Case study

Team leader and accountant — Andrew Jepson

Andrew's apprenticeship and degree equipped him with the skills to excel in his role, where he enjoys building relationships with his clients. Discover his top tips for finding a job within the sector

What course did you study and where?

I studied for a BA (Hons) in Accounting and Finance at Manchester Metropolitan University. I graduated in 2016 and started my Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) qualification in January 2017. I sat my final exam in December 2018.

How did you get your job?

I registered for several online job boards before More Than Accountants contacted me - my qualifications and experience matched a role they were recruiting for. I was interviewed a few days later and started the role the next week.

I was attracted to the role by the importance they placed on self-promotion and the relaxed working environment.

What's a typical day like?

Many of my tasks are prioritised based on meeting deadlines, whether this is quarterly VAT returns, personal tax returns or statutory company accounts. I work closely with clients to receive any relevant information in a timely manner, and communicate figures in a way which can be understood without all the jargon.

Emphasis is placed on the advisory role of an accountant, and we maintain a proactive approach to this. It's rewarding to see the positive impact you can have on a business.

What do you enjoy about your job?

I enjoy the variety of challenges encountered each day, and building relationships with clients, allowing us to add real value to their business.

What are the challenges?

Managing the workload of a portfolio of clients will always have time constraints. Finding the most efficient process is something you should always have in the back of your mind.

In what way is your degree relevant?

Prior to my degree I completed an apprenticeship at an accountancy practice, gaining the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) qualification. This gave me a good grounding in the career path I wanted, but the degree really stepped up the technical skills I needed to progress within accountancy.

Having tutors with industry experience meant I could discuss the options for my career progression and use their experiences and knowledge to find the best route for me.

How has your role developed, and what are your career ambitions?

Since starting, I've moved from working as an accounts assistant to my current role as a team leader and accountant. While completing my studies, I've been given the chance to work with a variety of matters alongside the academic qualification.

My career ambitions are to qualify as a chartered accountant, and to progress into more senior management roles within the company.

How can I become an accountant?

  • Apprenticeships and work experience are the perfect chance to prove your worth to a company and pick up valuable skills you might not find in an academic environment. Don't be afraid to ask if any permanent roles are open for you.
  • Keeping up to date with industry news is a great way to show potential employers you're interested in the career path. It can also provide useful talking points in an interview.
  • Be patient - try to find a role and company that match your personality and values. You'll work to your full potential if you're happy and engaged in your company.

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