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I am not a traditional accountant!! Anyone else like this?

I am not a traditional accountant!! Anyone else...

I am a Qualified ACCA, Masters and work for a large company earning very good money.

However I didnt really ever want to be an accountant but thought it would be a good career. Half way through my studies I thought I cant continue not because of the work element or bad marks quite the contrary. I just thought this is dull.

However I managed to trick myself into working hard with the belief of starting my own company at the end of my studies (as an accountant would provide a sound basis for this etc).

Now I am at the point where on qualifying I have been promoted GREAT but I find it all mildly dull compared to my other qualified colleagues who love it. I work at a great company people are fab, money good, good prospects.

I have looked at other jobs with recruitment consultants and all the jobs are the same.

Is there anyone else out there feel like this and if so what are they doing or did about it?

Really interested to know!!!


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14th Apr 2008 11:05

Not the job for you!
Strangely, I find my work satisfying and rewarding. Unfortunately, my main interest is playing jazz, but keeping the 'day job' enables me to pursue this interest. Not many players, including the professionals who attend our club are what you might call 'well off'.
Find an interest and make the best of what you have achieved!

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By Anonymous
05th Apr 2008 12:02

Can't agree more
I too went into accountancy to learn important business lessons with the ultimate ambition of setting up a business. 10 years on and 30 approaching, I feel that with an envious salary and my own place, the risks just keep getting bigger to set up alone.

I've always hated the tag of 'accountnant' I also hate introducing myself as an accountant to new friends but prefer to be a 'consulatant' or 'business adviser'. I feel that I add value to all my clients/employers - and am not someone to produce the same old reports every month.

However, you say you work for a large corporate, perhaps this is it. I've always worked for SME's. Being in a boardroom with investors, CEO or MD, telling them how to run their business gives me great pride. Rightly or wrongly, I have always thought that being in a big corporate may look good on your CV but would be boring, I guess that you would be one of many and unable to make a difference.

Motivation has always been an issue with me. but a client once told me that if you want motivation then buy the house and car that you can't afford, that will keep you motivated.

I tend to agree, perhaps the business start up is the way to go...and ironically that is where I am heading!

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By Anonymous
05th Apr 2008 07:01

Career Faux Pas
So another drfifter who thought Accounting was a profitable and safe career.
Now found out that it's not the rib-tickling, super-exciting, self-gratifying career path that you now look for.
Ahh Diddums

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By Anonymous
04th Apr 2008 20:49

I can empathise with you to a certain extent, as I previously worked in the corporate world, and could get bored easily, I like to be really busy and have varied work. However, you will find that whatever job you are in whether in corporate or practise that your role is what you make it. If you want it to be more interesting/varied ask for extra projects etc.

However, whatever you do you have to accept there will always some mundane tasks that you are required to do whether it is admin or other tasks you aren't keen on. It is a huge challenge to start up a new business whether in accounting or another industry and you have to be incredibly passionate and self-motivated to do so. Walking away from corporate life is not an easy decision, excellent salaries and bonuses and all the comforts that the role provides.

Keep your options open, and if you do find an unmissable business opportunity go for it once you have thoroughly researched it and fully commit to it.

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04th Apr 2008 16:24

Is it really the work that is dull?
What, exactly, is a 'traditional accountant'?

Whenever my children complained of boredom I always pointed out that only boring people get bored - (and I do believe that to be true).

Every job has its 'dull' moments - in most jobs that accounts for about 90% of the working hours. It's already been pointed out that the best bits include getting paid! Have you thought about a bit of lateral thinking to make the job more interesting? It might mean doing something that 'isn't your job' or doing something that you don't actually get paid for. But - it might make your life more interesting; it might get you noticed for a job that you actually enjoy doing (whether or not it pays as much); it might help you find your personal niche - and worst case is that you gain some extra experience - and you might even enjoy doing it. Working for yourself is another obvious answer - but it does sound as though self-motivation would be something of a problem for you.

It seems to me that a well paid job that doesn't tax you too much means that you should have plenty of energy and brain power left in your free time to follow up a fascinating hobby or do some voluntary work etc.etc.etc. If you made good use of that time, you would probably find your outlook on work would change and the job wouldn't be so dull after all.

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By Anonymous
04th Apr 2008 16:10

Congratulations on your honesty though
Bit different to you, I did ticking and bashing for years after embarking on my career at age 18, and found it dull and lifeless.

I moved into insolvency and it's completely different. You meet new people constantly (some strange characters indeed!), hold creditor meetings, travel everywhere and strike business deals constantly. Its so much more rewarding.

On top of that, I opened a P/T accy practice, and run it my own style.

Maybe you should think about a change. I'm 30 now and making almost three times the amount of money I was 3 years ago.

I know this sounds a bit silly, but I was in a rut, and got in gear after listening to a motivational speaker and was instantly inspired.

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By Anonymous
04th Apr 2008 13:11

Non Traditional
As a s/p, the things that thrill me are:

Getting new clients
Raising invoices
Getting paid

i.e. not preparing or reviewing accounts, tax returns or the ilk. I obviously get pleasure from helping clients, but the three things above are the first things I tell my wife about when I get home.

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04th Apr 2008 00:57

Nothing traditional in that question
Good question, it stopped me going to bed. I’m struck by the number of anons & pseudonyms, why the secrecy? Mind you, given his/her preferred alternative careers I don’t blame Antitaxman staying in the shadows.......tell me are you pro tax women?

Given how many people now train as accountants only to end up going off at a tangent I doubt whether there are too many “traditional accountants” left. I am an >50 sole practitioner, you don’t get much more traditional than that but then (behind the scenes) I’m vegetarian, believe it should be a criminal offence not to vote Green and won’t deal with people whose prime driving force is making money or avoiding tax.

