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Accounting Career Trajectories - Episode 8

In the eighth of a series of interviews with Rebecca Wood of Fellows Finance with a focus on career development and career choices for accountants, Rebecca speaks to Nicola Hilton. Nicola is an ACMA and CGMA qualified accountant who has experience working in industry. She currently runs her own small bookkeeping and accountancy business.nicola

Did you always want to become an accountant?

No, I initially wanted to do something which involved sports!

Why did you decide to take the AAT qualification?

Without going back to university, it was the only way I could start the path of being an accountant. I also needed to work at the same time so I completed the AAT course in the evenings.

After completing the AAT how did your career progress?

After the AAT, I decided to go down the CIMA route and it wasn’t until I was studying for this that I followed a specific path in my career.

How has your previous experience contributed to you being able to set up your own company?

I worked my way up from an Assistant Accountant to Management & Systems Accounts in one company followed by being a Financial Accountant in another which gave me the experience of preparing accounts ready for the visit of Auditors. My background and also working in a variety of sectors has helped me to provide a varied service to clients.

Would you have done anything differently looking back on your career?

Yes, I had the opportunity to work in a private practice from around age 21 but due to having just purchased a house (with my now husband) the salary was not sufficient enough for us so I had to turn the offer down. In hindsight, it would have been a great opportunity but they say things happen for a reason.

What advice would you give to a 15-year-old wanting to become an accountant? Which route would you recommend?

I think these days if a 15-year-old wanted to be an accountant I would recommend an apprenticeship or trainee scheme as there is nothing like on the job learning. Working in the industry and studying at the same time really helps and gives you the ability to try and work out how theoretical standards etc. can be applied in reality.


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