Most UK finance directors would contemplate ditching their career to take up another job – nearly two-thirds of respondents to the Accountancy Age/Reed Accountancy Big Question said.
Only one third (36%) of FDs are happy with their lot as an accountant. ‘Numbers may make the world go around but they don’t fulfil that creative need we all get from time to time,’ said Moore & Blatch’s John Davies.
Many argued that the finance director role is now ‘business/commercial’ as opposed to just accounting, therefore you can’t leave a profession that you’re not in. One respondent was ‘willing to bet’ that most accountants don’t go into the profession for the love of numbers, but as a means to becoming a businessperson. Another said: ‘I would hate my epitaph to read “he spent 40 years working as an accountant and then died”.’
However other respondents thought that going to the bottom of the ladder in a new career would not be ‘financially viable’, while others argued that the grass is not necessarily greener elsewhere.
‘I spent a long time studying [accountancy] to take up my first chosen “profession” and have taken a break already. I was keen to return at the first opportunity I could create,’ said one anonymous respondent.
‘Once an accountant always an accountant,’ said Dominic Vitoria of C&D Technologies UK. ‘My current job involves other areas of the business that make my job much more interesting and it is easier for accountants to take on general management roles.’
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