Just beginning my journey into the wonderful world of accountancy, and I'm lost already.
April 11, 2012 1:23 PM   Subscribe

Hello everyone! Once again I am turning to AskMeFi for advice. The gist of it is: I'm a recent UK-based graduate in a non-finance discipline, and decided to make the move into finance and accounting. So far I have completed the three foundation modules of ACCA International, and am about to start studying for the upcoming F4 exam... and I've started to look for relevant jobs. Of course, the problem is experience (lack of). I've never had a direct finance job, and most positions (including entry-level ones [don't get me wrong; I know it's a long road and I'm barely at the start!]) seem to demand at least 2 years' experience. So, what to do?

What I would be really grateful for is some tips or advice on how exactly to proceed. I've taken to the courses well so far, and whilst "enjoyment" may be too strong a word, the subject matter definitely clicks with how I work, but obviously it's all irrelevant without some experience. Should I start begging companies to let me do their books, come what may? Try to do some volunteer work for charities? MeFites - bombard me with knowledge!
posted by jhighmore to Work & Money (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Have you tried working for a temp agency? I have temped as an admin assistant/receptionist/secretary, and while I have no particular knowledge of or desire to work in the finance industry, I've been wound up in admin assistant positions at finance companies and reception positions involving bits and pieces of accounts receivable.
posted by snorkmaiden at 2:34 PM on April 11, 2012

Are you in London? I'm a director of a non-profit looking for some finance help at the moment. MeMail me if you like.
posted by corvine at 3:23 PM on April 11, 2012

(to be clear, that is if you're interested in potentially doing something for experience and little/no pay)
posted by corvine at 3:25 PM on April 11, 2012

Have you contacted any companies you want to work for to enquire about a work experience placement? I used to arrange these placements for the finance companies in the UK and I know I had at least one person who had already graduated come through. You can build up some good connections this way as well as get some good advice.

Temping is another good idea. It will sometimes lead to a permanent position and once you have your foot in the door you can work your way up. Good luck!
posted by triggerfinger at 8:22 PM on April 11, 2012

Is it possible to use your non-finance degree to get a non-finance job in a financial company? As an employee you will undoubtedly have access to opportunities that aren't advertised to the general public (that, plus once you're trained a company will often prefer to move you to a different department than lose you altogether).

How you deal with this in an interview setting is a different thing. Honesty is undoubtedly best, and if you can fill a spot that desperately needs filling—even temporarily—it's likely they won't mind about your short-term aspirations.

This is how I made my move into finance, by the way (computer science degree, programmer, analyst, onwards…).
posted by fakelvis at 11:28 PM on April 11, 2012

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