I’ve been studying, practicing and teaching Accounting in some capacity for the last twenty five years.  What I have learnt from this is that there is so much more to learn.  And it can be challenging.

It helps to be good in Maths, especially studying the practical side of accounting.  However, you also need to be able to grasp difficult law concepts if you plan on going into taxation.  You need to be able to grasp difficult maths concepts if you plan to study finance.  There are other areas of accounting that you need to be able synthesise material and make recommendations, to be able to analyse and make sound judgements.  Some of these come with practice (sound judgement), some you may have a natural talent for (some just have better maths abilities than others) and some you will learn along the way.

I myself started off having good practical skills but my natural ability isn’t in analysing the details but in being able to see the big picture and being able to sort through lots of material to make recommendations.

Whenever I tell someone I am an accountant the first assumption is that I am a Tax Accountant and that I work with entering numbers all day and while that is part of my job, the most important part is to present financial management reports in a way that is going to meaningful to management.  AND to spot trends and errors to develop meaningful budgets and forecasts.

So Accounting is challenging because it requires skills from a lot of different areas and twenty-five years later I am still learning.  The challenge when you start out is you may not know what area you want to specialise in.  This was me at University.  It wasn’t until ten years later I knew the area I really want to work in and build a career around.

Enjoy this time.  Learn the different areas and find out what skill sets you have, where your natural talents lie and work out what areas you’d like to specialise in.  But if you don’t find out at university, take heart.  It took me a long time to work it out and that is the benefit of working in accounting firms.  You can try different areas until you find your niche.

Enjoy your search and your studies.

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