How to Break Into the Accounting Industry Without Experience

Are you interested in a career as an accountant, but you have no idea how to get a job without experience?

Breaking into the accounting industry can be difficult — if you do not follow the right approach.

We are here to give you the step-by-step process you can follow to get hired quicker and build your accounting career faster.

This article will look at what the accounting industry encompasses, popular accounting jobs, the top skills you need, and the process you can follow to get an accounting job without any experience. 

What is accounting, and what are popular accounting jobs?

Accounting can be defined as the process or work of keeping a company’s financial accounts. It involves the process of identifying, measuring, recording, and sharing the financial information of one or multiple businesses. There are different types of accounting jobs: 

  • Public accounting: Public accountants work at international, regional, or local public firms. They typically specialise in one or more aspects of accounting, such as tax preparation or auditing. 
  • Private accounting: Private accountants are hired by private companies to handle their financial responsibilities. These businesses range from small companies to large and international corporations. Accountants of these businesses are typically involved in all the company’s financial decisions. 
  • Government accounting: Local, state and federal governments hire accountants to handle their financial accounts. These accountants must often investigate compliance with financial regulations, perform audits, and more. 
  • Financial service accounting: Accountants are also often hired in the financial industry to work for commercial banks, accounting firms, and other financial institutions. Their work responsibilities can range from working with customers in the bank to managing assets, and more.
  • Nonprofit accounting: Nonprofit organisations hire accountants to take care of several financial tasks, such as managing contributions, handling fundraising activities, ensuring the company complies with nonprofit laws, and more.

Accountants can choose to specialise in several areas and will be able to get a job based on their specialisation. For example, accountants specialising in assurance can get a job as a consultant, operations insight analyst, or quality assurance specialist. 

Some common areas of specialisation include: 

  • Commercial Finance
  • Corporate Finance
  • Corporate Treasury
  • Financial Accounting
  • Solvency
  • Auditing
  • Income Tax
  • Risk Assessment
  • And more

Skills needed to get an accounting job

To get good accounting jobs and succeed within the industry, there are some skills that accountants must possess. These include:  

  • A good understanding of mathematics
  • Problem-solving abilities
  • Interest in finance and other businesses
  • Computer literacy
  • The ability to work individually and as part of a team
  • Moral integrity
  • Organisational and management skills
  • Risk-management skills
  • The ability to use different accounting software

Discover some of the most essential skills of the 21st century

Can you find a job in accounting with no experience?

You can enter accounting without prior work experience and build a successful career. However, to do so, it is highly recommended to pursue the appropriate education and training since this will make you a more desirable candidate. 

Furthermore, some accounting roles require specialised certifications or more in-depth knowledge of different accounting principles that could be extremely challenging to learn independently.  

For that reason, it may be a good idea to pursue education or training to get into the accounting industry much more easily. 

How to find a job without accounting experience

Follow these steps to enter the accounting industry without any prior work experience. 

1. Complete your education

Many accounting fields expect a qualification for you to obtain entry-to-mid-level positions. You can consider completing a Higher Certificate in Accounting to give you a broad and thorough understanding of accounting principles. 

This way, you’ll not only be making yourself more employable, but you’ll also get to know the financial industry and learn which parts you enjoy most. You’ll be able to explore different roles and see which financial field suits you best. 

2. Intern, volunteer, or apply for entry-level positions

Internships or volunteer opportunities can be an excellent way to get your foot in the door and get hands-on experience in accounting. 

Consider looking for these opportunities while you’re studying so you can gain experience early on. REGENT offers flexible learning opportunities where you’ll have the chance to study while working. It’s a win-win. 

Note that many of these intern and volunteer positions will likely be unpaid. However, remember that these positions can easily turn into paid jobs upon completion of your course. 

Alternatively, you can apply for entry-level positions while you’re studying. Examples of entry-level accounting positions include junior auditing clerk, bookkeeper, assistant controller, etc. 

3. Start networking

Networking can be a powerful way to connect with others in the industry. This is great since it allows you to get your name out there in front of potential employers. 

Try to attend as many social gatherings as possible and make social media connections on platforms like LinkedIn. Watch virtual networking events and connect with people in the financial industry from all around the world. 

4. Continue developing your skills and knowledge

As you gain knowledge, and exposure, be sure to continue developing your skills. Continuously look for ways to sharpen your abilities and update your resume so you stand out amongst other candidates. Remember to highlight all relevant classes and certifications on your resume. 

Study accounting with REGENT

If you are ready to pursue an accounting career and want to start your education, REGENT Business School has many courses for you to choose from. 

Have a look at the Higher Certificate in Accounting and the Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting to decide which option suits your needs and career goals.


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