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Accounting at 40

To old to get into forensic accounting

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Hello all, at 40 years old I've decided on a career change, for a number of reasons, but mainly I don't enjoy engineering like I did when I was younger, after a few months of thinking what I would like to do I've decided I would like to move into accounting, specifically forensic accounting, am I to old to go for this career path? And what would be the best route to take, the way I see it I most likely have 30 years of working life left, and I'm happy to put the time and effort in to achieve my goal would love to hear your advice. 

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By Leywood
16th Aug 2021 10:29

1) Why Accounting?
2) Why forensic Accounting?
3) What steps have you taken so far to ensure you really will enjoy the subject? (Bearing in mind you wil not be getting into Accounting at 40 as it will take a number of years to train.)

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By Old Man sudor
16th Aug 2021 10:43

I've chosen accounting, as it interest me and it would be a stable career for the next 25/30 years, can also open doors in to many industry and roles.

Forensic accounting just sealed this is the career I would like to do for me, I like puzzles, investing etc and tbh just sounds fun.

I've been looking up courses and doing as much research as possible, i understand that if will take a few if not more to be qualified and more to get experience, at mo I plan on doing my Aat 2 - 4 courses and once I hit lvl 3 look for work in accounting hopefully in auditing if possible to start with

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Replying to Old Man sudor:
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By Truthsayer
16th Aug 2021 12:01

Forensic accounting is difficult to get into, and the few openings that arise tend to take only recently qualified applicants with first time passes. You are probably wasting your time if you pin your hopes on it. If you really want to change career, be prepared to accept whatever you can get. It is not easy to get a good starter job in accountancy at any age. What is wrong with your engineering career, anyway? Whatever you don't like about it will be matched with equally bad things in accountancy. The grass is no greener on this side of the hill.

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Replying to Old Man sudor:
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By I'msorryIhaven'taclue
16th Aug 2021 12:53

Old Man sudor wrote:

Forensic accounting just sealed this is the career I would like to do for me, I like puzzles, investing etc and tbh just sounds fun.

Is that a rearrange the words puzzle?

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Replying to Old Man sudor:
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By David Ex
16th Aug 2021 13:27

Old Man sudor wrote:

I like puzzles, investing etc and tbh just sounds fun.

Please don’t use that as your interview pitch.

https://www.prospects.ac.uk/job-profiles/forensic-accountant

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Replying to David Ex:
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By Old Man sudor
16th Aug 2021 14:08

Thank-you for the link, and the advice.

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By paul.benny
17th Aug 2021 15:47

Old Man sudor wrote:
I've been ... doing as much research as possible

How many accountants have you spoken to as part of your research?

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By DKB-Sheffield
16th Aug 2021 13:32

Hi

Let's face it... all accounting is "forensic" to an extent so, if it is the "puzzle side" that interests you, you'll probably get as much enjoyment from run of the mill bookkeeping, financial accounting or management accounting!

However, you are from an engineering background and will likely possess significant expertise in that area. Such expertise would set you head and shoulders above other trainee accountants looking for an opening into engineering management accountancy. May I therefore be as bold as to suggest you use you niche knowledge to seek employment in the accounting function of an engineering firm - or an accounting practice that specialises with engineering clients. You'll clearly have to learn and train in accountancy but, you'll be in a much better position to put the theory into practice (you may even command a higher salary as a result).

Clearly, after a while, and after gaining qualifications you may wish to specialise. However, by working in an environment within your comfort zone, you'll stand a better chance of learning how to apply accounting principles to practice AND you won't be taking so much of a punt!

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Scooby
By gainsborough
16th Aug 2021 13:52

Not sure I would include giving expert witness testimony as fun but to each his own!

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By hfiddes
16th Aug 2021 15:43

I work for a niche data analytics company nowadays but was in on the early days of the big accountancy firms helping out the SFO back in the 80s. Things have changed enormously but there is quite a bit of work for data analysts in forensics if that route takes your fancy.

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Slim
By Slim
16th Aug 2021 17:41

I did some work for the police and thought it would be really interesting to work in the financial side but you had to be a police officer even though a lot of the job would have been ideally suited for an accountant.

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David Winch
By David Winch
20th Aug 2021 09:45

Was that recently? Police forces and other investigator-prosecutors (such as local authorities) use civilians with appropriate training (not usually qualified accountants). "Accredited Financial Investigators" or AFIs are accredited by the NCA for the purposes of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. Google it for job vacancies.
David

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By paul.benny
17th Aug 2021 15:45

1 Can you afford the salary drop when you go being a trainee in your new profession?
2 Have you considered the dynamic of being supervised by people who are much younger and much less experienced than you?
3 Are you prepared for the studying - both the effort itself and the time commitment? Ditto your partner/family if you have them.

The answers are not important here - but you need to answer them honestly for yourself.

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Replying to paul.benny:
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By Brodders
20th Aug 2021 09:54

this is absolutely fantastic advice

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By Ammie
20th Aug 2021 10:04

You may find that your desire is quashed when you experience the field. It will be very difficult to enter the area unless you get very lucky and start very low down and take all the flak that will come with progression and promotion. It will be an extremely difficult and testing experience, one you may regret when the excitement has settled.

You may also, unnecessarily, leave a profession you may fall behind in and struggle to rejoin if you do not meet expectations from the change, and then find yourself with less than what you started with.

I would look at the whole picture, including your personal life, because that may also have sparked a decision, which may later prove to be hasty and reactive.

You need to conduct extensive research into the work you are seeking to enter, warts and all. If you still want it then you need to begin the intensive drive to get in somewhere. Make sure you have the financial security to carry you through. Good luck.

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Replying to Ammie:
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By Old Man sudor
20th Aug 2021 10:46

Ty for the advice

These are all questions and issues I have, I'm trying not to be hasty and make sure it is the right move for me and my family, I'm big and ugly enough to know that it will not be all sunshine and roses.

Im trying to talk to ppl in the accounting world, watching videos etc to get a good idea if this is a world I want to enter.

I won't bite the bullet until I know it is the correct thing to do.

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By kestrepo
20th Aug 2021 10:04

How about looking at the dark side....... HMRC have lots of investigative positions available........

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By paul.benny
20th Aug 2021 10:29

I see the OP seems to have lost interest in the answers to his/her question.

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Replying to paul.benny:
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By Old Man sudor
20th Aug 2021 10:38

No, I am reading every one and taking it all on board.

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By ayazca
26th Aug 2021 15:04

I used to work for a firm where one of the partners had qualified at the age of 40 and was practising until the age of 74, so if you can learn and train at the same time which will take 3 years minimum work experience to qualify and then further 2 years to get Practising Certificate you can still have 25 years of work if you plan to work till the age of 70

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