BusinessCompany NewsBig Question: FDs yearn to leave accountancy

Big Question: FDs yearn to leave accountancy

As if the profession's reputation wasn't suffering enough, it seems most accountants would give up their careers given half a chance.

With the repercussions of the Enron scandal still being felt, this week’s Accountancy Age/Reed Accountancy Personnel Big Question reveals a shocking 55% of finance directors would jump at the chance to change profession.

Career change aspirations range from secret ambitions to be a Blue Peter presenter to giving up accountancy to be ‘the England match mascot’.

Other respondents were a little more serious. One FD said: ‘I only got into accountancy because I thought they ruled the company – it’s obviously the lawyers!! So I’d be a lawyer.’ Another would ‘ideally go into teaching, if only the money was better’.

Others inspired to greater heights of owning their own safari park, being a film star, racing driver or pop idol. One FD even said: ‘Having experienced life, there are far more sensible options available.’

Of more than 300 responses, just 39% remained true to their profession. Mitchells Refurbishment FD Nina Bourne said: ‘I’m very happy with accountancy. I wouldn?t change it for the world.’

Stuart Chapman, FD of International Baccalaureate said accountancy provided the widest opportunities of any profession. ‘Many accountants go on to be leaders in industry.’ But at least one FD was aware of how tough life as an accountant is right now. ‘I might consider something a little easier such as capturing Osama bin Laden alive,’ he said.

The findings support those of a survey by consultant Kato last week, which found most accountants want their professional bodies to launch a campaign to reduce damage from the Enron fallout.

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