Accountancy as Second Career


A

Adetola Obembe

I am a 48-year-old legacy programmer and have recently taken redundancy.
I've heard there is little age bias in accountancy relative to other jobs,
but how realistic (and expensive - I'm in London) would it be for me to
attempt to cross-train into accountancy? As an ex-programmer I'm highly
detail-oriented and have worked on finance-based systems before. I have a
degree (BA Joint Honours degree in French and German - never relevant to my
actual job!).

What would be the best places to look on the web for a decent overview of
the various types of accountancy?

Regards,

Adetola.
 
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J

Joe Canuck

Adetola said:
I am a 48-year-old legacy programmer and have recently taken redundancy.
I've heard there is little age bias in accountancy relative to other jobs,
but how realistic (and expensive - I'm in London) would it be for me to
attempt to cross-train into accountancy? As an ex-programmer I'm highly
detail-oriented and have worked on finance-based systems before. I have a
degree (BA Joint Honours degree in French and German - never relevant to my
actual job!).

What would be the best places to look on the web for a decent overview of
the various types of accountancy?

Regards,

Adetola.
I cannot advise you regarding accounting in the UK; however, on a more
personal level...

I've done exactly what you are contemplating and we are almost the same
age as well. I've also worked in computers for many years supporting
financial software... done the programming and system management.

Your computer skills are very much applicable in the accounting world
because accounting is done on computers and because the nature of much
computer work is itself detail-oriented.

I didn't shoot for the stars with my first accounting course, but I have
now achieved an accounting clerk/bookkeeper level of competency and have
the diploma from a recognized institution in Canada.

I'm now seeking employment at that level. Once I achieve that and get a
little pure accounting experience under my belt I will reevaluate my
options for the future. At this point I'm thinking those options will
include pursuing a designation or perhaps settling at this level and
opening my own business offering small business bookkeeping service and
perhaps assistance with computers as well.

As for the age bias, well we have a wealth of experience and maturity to
offer a potential employer... it is just a matter of finding the
employer that will appreciate that. I'm finding many employers,
intelligent as they are, cannot seem to connect the dots between my
computer career and how that means I'm comfortable with any software
tools and can easily learn new software tools.
 
X

xyzer

Adetola said:
I am a 48-year-old legacy programmer and have recently taken redundancy.
I've heard there is little age bias in accountancy relative to other jobs,
but how realistic (and expensive - I'm in London) would it be for me to
attempt to cross-train into accountancy? As an ex-programmer I'm highly
detail-oriented and have worked on finance-based systems before. I have a
degree (BA Joint Honours degree in French and German - never relevant to my
actual job!).

What would be the best places to look on the web for a decent overview of
the various types of accountancy?

Regards,

Adetola.
The age bias I think is mostly in public accounting, but it's really
only for entry-level people, and here's why I think it's there:
Unless you grew up in an accounting family or are just brilliant or
spend all your time thinking about accounting, regardless of your
grades in school, you have a LOT to learn in your first year in public
accounting and it can be stressful and you can make a lot of stupid
mistakes. There's just no way to get good at doing what public
accountants do without actually doing it. Sometimes, bosses might want
to yell or tell you how you could do things better. There will be many
times when mistakes are pointed out to you. This just goes over better
when an older person is doing this to someone in his or her twenties,
as opposed to someone who is your own age telling you how you're doing
things wrong. It's just... somewhat awkward for both parties when a
50-year-old is getting frustrated at another 50-year-old for doing
things wrong as an entry-level person who's normally in his or her 20s.
That's just how I see it.

Like I said, though, I don't think the bias is near as strong in
industry. Industry in general is not as stressful and demanding as
public accounting.
 
A

Adetola Obembe

Thanks, Joe. I didn't know how feasible my ideas were, so your reply was
very encouraging. I'm going to look at some courses in basic book-keeping
(apparently they're desperate for book-keepers round here), and, like you,
first find my feet rather than shoot straight for the stars, as you say.

Regards,

Adetola.
 
A

Adetola Obembe

Hi,

Thanks for your perspective. Stress is of course unavoidable in life/work,
and we all have our different handles on it, but personally I'd choose for
less where possible, so I'll certainly take heed of your advice and opt if
possible for industry rather than public. I'm pretty open-minded and
reasonably good at owning up to my mistakes, though, as it's the best way to
learn, I find, and I suppose that attitude takes the heat out of situations.
I do take a lot of care not to make mistakes in the first place, though, and
my programs were renowned for their robustness. However, in any new subject
I'll just have to accept that there are bound to be minefields waiting for
me until I get to know the ropes!

Regards,

Adetola.
 
M

Meyer1228

I am in the same position that you are. I've been a programmer for years
now (I'm in my early 40's), designing, implementing and training on
accounting and order entry software. As it turns out, bookkeeping comes
naturally to me. When I installed accounting systems, I knew so much more
than the people I was training, and they made more money than I did (because
I saw their payroll as part of the process!). There doesn't seem to be a
future at my present company, so recently I've joined the American
Institute of Professional Bookkeepers. They have a certification course,
and I hope to become certified before the end of the year. This will say to
potential employers that I do know my stuff. You may find something similar
in your country. I purchased several books on opening my own bookkeeping
service, but I don't know if I want to do that or just work for someone
else, or perhaps a combination of both. Anyway, this is just a suggestion
that you may want to look into.
 
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S

Softnokey

I'm puzzled about why you do not design your own accounting software.
Maybe I can help you. :)
 
M

me

Meyer1228 said:
I am in the same position that you are. I've been a programmer for years
now (I'm in my early 40's), designing, implementing and training on
I'm 48 as well and you guys have me thinking I should
look into accounting degree!

I currently do CAD design and ma tired of it

I'm also back in college pursuing a degree

You think an accounting degree a good one for me?
 
M

Meyer1228

It just doesn't excite me anymore, and I don't want to "reinvent the wheel."
I'd rather implement something like Peachtree or Quickbooks, and make money
from that and accounting training, and/or do small-business bookkeeping on
the side.
 
S

Softnokey

Of course, "reinvent the wheel" is not interesting. Let us forget
programming this time.
Software is just a tool like BMW and Benz, but we do not mind a
Rolls-Royce.
We do small-business bookkeeping, but it does not prevent us from
selling the high performance accounting software.
We use the car, we sell the cars. The issues are profit and
competition.
Is that interesting?
 
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S

Steve

Meyer1228 said:
It just doesn't excite me anymore, and I don't want to "reinvent the wheel."
I'd rather implement something like Peachtree or Quickbooks, and make money
from that and accounting training, and/or do small-business bookkeeping on
the side.
you can do that but make sure you have the marketing and people skills to go
along with the technical side. Getting clients is half the battle and part
of the other half is getting paid decently for your work!



































































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