Anonymous asked in Business & FinanceOther - Business & Finance · 1 decade ago

Is accounting a dying profession here in the UK? Whats the future for accountants in terms of pay?

Seeing as there are more accountants for each individual than in the whole of europe, are accounting degrees and accounting qualifications useless ? Is a finance career still a good option?

The law of demand stated anything which is needed and very easily available will have a value which is cheap... is the future for the accounting Professional ?What do you think?

4 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favourite answer

    Regarding the future of the profession, I can't speak for practice, but in industry I'd say it's in good health. Finance information is necessary for informed business decision-making. This is only likely to increase in future, as IT plays an ever-bigger role. I'd say the trend will be for more accountants to interpret the data that IT provides, and fewer clerks as IT systems streamline the transactional side.

    The real question here is your own future, though. However well or badly the profession does, an ACA from a Big 4 firm will always do well.

    An accounting degree does not help you in terms of developing an accounting career in the UK. The most it will get you is a handful of exemptions from a professional body.

    With an accounting degree, if you apply to the Big 4 graduate schemes, and they reject you, you'll end up working your way down the ladder to smaller and smaller practices until you find someone who will take you. If you don't get in at a top 10 firm, this will provide a very poor launchpad for your career, and you will struggle to move out of relatively poorly-paying practice jobs when you qualify.

    If, on the other hand, you do another numerate discipline, you lose very little for your accounting career, but you give yourself other options. Then later on, if you don't get in with a big firm (or large corporate CIMA scheme) it's not the end of the world.

    Source(s): I'm a newly-qualified accountant.
  • L
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    You are correct, my last ACCA exam was at Manchester United there were so many people sitting exams over 3000 of them this was just Manchester there are many cities with similar numbers. Though cornwall ACCA exams were funny it was just me and another bloke in an exam room in the middle of a field. Thus by the laws of supply and demand you are correct wages are suppressed.

    However this is only part of the story, in that you are not only competing against your fellow British people like me, you are Competition against millions in India and China who due to purchasing power disparity will work for much less. The £3 they work an hour for is nothing here but it is good money over there. The main raw material out accountancy practice is data and in the age of the internet this unlike say steel can be moved around incredibly easily.

    There is also pressure via software I said in another answer

    Accountancy is dying, outsourcing where Chindians will work for £1-3 an hour who are more qualified than FCCAs is one thing which is destroying the industry. My old place had 27 or so staff they now have 12 or so everybody was pushed bar the interns who scan things in to send to India.

    Automation is also killing many roles, my personal tax experience was HIGHLY valued in 2005 by 2007 it had been integrated into software making me obselete so I moved to accounts, but then accounts software advanced quickly meaning clients could do most of the work themselves this got hit by outsourcing. So I moved into audit role which can be outsourced again.

    Ontop of all this bad news there are 10000s of unemployed accountants out there, including me (I do temp jobs and I work as an author these days), in JJB sports warehouse there were NINE FCAs who had been made redundant, these jobs are not coming back.

    HOWEVER there is ONE gambit, in that although practice accountancy is dying, industry accounting isn't there is an old saying a practice accountant counts wealth, an industry accountant attempts to generate it. Although common functions can be outsourced like payroll or basic book keeping. Business planning and management accounts cannot, and or will not as it is not good biz to show your potential competitors your biz plans.

    Also that the qualification itself ACCA or ACA is valued, unlike GCSEs which have a 92% pass rate, the pass rate for ACCA exams in the easier papers is less than 30%. With one paper which has an 92% fail rate). Which plays into the shortage vs numbers.

    My own personal experience is that wages have been static for years and years, often actually falling in real terms (inflation), and there are so many who jumped on the bandwagon that there isn't really much of a future for accountancy.

    We may be hit by a IT bubble event though, in that 100000s of people after the tech bubble burst were unemployed, many moved into other areas, meaning the supply of IT professionals dried up and the wages started to increase. But the levels today in IT are far below they were at the height of the IT boom.

    Of course this is just my opinion and you can take it or leave it.

  • bleau
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    mmm. the place does that circulate away me, I already go through vertigo, (from ear infections) ! Am i actually doomed to a existence off stability, perhaps I extra valuable lie down on the spreadsheet until now I loose from now on pastime!

  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    mmm. the place does that go away me, I already go through vertigo, (from ear infections) ! Am i actually doomed to a existence off stability, perhaps I extra effective lie down on the spreadsheet formerly I loose to any extent further pastime!

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