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Sales or Accountancy?

(15 Posts)
Frazzledmumwithsmudgedmascara Wed 15-Jun-11 20:37:53

I am in my mid thirties and due to circumstances have never really pursued a career. Now my youngest is almost old enough for preschool, I'd like to start working towards a career. I'd like to do/train for something that will eventually be very well paid.

The two things that jump out at me are sales and accountancy. I'd like to work in field sales, and have been offered a part time telesales role, which I think could be a good starting point (I have done telesales in the past and loved it). On the other hand, I think I would probably really enjoy accountancy too. I was good at maths at school and enjoyed it.

Which would be the best way to get into either of these occupations? If anyone on here is working in either of those fields I'd love to hear what you think of your job etc, to help me make a decision. I guess I could make a list of pros and cons of each couldn't I? Might do that later on this thread.

Also, I live in an area where jobs in the local paper only seem to pay up to a maximum of 20k, but surely I could exceed that with either of those careers couldn't I?

Thanks in advance

needanewname Wed 15-Jun-11 20:43:23

I was faced with a similar situation after having DD2. I didn;t want to go back into admin as it didn;t pay enough for childcare for 2 children.

Anyway, I also loved maths so started doing a maths degree with OU but then realised that it would take about 6 years and I still wouldn;t be trained for anything! S

So I did a diploma in finance with Pitman and am now a bookkeeper. When the youngest starts full time school in September, I'm hoping to start studying again for my CAT but at the moment I am enjoying what I do.

Frazzledmumwithsmudgedmascara Wed 15-Jun-11 20:50:01

Thanks for your reply needanewname

Do you work as a book keeper in a private accountancy practice? Or do you work for yourself?

needanewname Wed 15-Jun-11 22:22:42

Nope I work for as a bookkeeper for a company rather than in an accountancy practice.

But I like the idea that if we moved, I would be able to set up my own company or work wherever.

fivegomadindorset Wed 15-Jun-11 22:25:06

I am donig city and guilds bookeeping, just finshing level 2 and going on to level 3 next year and that combine with Sage shoule give me a leg up and the motivation to go forward.

needanewname Wed 15-Jun-11 22:40:04

Oooh Sage a must. I think the only reason I got my job was cos I'd done the Sage test the night before!!

Grevling Fri 17-Jun-11 16:48:49

"Also, I live in an area where jobs in the local paper only seem to pay up to a maximum of 20k, but surely I could exceed that with either of those careers couldn't I?"

Only the advertised jobs go for £20k the better jobs probably never get advertised!

Lizcat Fri 17-Jun-11 19:11:33

I employ a book keeper and I would say Sage is essential these days. I just did the pro-rata rate for her and if she did 5x 8 hour days her salary would be just shy of £25,000. So that gives you an idea.

vez123 Fri 17-Jun-11 21:04:39

I have done sales and this is something you have to have a natural knack for. You have to be very outgoing, easygoing and be extremely thick skinned. It can be very rewarding if it's your thing. You really have to want it though.

xiaojree Sat 18-Jun-11 13:25:25

Message deleted

mranchovy Sat 18-Jun-11 16:26:53

What do you mean by very well paid? If you are looking at £50k+, I think you will find that there are very few people working in accountancy that earn that sort of salary who did not start in that career until their mid thirties. If £100k plus I would be surprised to meet one.

In sales, many people who have been selling for a relatively short period of time earn £50k+ and some £100k+

xiaojdd Sun 19-Jun-11 01:33:36

Message deleted

Clarence15 Sun 19-Jun-11 18:51:03

I've worked in accounts for many years. I think you need some kind of basic bookkeeping qualification to start with, as most accounts work is basically some form of bookkeeping. If you can, look to start small and get a job in a small company where you can get an all-round experience of the whole accounts functions.

I started in a smallish company, and did bits of everything - sales ledger, purchase ledger, payroll, moving on to producing financial and management accounts and working on budgets etc.

Accounting can be quite basic or very complicated, depending on the size of the business. A large business may be looking for someone to work as a small part of just one of the above functions so if you do that you'll only see a small area of the company and it can be a bit daunting.

Much better is to do some basic bookkeeping for a small company. You'd be inputting their sales and purchase invoices (using an accounts system such as sage, so sage training is also good although if you pick things up quickly it can be learnt on the job) paying their suppliers, banking and lodging their payments etc etc.

With regards money I'd say you would earn less in accounts than in sales. The big earners are the ones who are fully qualified ACA, CIMA etc who produce full sets of accounts for big companies (not something you can do after only a few yrs) or who head up departments over lots of other staff.

Let me know if you need any more help and I'll try my best x

StillSquiffy Mon 20-Jun-11 12:05:40

Your two career choices are very different, especially at the more junior levels. One is unambigous, needs detail, patience, potentially very little interraction with others, and so on; the other needs a gregarious, extravert character that can easily handle stress, can think on their feet and doesn't get fazed by very low base and commission.

Of course there are gregarious accountants and ploddy salespeople, and loads of people in the middle. For example, the top partners in the big 4 all tend to be great salesmen first and foremost, who happen to have studied accountancy, but for every one of them there are 20 whose careers only reached a middling level because they didn't have sales tendencies. Which means that being an accountant and a salesperson can be a good combo, but many of those big 4 partners will tell you that they disliked the whole accountancy bit of their careers and only did it to get to the well-paid mgmt layer. It's still a lot of shite to go through though if you are not naturally inclined from a personality point of view.

I think you should lean towards what suits your emotive well-being and not what looks logical on paper. Have you taken aptitude/personality tests?

StillSquiffy Mon 20-Jun-11 12:07:19

Unambigous??? blush Fortunately my own career doesn't need any basic skills in spelling....

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