Retraining in accountancy advice please

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Hi all,

I am just turned 40, and after years in the utilities industry in Senior Commercial roles will be taking redundancy at the end of 2020.

I am seriously considering taking the natural break as an opportunity to retrain, and accountancy is my preferred direction at the moment. However, I could really do with some advice on best route in. I would like to work in industry in the future, rather than practice, and have 18odd years experience in industry, but recognise that I will need to start at the bottom through this process - and am cool with that!

Any guidance on where to start, both with training, and job hunting would be greatly appreciated. Also interested in hearing stories from people who have done something similar!?

Cheers
S

Replies (8)

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By Steve Holloway
05th May 2020 08:41

I am not so sure it is a great move. I think accountants were ranked in the top three jobs likely to be replaced by automation in the future (also avoid commercial driving and warehouse work!). I think there will always be roles for people with a financial bias who are good at communicating but much of the nuts and bolts work is gradually disappearing. I would not put myself forward as particularly tech savvy but I can sit here at home and produce the work of perhaps six people compared to when I started out. Interestingly enough my charge out rate is broadly the same as it was in 1990!

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By Duggimon
05th May 2020 11:22

The reports on the rise of AI are almost exclusively written by people who don't understand AI.

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By paul.benny
05th May 2020 09:48

Why accountancy rather than any other profession/occupation? Why are you intending to move away from your current field?

On paper, you're an unorthodox candidate. Your experience and prior seniority may make you disruptive (because you're not used to having a junior role). There's a lot of study involved.

If I'm going to contemplate hiring you, I would want to be clear that you've properly considered all of the above.

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By the_drookit_dug
05th May 2020 09:58

Is there no way you can pivot to a role that builds on your current experience? The traditional route to becoming a qualified accountant will take at least 5 years to get to, all whilst the sector becomes increasingly automated.

Your current background may position you well to take on a business advisory role - an area accountancy will increasingly move towards.

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By SG0102
05th May 2020 10:00

Good and welcome challenge.

Why moving away? There are limited opportunities, and my experience set is pretty narrow, thus marking it harder. I currently do not have any "expertise" or qualification to fall back on.

Why accountancy? It is a natural extension in many ways to my career to date, I am close to business planning, financial decision making and performance and so have a good working knowledge to help shape my understanding.

Whilst I know there is no job market that is easy out there, I see accountancy as a good fit for my skills and experience, and gives me more choice, certainly from a location point of view, in future career decisions.

Hope that helps explain!

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By hfiddes
05th May 2020 14:46

I'm a bit out of the loop nowadays but a colleague I worked with many years ago (he was a network security specialist and I was the accountant/computer auditor) decided to try CIMA because he thought it complemented the work he was getting more involved with - outsourced services which require info for measurement and management. He studied in his spare time and got it and was doing fine last I knew. You might find that route suits.
Good luck.
PS He was about your age too.

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By SG0102
05th May 2020 16:15

Yeah, this is where I need the advice! CIMA may be a more natural fit longer term, but I don't know how easy/hard it is to train for CIMA from a standing start (e.g. I need to find a job), or whether other qualifications are better suited for my situation.

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By SG0102
05th May 2020 16:15

Yeah, this is where I need the advice! CIMA may be a more natural fit longer term, but I don't know how easy/hard it is to train for CIMA from a standing start (e.g. I need to find a job), or whether other qualifications are better suited for my situation.

Thanks (0)