Share this content
11

At 50 am I too old to become an accountant?

I have a Chemical Engineering degree. Best way to become a qualified accountant please.

Didn't find your answer?

I have a head for numbers and I am a stickler for detail. I have worked as an engineer for many years but I would like to make a career change. In my early twenties I nearly started out following an accountant career path but instead followed the engineering path. Late in life I am seriously considering to pursue this new career but not sure if I have left it too late. Any advice would be much appreciated. Many thanks.

Replies (11)

Please login or register to join the discussion.

avatar
By paul.benny
05th Apr 2020 08:49

- Why do you want to make this career change? Is it a case of ‘grass is greener’?

- As a new trainee, you’re bottom of the pile. You get the lowest pay, the most basic work. You’ll be supervised/managed/bossed around by people young enough to be your children. How do you feel about that?

- There’s a ton of studying involved. Evenings, weekends, for three years. Are you up for that?

- Likely you’ll be taking a fair old pay cut. Can you afford it?

Now you’ve answered those questions for yourself, answer them to a potential employer. I’m not going to even think of hiring you unless I’m convinced that you’ve thought it through properly.

Thanks (2)
avatar
By Truthsayer
05th Apr 2020 11:01

What's wrong with being an engineer? Whatever is wrong with it, it will be matched by whatever is wrong with being an accountant. Don't believe the cobblers that recruitment agents spout about accountants' salaries. I reckon the mode salary for a qualified salary is around £45,000, and the median around £50,000. Those are good salaries, but similar to those of engineers.

Thanks (2)
RLI
By lionofludesch
05th Apr 2020 11:50

At 50 years old, I wouldn't go for a huge qualification.

Nothing to stop you learning by experience, which is where you get to learn to 89.4% of whatever you need to know.

The job market isn't great at the moment but if you can get a job in a small practice, good for you.

Thanks (2)
avatar
By Accountant A
05th Apr 2020 12:55

Never say never but a lot of qualified accountants face ageism at 50 so realistically it's a big ask. If you can get beyond an online/paper application and actually sit in front of someone, I am sure your chances would be improved.

Maybe start some self study with Association of Accounting Technicians to (a) see if it suits you and (b) show prospective employers your enthusiasm.

Thanks (1)
avatar
By Benjymac
05th Apr 2020 13:34

Thank you all for your diverse responses, plenty of food for thought however, as I expected, it sounds like a difficult route.
Many reasons for wanting to change, some personal and some for the want of a fresh challenge away from engineering. The potential drop in salary isn’t a major barrier for me as I have never been driven by salary. I think I will look to local companies and open up some dialogue to see their thoughts. Thank you all for your contributions, much appreciated.
Regards and keep safe.
Paul

Thanks (1)
bike
By FirstTab
05th Apr 2020 15:00

Have you thought about going straight into taxation? You could start with ATT and move on to CIOT. Pay is higher and more opportunities for all ages.

Accuntancy is no longer in demand. Effort and rewards do not match.

Thanks (2)
avatar
By jlhall
05th Apr 2020 15:19

Not too old. I did just that, but it is hard going as you will have to do a lot of self study, and getting first role involved some luck.
Biggest (and hardest) lesson I learnt, if you go down a self study path make sure you have clear understanding of syllabus and any upcoming changes. I was two modules into a CIMA qualification when they changed the syllabus and I found I didn't get any credits on new syllabus (almost any other combination would have been ok)
I started with an AAT course at the local FE College (this was 19 years ago, so don't know if they still exist)
Getting the first role was the most difficult thing I rang round the agencies every week for about 3 months, you have to keep your name in their minds. I decided my best chance might be in temp roles and my break came when someone dropped out of a role at the last minute and they needed to find someone that day.
Pay was a pittance, but luckily the first role was with a good company and people who were prepared to show me the ropes.
I was lucky because I had a cushion from redundancy so could take a big pay cut initially. I've done temp contracts pretty much ever since and if you go in with an attitude of what can I learn from this (even if it's I never want to work in this sector again) even the not so good jobs can be rewarding.

Thanks (0)
avatar
By memyself-eye
05th Apr 2020 17:30

Being a stickler for detail is NOT the first requirement of an accountant. Being able to identify what is important (and legal) and what is not, is.
It's called 'materiality' and often will be in conflict with what your potential clients think....

Thanks (0)
avatar
By Tosie
05th Apr 2020 20:39

It maybe useful for you to consider what type of accountancy work that you want to do. If you are considering general practice work reality is you will find it difficult to get a job that will provide you with means of getting a practice certificate when you qualify.I agree with Firsttab maybe go for Taxation qualification. Alternative, swot up on accounting software and try and get a job as a book-keeper and develop from there. Low pay but plenty of book-keepers go on to senior financial roles.Good Luck. 50 is not old another 20 years before state pension.

Thanks (0)
avatar
By MDK45
06th Apr 2020 13:26

I always said at 50 I'd do something different but at 52 I have come to realise the left side of my brain dominates the right side so I'm just going to cruise up to 60 doing as least as possible before retiring to Spain to tend orange and olive trees.

Thanks (0)
bike
By FirstTab
06th Apr 2020 13:39

Nancy Pelosi 80

Tromp 73

Biden 77

Sanders 78

All Americans. age does not appear to be an issue.

Age would not even occur to me to do what I want to do. Using Nikes tag line Just do it, if you have the passion for it and the rest who knows.

Thanks (0)
Share this content

Related posts