There are good job prospects in accounting, but long experience is often required. How can you court an employer if you are an accountant without experience? Emphasize your determination and, especially, your desire to be loyal to the company.
Why is it so difficult to get a first job as an accountant? “Because it takes several months, or even a year, to adequately train an accountant and make him fully autonomous in his duties,” responds Luce Morin, of the Activ firm, which occasionally hires inexperienced accountants.
“It’s difficult,” she says, “to find the time to properly train young accountants in an almost permanent situation of work overload. When I hire inexperienced accountants, I cross my fingers that they will stay with us for a long time, so the time invested in training them can be worthwhile.”
So here is one of the keys to success – demonstrate loud and clear your desire for professional stability. Most employers will be eager to share their knowledge if they are assured that you will be a loyal, long-term employee. This is because, as Luce Morin explains, even as a graduate from the best school, it’s a safe bet that your training will not have prepared you for all the concrete tasks that this highly technical profession requires along with the demands of a wide variety of tax knowledge.
“Bachelor graduates often have excellent aptitudes in analysis of financial statements, but don’t know how to do the bookkeeping,” says the experienced accountant. “But in a small firm like mine, we do everything, and I have to be able to rely on versatile employees. To achieve this versatility there is no other way than practise and hard work.”
Accounting also means creativity
Many accounting firms appreciate the enthusiasm of inexperienced accountants, who they hire after noting in an interview their energy and determination as well as a certain uniqueness.
“We will always need the freshness and new look of less experienced accountants,” says Luce Morin, who has been pleased with at least two young graduates in recent years. “We started producing video clips on the initiative of a young employee. New accountants in our firm were also behind a cartoon project on financial literacy. I am always interested in testing these new ideas.”