How to get into accounting with no experience
An accounts assistant typically gets paid in the region of €18,500-25,000, a junior auditor earns around €31,000-40,000, and a newly qualified auditor enjoys a salary range of €27,500-52,000, according to the 2020 Hays Salary Survey for accounting jobs and salaries, reported by UK specialist recruitment agency Accountancy Careers. The pay scale in Ireland is quite similar.
As you can see, entry accounting roles are well paid, but if you have no experience, what are the minimal qualifications and skills needed for an accounting job?
For an entry level role, you’ll be expected to have good numeracy skills, which you can demonstrate with a good academic record in mathematics, and be able to think analytically. To get started understanding the world of accounting and basic terms and concepts, learn what you can from free online sources and courses.
On accounting courses for beginners you can expect to learn about the different types of accounting concepts. Just search for an introduction to accounting online course, or check out our free beginner’s programme – details below.
Once you have a grasp of the basics, you may wish to start specialising in a particular area with, for example, an accounting technician course or a financial accounting course, or you can start applying to entry-level positions, apprenticeships or internships right away.
Positions that don’t usually require different types of qualifications or accounting degrees but can be a great foot in the door include accounts assistants, bookkeepers and accounts clerks.
Do you need a degree or professional qualifications to become an accountant?
To become an accountant, you need to have a professional qualification such as the AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians), and to become a chartered accountant you’ll need to study for further qualifications, such as those offered by CIMA (Chartered Institute of Management Accountants) qualifications, ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants), or the ACA (Associate Chartered Accountant) qualification offered by ICAEW (Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales).
Generally speaking, the more qualifications you hold, the higher your earning potential.
University degrees aren’t necessary, and not every accountant follows the traditional route of A-levels, degree, qualification. It’s possible to become a qualified accountant by working your way up from an entry-level position, gaining experience and studying for professional qualifications.
If you’re good with numbers and want to become an accountant, you can do it too. There are lots of excellent online accounting courses here in Ireland as well as all around the world, and course prices are far from prohibitive.