A leading global body of accountants has said there is a lack of understanding amongst many A Level students in Northern Ireland regarding the opportunities within the accounting profession and it is calling on those receiving offers from universities to consider a career in the field.

According to the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) many A level students are not aware of the varied roles within he profession, the level of remuneration and the global mobility that it offers.

ACCA has said that the A level syllabus and exam is largely representative of the skillset of bookkeeping and basic accounting rather than innovative, strategic thinking accountancy professionals who can go on to dominate senior executive positions in organisations around the world.

In a global survey which sought the views of 18,000 young finance professionals in 150 countries aged between 18 and 36, ACCA’s Generation Next report highlighted considerable business ambition within the sector with a remarkable 81% of respondents aspiring to start their own business.

Commenting Gareth Latimer, Chair ACCA, Ulster Branch said, “The accountancy profession is vital for economies to grow and prosper and many of those that choose it as a career are rewarded with a globally recognised qualification, a transferable skillset, well-paid jobs and wide-ranging and exciting opportunities to progress. Our advice for those pursuing a career in business and finance is simple: enjoy it! The varied learning involved in a business degree allows students, once they leave university, to be exempt from the initial two stages of the ACCA professional accountancy exams and keeps open a streamlined route through to a truly global career as accountant.”

“The ambition of young finance professionals and the flexibility of the qualification is evident within the Generation Next report with 80% expressing a desire to work in another country and 85% agreeing that a background in finance will be valuable for organisation leaders in the future.  It is that national and international outlook coupled with a business and tech savvy skillset that sees so many Chief Executives, be it in the private or public sector, coming from an accountancy background.  It is vitally important that our A level students understand their options and the great opportunities the profession supports.”