How do I start a career in Accountancy?

Blog header careers

Many people often ask us at PPF how we started our career and studying in bookkeeping or accountancy.

Maybe you have asked this very question yourself!

If you are anything like me, it took a long time to decide what career I wanted to get into, and for me it meant completely changing my career. I was in the beauty industry for over 12 years and not only that, I was already in my 30’s! 

Firstly, why did I choose Accountancy?

It has always been at the epicentre of running a business. After all, you can’t run an efficient and profitable business, without someone keeping an eye on the “books”. As the backbone of every business, it also offers strong career development opportunities across different industries.


Secondly, how did I do it?

We thought we would help you out a little bit and give you some practical pointers on where to look and how to get started.

Here are some general steps you can take to start your career in accountancy.

The Association of Accounting Technicians,  commonly known as AAT is the professional membership body that award skills-based accountancy and finance qualifications. 

A great place to start would be to visit their website at

To receive the full AAT Membership and qualification there are 4 levels.

Whether you’re new to accounting or looking to develop existing skills, AAT Skillcheck can help you choose the right level to start on. From the AAT’s homepage > Qualifications and Courses > AAT Skillcheck or click on the direct link in this blog.

It is a short online test which consists of multiple-choice questions and should take around 30 minutes to complete. The questions cover double-entry bookkeeping, bookkeeping controls, costing, and business environment.


Which training provider should I go with and how long will it take me?

There is a wide range of training providers to choose from and various ways to learn to fit into our busy schedules!

The time element will depend on the study path you choose and naturally, we all have completely different learning styles.

Some of us thrive in a classroom environment which will help keep us motivated and structured as well as being surrounded by other like-minded students.

Others prefer to do all of the studying on their own and choose the self study option.

Yet, some of us, like myself prefer online courses in the comfort of our own workspace which means you can study at any time you can and watch video recordings of any lectures as you progress. This has enabled me to continue working full time and study AAT outside of my work hours with the aid of online tutors who are available to support you every step of the way.

How much time does it take?

Just to give an idea of the time element, for AAT Level 3, the recommend study hours per week is 7-9 hours which would mean you would complete the level in around 1 year, and this level has 4 exams, one at the end of each module. Remember, choose whichever learning style works for you best but most importantly, pick one that you feel suits you naturally and will keep you motivated through your AAT journey!

For all of the above, we highly recommend the training provider, First Intuition which offers both apprenticeship and commercial programs for AAT. 

If you are already working in accountancy or finance, you can also speak to your current manager regarding apprenticeship options through your workplace.

As you are probably aware, many of us here at PPF have studied the whole accounting journey through many different routes and some of us are still studying. So if you would like any more information, please feel free drop us a message!


If you are interested in working with us at PPF – check out our careers page for our hiring process and open vacancies.