Help needed starting out


I have only just started looking at jobs in accountancy. But i dont really know where to start. From what i understand so far, the main 2 areas to go into are audit and tax. i have a few questions at this point in time:

how did everyone decide what they wanted to go into? Ive done a maths degree but have no releveant experience in either of these areas so really dont know which one to apply for.

do people working in the tax department still become chartered accountants at the end or is it a different qualification?

which is the more popular choice?

what are the different possibilities for afterwards and which is the most varied?

which is generally seen as more interesting/rewarding and which is supposed to be harder work?

which is harder to get into and which would i be more likely to succeed in applications seeing as i have no experience?

thanks to anyone who answers any of these questions


Hey sicoles1,

  1. I’m not much help here because I did a business related degree, which helped me decide.
  2. It depends on the firm you apply to. Some take the route of chartered accountant, some take the route of chartered tax accountant, and some let you do both qualifications.
  3. There are more far places available in audit, so I would argue this is the most popular.
  4. I think this depends a lot of the qualification you take. A tax qualification will narrow your options more than a general accountancy qual. I can only speak from a tax point of view, but pretty much there are never two days the same due to all the changes in legislation and all the varied clients. Again it depends on what firm you join, and whether they like you to specialise.
  5. All I can say is that you need to research and pick what sounds most interesting to you. What the majority like may not be what you like. Regardless, you will be working hard in either field! :slight_smile:
  6. Experience at a grad level is not important. They will look for skills and competencies that you have gained from any of the activities you have done (from sports to working in a supermarket). Like I said before, there are far more places available in audit, but choose what you are more interested in, not what you think is easy to get into. They both look for a similar standard in applicant, so although there are more spaces in audit, it doesn’t make it necessarily easier to get into.

Hope that helps a bit!