When you (the questioner) think about a trad accountant are thinking of someone with less than average imagination, blinkered ambition, bit of a stick-in-the-mud, could do with 10,000 volts, quite harmless etc etc? If so, then, from what you say about your job & outlook, I’d have to say you seem to tick all the boxes.

I don’t mean to be unkind, honest, but if you had what it takes to get qualified and seem to be able to hold down a reasonable job and get on with people then the only thing holding you back from getting out there and finding something that will inspire you, is you.

There must have been times in your career when you have enjoyed yourself (legally)? For me it’s putting a team of people together and getting the best from us all, finding better ways to do things, making a client’s life easier (and getting paid for it), marketing my business etc etc, and not a calculator in sight.

Take some time off, work out what pushes your buttons, surf the web, read the papers, pay for some career counselling, avoid The Apprentice, think outside the box. How about going part-time and getting a low paid job in a not for profit organisation that supports something you believe in?

All the very best

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03rd Apr 2008 19:56

Boring Work
You don't say what type of accounting work you actually do. It might not be boring if you worked elswhere.

At one time I enjoyed my tax work. I don't now because HMRC have too much power & I cannot haggle & horse trade with them now.. The HMRC & taxpayer relationship is too one sided. The HMRC are now raising taxes on things that should not be taxed. Eg income shifting between Husband & Wife , Prior Owned Assets Tax etc etc.

However I never enjoyed pure accountancy work and only entered the profession because Jim Slater was a CA. I was only interested in making money not being a score keeper.

If I had my time again I woud have become a stockbroker (almost did), solicitor or estate agent (I am actually a Fellow of a Professional Body -no exams in my day).

On got into tax by chance -which I had not because it does not exist as a separate profession & you always have to work for some else.

I only know of one tax specialist who became a multi millionaire thats Godfrey Bradman and then he made his money out of property.

I have worked in large companies and the work is dull unless you are the boss. Maybe you want a change of job, a bigger fish in a smaller pond or even a job overseas.

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03rd Apr 2008 16:50

It's not for eveyone!
Tradional or otherwise is a red herring ... you either like the job or you don't. After 23 years I still love it!

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03rd Apr 2008 15:51

Not a traditional
I played in a rock band for years, doing tax accounting by day to pay for the rehersal rooms, the band van, the gear, the recordings, etc. I went to work every day with my dreadlocks and punk rocker clothes, and yet still pulled in record sales for the company four years in a row. My day began at noon and I'd leave at whatever time the band was getting together - or stay until midnight if it was tax season and we weren't playing that night. In the beginning, I just worked tax season, but as I was top volume in sales, my employers had me stick around during the off season to get other stuff done. In the off season, I handled investigations, client complaints, everything from soup to nuts.

In the end, I got tired of the constant struggle to keep drummers and base players in the band, booking gigs, getting airplay, getting charted, and trying to get noticed. So I stopped and switched to full-time year-round accountancy, and now have my own practice. I make oodles more than before, and "big up on the re-spekt".

If you're bored, do other work - but play to your strengths when you do so.

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By Anonymous
03rd Apr 2008 15:11

Take a risk !
I moved into professional publishing at the age of 49, and have never regretted it !

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03rd Apr 2008 15:06

you might be better off self-employed
for example, being self-employed, I have been able to enjoy the 2.35 at Aintree on BBC2 where Our Vic just got his nose in front of Kauto Star in a thrilling finish.
To make it even better I had a small wager on Our Vic at 10-1.

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By Anonymous
03rd Apr 2008 14:54

Stick with it
Speaking as a person verging on "seniority" in age and having suffered many depressed days over the last 40+ years regretting my choice of profession, my advice is to either choose an occupation that is totally different from your present one or stick with the one you have.

I have earned and continue to earn a good living but I regret not having taken an access course and moved to medicine, which I should probably have chosen.

I have found the benefits provided by sufficient money by far outweigh the disadvantages of a job one dislikes. I'm good at my job and the rewards have made putting up with the dislike of the work well worthwhile. Having said this, I confess I am now used to my profession and have even come to like it .............a bit! Better late than never!!

It is not really provable but for me at least, I would say the ratio is about 10:1 in terms of the money making you feel you can stick with it.

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03rd Apr 2008 14:33

Nor am I a traditional Accountant
For starters I'm payed very poorly considering my ACCA status.

But my condolences for you having to put up with being sucessful and well paid, I can see how that would be a drag.

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By cstax
03rd Apr 2008 14:21

Im not a traditional Accountant either
Get a job at the HMRC Call Centre and learn a new skill, "lying" together with constant abuse from disgruntled Accountants/Tax gurus......hardly dull!!

Moi? I love this job and work 24/7.....way too addicted

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03rd Apr 2008 14:07

Start your own business
An option is to start your own business. But you don't sound very motivated to do so. If you are not a self-starter you probably won't succeed.

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By neileg
03rd Apr 2008 14:03

Lion Tamer
Short working hours, not at all dull and plenty of fertiliser for the garden.

Seriously, though, since qualifying I have had my own traditional practice, been a consultant in financial strategy and IT, done some journalism, been a project manager in engineering, had my own PC manufacturing business, run a function catering company and now doing internal consulting in a local authority. Plus a few other roles along the way. I've been well off, nearly bankrupt but never bored!

But this would never have happened if I hadn't taken a risk and given up that secure pay cheque.

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03rd Apr 2008 13:35

my view
you seem to have too much time on your hands.
also you seem a little on the immature side.
just 2 pieces of advice:
1. count your blessings
2. get out more.
in a few years time you will look back and thank me for this advice.

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