UK: Myth-Busting A Career In Accountancy: It's Not All About Numbers

Entering the "real world" of work can seem a daunting prospect. On the first day, your mind is swimming with questions: What will my colleagues be like? What will they expect me to know? What time should I leave on my first day?

In most cases, you've already made up the answers in your head before you take a single step in the office.

The reality is most of your assumptions are going to be way off the mark. And if my experience so far has taught me anything, it's that there's nothing to be worried about.

I've been working in the Global Employee Services (GES) team in Aberdeen for about nine months now; and it's lived up to everything that I had hoped for.

At the same time, it's also shattered many of my misconceptions about what it means to have a career at Deloitte – or even in accountancy for that matter. 

Here are just a few of them:

You need to study accountancy

One of the biggest misconceptions about a career in accountancy is the idea that you need to study the subject at university. Truth be told, I set out to be an accountant. I was lucky I had a clear idea in my head of the career I wanted to pursue, which can be half the battle sometimes.

But among the grads in our Aberdeen office, there are few who decided to study it – or even one of its closely-related disciplines. One of the best things about the team in the North East is the diversity of the people. Most of them come from other areas of Scotland or from further afield. It's expected that you're not going to know much, if anything, about accountancy or tax on your first day and you're encouraged to ask as many questions as possible.

Your first day is day one

A talk from a former student of my university course inspired me to apply for an internship position at Deloitte in the summer of my penultimate year. They were an incredible four weeks, giving me a real insight into what the culture of the firm was like and what the role I hoped to undertake entailed.

Luckily, it directly led to my job in the GES team the following autumn. But it's worth interning at a company before applying for a job – it will let you know what it's really like to work there and give you a much better idea of what to expect. Whether you know people already or not, you'll be assigned a buddy to help you through the first year.

It's all about numbers

When I tell people what I do, they have a mental image of me sitting at a desk all day in front of a spreadsheet. Of course, there are numbers to deal with – it's accountancy after all – but what's more important is the ability to communicate, provide insight, prioritise and develop expertise.

In my first year at Deloitte, I've worked with a range of clients, some regular and others on an ad hoc project basis. Likewise, I get to work for clients on the employer side and on the employee side. The variety has been one of the best things about the job, and I'm constantly picking up new skills. Never be afraid to ask a question or put yourself forward for something you've never worked on before; it will broaden your knowledge and skillset.  

Your job is just about work

They say work gets in the way of life: but that shouldn't be the case. One of my favourite things about working at Deloitte's Aberdeen office is the experiences I have and the people I meet. We have a great social life outside of work and an open culture in the office.

On top of the client work, until recently I was studying for my Association of Tax Technicians (ATT) qualification. Assuming I pass (fingers crossed!), I'll go on to take my Chartered Tax Adviser (CTA) exams. The firm has given me plenty of time off to study and paid for all the courses. I've also become involved with graduate recruitment and our green team, helping to minimise our impact on the environment. There's plenty to do beyond the usual day-to-day work!

Over the course of my short career, I'm really proud to have completed my exams and integrated into my team so well. But the best thing of all is walking home on a Friday night, looking back over the week and thinking about how much I've achieved in just five days.

Global Employee Services in 40 words:

Employment issues are incredibly complex and constantly changing for multinational businesses. The Deloitte GES team works with multifaceted tax laws and labour regulations across the world to help companies transform their global employment programs in a tax and cost-efficient way.

Like the sound of life at Deloitte? You can apply now for a graduate or summer internship position in the GES team. Find out more information here.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

In association with
Related Topics
Related Articles
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions