How to Get a Job in Accounting with No Experience

Posted by: Andre Post Date: 4th September 2014

Everyone has to start somewhere, and there are lots of ways to get your foot in the door when it comes to accountancy. Let’s take a look at how to get a job in accounting with no experience.

The right qualifications

With no experience, it’s important to gain a theoretical grounding you can build upon when you enter an accounting role. There are a number of qualifications that are highly respected by financial employers, and can help you take your first steps in accounting. Three qualifications in particular are ideal for those with no previous accounting experience, depending on your specific interests.

AAT: AAT is perfect for complete beginners. The level 2 qualification gives you a complete introduction to accounting, and completing the full qualification at level 4 will open up new opportunities. You can also earn AAT qualifications on an apprenticeship, which will supplement your knowledge with practical workplace experience. Take a look at the apprenticeship vacancies we have available here.

How to Get a Job in Accounting with no Experience

ACCA: ACCA is slightly more advanced; while you don’t need previous practical experience, it is ideal for those who have A Levels, or who have already completed AAT. To gain the full qualification, you have to obtain three years of experience, which you can do after you’ve completed the exams. In fact, having done the theoretical part of the course can help you gain the experience you need, which may then lead onto a permanent role.

CIMA: This qualification is geared towards aspiring management accountants. You can begin studying for the Certificate with no previous qualifications or experience, and work your way right up to the Professional level. Once you’ve gained the full qualification, you’ll be qualified for a range of management accounting roles.

Find out about these qualifications in more detail here.

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Working your way up

Gaining the right qualifications is essential, but won’t automatically get you into a senior role. After becoming qualified, you will often need to gain practical experience in an entry level role, where you can work your way up as your skill set increases.

Training schemes

Many accounting firms and other companies offer training schemes. More and more organisations are starting to prefer training staff themselves, as this means they can shape them to meet the goals and values of the company. Look for roles with titles like Trainee Accounts Clerk and Trainee Accounting Assistant.

Closely related fields

Another great way to break into the professional world of accounting is to gain experience in a closely related field that isn’t as competitive. For example, many administrative roles involve processing financial information, and commercial roles such as in sales and marketing give you the opportunity to work with financial targets and budgets. Roles like these can give you a foundation of relevant skills that will help you bag your first job in accounting.


Getting your first role in accounting takes time, and a lot of hard work. When you’ve gained the right qualifications, it may take a number of applications before you’re successful in getting a job, even in a junior role. It’s important to stay motivated, making sure you take the time to write appropriate CVs and covering letters for each role you apply for.

If you want to find out more about how to get a job in accounting with no experience, we would be delighted to talk you through your options – just get in touch below.

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