Dear Future Accountant - Paul Dell's Story

Monday 20 December 2021

Written by Paul Dell

Dear Future Accountant - Paul Dell's Story

Dear future accountant,

My dream job was always something to do with numbers, so becoming an accountant was perfect. In, what we call “the old days”, aspiring accountants did professional exams during a training contract with all the exams done in one sitting. It’s hard work studying for 6-8 exams in one sitting but it’s all worth it in the end! I did a foundation course in college, I then entered a training contract with a firm where I studied for the ICAEW professional’s exam, it was a PE1 and PE2 back then. While studying, I believe it would have been beneficial to gain skills in  IT and communication. Being an accountant means you do many different jobs. One is to be a sounding board for your client and once you become your client's trusted advisor, they ask you all sorts! I find it particularly rewarding being able to work with OMB’s and entrepreneurs. Many people assume that being an accountant is boring, but it is certainly not! Becoming an accountant isn’t always about academic skills, although being good with numbers is a given, other skills successful accountants should have are the keenness to learn and strong communication skills as a huge part of your day-to-day is getting to know the clients bigger picture goals and aspirations on a deeper level.

Accountancy is extremely different to what it was when I first started. Technology has made the compliance side of things much easier, and clients can do more and more of this themselves. Since the need for compliance services have shrunk, we have had to move up the value chain and offer other services like advisory, strategic planning, corporate finance, tax advice and wealth management. But, at the end of the day, clients still want advice and to be able to speak to someone when they can and that is when we come in.  In the future, there will always be a role for accountancy. Compliance services will never disappear, but we have had to expand our range of services to provide what the clients now demand – advisory, strategic planning, corporate finance, tax advice and wealth management. 

To all the aspiring accountants out there that are taking exams and studying hard, stick with it because it’s such a rewarding career.

Paul Dell, 


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