few people who have a financial background and this has been very good for their career in HR - there are many many people in HR who 'don't like Maths' and don't have a good enough understanding about the financial side of business operations. This has been a key reason I believe why many Boards do not have an HR person at Director level. Many of the large accountancy firms also have an HR consulting side too. However HR is a broad field - does she know yet what area she wants to work in? You mention change management - a large part of a Chartered Accountant's role can be engaged in this area - as you progress in an organisation you will be required to be less 'functional' in your approach. I don't know much about the ACA qualification but there is the challenge of how much time to spend studying - the CIPD qualification is a big gatekeeper to get into an HR role and that takes a number of years to achieve. She can immediately become an Associate Member of the CIPD (I think about £150 a year) without doing any exams - they have a very good resource section and magazine. A Chartered Accountant qualification is a phenomenally well regarded profession that will open up many opportunities including working in the area of HR. The CIPD are a very friendly professional body and I would recommend that she speaks to them as well as her own professional body.

blueturtle6 Tue 23-Feb-16 13:41:06

From accountancy I think its quite easy to move into change management. It is part of Cima qualification. Just do projects on the finance side to get experience and then move across. I am qualified and have worked on a few change mgmt projects.

scandichick Tue 23-Feb-16 13:44:53

She should look at the different types of accountancy qualifications on offer (ACA, ACCA, CIMA etc.) too - as far as I know there's a lot of auditing in ACA, which would be less useful test managements accounting for HR.

InYearAdmissions Tue 23-Feb-16 13:49:27

I think Tava makes excellent point, I know so many people in HR who are really bad with numbers. There are so many financial aspects to HR and so I think someone who could bridge the gap could do really well. I have the ACA qualification and it is definitely an excellent qualification to have, it doesn't have to pigeon hole you as an accountant, you can side step into consultancy, industry financial roles and then into more commercial roles, I definitely don't think it would be a bad way to start out.

Chchchchangeabout Tue 23-Feb-16 13:57:11

I would definitely do it for all the reasons above (used to work in change management)

jevoudrais Tue 23-Feb-16 15:08:17

I wouldn't choose ACA.

jevoudrais Tue 23-Feb-16 15:14:34

Sorry I just saw that she seems to be already doing it. ACA would be less preferable if she hadn't yet started, but there is nothing wrong with then going into the sectors she talks of with it. I would say the likes of CIMA are typically more transferrable, that's all.

I am actually working in Finance and not intending to stay here forever. She will need to do some kind of financial stuff to keep her membership up to date but it isn't difficult, just something to be mindful of. I also am not doing CIMA but my qualification fits the industry I work in and will probably always work in.

I would advise seeing if she can find someone that has done what she wants to do, the big switch that is. Whilst I intend to leave Finance I will stay for a few years because it would damage my credibility/leave an odd trend on my CV to leave it now.

CaffeineBomb Wed 24-Feb-16 12:15:16

It is a common misconception that the ACA is audit focuses. There is not much more audit than the acca it's just that the big audit firms tend to choose ACA for their trainees.

CaffeineBomb Wed 24-Feb-16 12:15:28

Focused even

Obs2016 Wed 24-Feb-16 12:33:52

Agree. ACA is a great qualification to have and she can use it as a stepping stone to the career area she wants.

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