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Professional development

5 things to do before starting your accounting career

Starting a new career can be a daunting, yet exciting prospect. If you’re a university student studying to become an accountant, you’ll no doubt have brushed up on your financial knowledge. You’ll have learnt about financial ratios, understand tax laws and memorised more accounting terms than the average person. But before you tip your hat, receive your diploma and set off on your career as an accountant, here are five things you need to know.

1 Get experience

It can be easy to get wrapped up in study and exams when you’re a university student, but you need to start thinking ahead now. Apply for work experience with an accountant or an accounting firm – while it may be unpaid, it’s a fantastic way to get real-life experience. Completing internships or having a part-time job in the industry, will not only give you insight into the profession but you’ll have relevant experience to put on your resume – making you stand out from the crowd.

2 Start applying early

Many large accounting firms offer rigid graduate programs with strict guidelines on when and how to apply. Start doing your research early to find out which companies you may like to work for and see if they have a formal graduate process. You may be required to do multiple interviews, so it’s best to prepared early. Just make sure you write down all the deadlines, so you don’t miss out on applying for one of the coveted positions.

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3 Learn how to be a team player

Working full-time in an office is very different to the flexibility of university life. While most accounting firms will value your financial and accounting knowledge, they’ll also want to know you can work well in a team environment. You will not only be judged on your academic achievements but also your people skills. If you can learn how to work well with others, be a team player with excellent time management skills, you’ll be a great candidate for success.

4 Keep up with industry knowledge

When you’re working as an accountant, you’ll be required to keep up with industry trends, news and all the latest rules and regulations. Get into the habit of staying on top of the latest news now. Find reliable sources, sign up to email marketing and subscribe to any magazines or journals that may help you. Your future employer will be impressed with your initiative and you’ll set yourself up for an exciting and dynamic career in the accounting industry.

5 Start networking

There’s no need to wait until you have a job as an accountant to start networking. For starters, you’re university classmates could be great industry connections in the future, so it’s worth staying in touch. Go to any networking events that you can and get to know other accountants in your area. If you complete any internships or work experience, make sure you keep in contact with your work colleagues.

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