Advanced search

Any advice? - Career change to accountancy

(9 Posts)
whosthis Fri 05-Apr-13 14:14:06

Hi, I am very anxious about this topic, as taking into account my age and working experience, I so so not see with what role I could start...

I am mid thirty and have a diploma in tax from university before I worked in a top firm as tax consultant for about two years.

But that was over ten years ago and seems so irrelevant now if I want to get back to the field. The latest ten years, I mainly worked in international trading for industrial products.

I just had a baby and would want to work from closer to home as well as less traveling, not mentioning the prospects of accountancy is probably far better than the role I have now. So instead of working in firm with long hours and frequent travel, my inclination is to go for Management Accounting in industries.

I registered as CIMA student and got the exemption for Certificate Level and E1. I think I can manage to pass F1 in May leaving P1 to the November exam.

But I am so scared to go out in the market with the adverse combination of age and little experience - easily being left out when there are both graduates and those experienced in the market.

- Shall I start from trainee level or some other role?
- Even if I am willing to start at trainee level, will anyone accept my profile?
- What kind of company shall I apply with?
- Will it be a waste of time to go through the recruiting agency?
- I am noy sure if my experience in the operational side of a company would give any advantage for an accountant role. Just want to squeeze out a reason why someone would want to hire me while there are "normal" profiles in the market...

Could anyone who works in the field or any mumsnetter here as recruiters could offer some insight or even a little bit advice?

Millions of thanks!

whosthis Fri 05-Apr-13 18:09:21

Is there anyone who can help?...

whosthis Fri 05-Apr-13 22:01:04


SquidgyMummy Fri 05-Apr-13 23:29:40

Hi Op,

I trained as a CIMA accountant, (many years ago) and no longer practise, so my knowledge may not be up to date. It is definitely a very flexible qualification, although I don't know about the levels anymore, In my day it was 16 papers spread over 4 stages. Looks like the sittings are still the same, you could theoretically do all the exams in 2 years, although you would need 3 years of experience and the signed off log books.

In response to your questions, I guess it is always worth applying for trainee programs, perhaps in your industry area so that your industry knowledge is relevant so you are more attractive to them IYSWIM. (It is not really clear to me from your OP what you actually did in industry, however
Once you do start getting some experience, then perhaps try and get jobs in smaller companies where you are expected to do more all round work and therefore get better experience.

I found recruitment agents to be very helpful, as long as you write your CV in a particular was so that it makes it easy to sell you. Eg, highlight the blue chip companies you have worked for, summarize your experience succinctly so that it is more tailored to an accountancy type role.

Another route to consider is the AAT route

You would probably get exemptions from Stage 1 CIMA, but it may be an easier, although less well paid route to getting a first job in accountancy. Although the experience you gain will still count towards your log book. Actually whilst thinking about it, it may be worth asking of any of your tax advisory work is relevant, and if any of yoru old bosses are at your company to sign off on it.

One final longer term thought is that when you have some experience, 5 or more years down the line, you can just think about taking on some of your own small business clients, then you can be very flexible about your working hours / school holidays etc. It was something i considered before my life took a different path and i developed an aversion to paperwork!
good luck!

whosthis Fri 05-Apr-13 23:45:23

SquidgyMummy, thank you so much for the suggestions. It definitely improve my confidence to pursue this way in some sense.

I have been working in procurement since 2006. Not very much relevant, that's why I am afraid the agents wouldn't bother with my case...

The idea of flexible hours is very appealing and it's exactly what a mum would be keen to have, especially with a plan for DC no. 2 in 5 years...

Regarding CIMA exams, I understood that you can only sit exams of a new level after you have passed those of the lower level. It's still possible to pass all within 2 years for someone who can dedicate enough hours each day. With a baby of 5 months old, it requires a lot to concentrate. I feel very ashamed that I merely did much study since I enrolled in January. Planned to do both F1 and P1 in May and end up more likely will only sit F1.

Anyway, many thanks to you. It's indeed very helpful! flowers

SquidgyMummy Sat 06-Apr-13 15:47:49

Hi OP,

I think with recruitment agents, you just need to go in with the attitude that they are there to provide a service for you, ie, get you a job, don't be intimidated by them, but also make sure you you make their job easier by targe. I always follow up emailing a CV with a phone call soon after as the pushiest most proactive people get interviews. That is perhaps for later down the road when you have a bit of experience.

If I were you i would contact the HR departments of procurement companies to see if you can get a training contract then the study is paid for & you get study leave. why not start with your old company?

Each level builds on the previous one. You go for evening classes a couple of evenings a week after work and then have to fit in study time. (I used to get up before work to do an hour or so when i wasn't brain dead!!)

My advice to you however, is that as long as you are managing okay financially, then most of all enjoy your baby and take your time training. you can still have a 20 - 30 year career ahead of you, but the baby / toddler years are gone in a flash....

whosthis Tue 09-Apr-13 00:17:53

SquidgyMummy, I appreciate very much what you wrote here. Every piece of advice indeed!

I will try to find a balance between the baby and my career (financiall it is a bit tight...).

But I think I made up my mind. Thank you for offering some light on my way! thanks

SquidgyMummy Tue 09-Apr-13 19:35:53

you are very welcome! Good luck and pm me if you want any more specific advice.

CharleenKay Fri 19-Apr-13 00:09:39

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: