Discover some of the careers you could pursue after studying accounting or finance
Find out more about what you could do after you graduate from Dr Xing Huang, Senior Lecturer in Accounting and Financial Management.
What can I do with an accounting and finance degree?
A BA (Hons) Accounting with Finance degree prepares you for careers across the insurance, banking, finance and charity sectors. You’ll graduate with specific accounting knowledge and transferable skills you can use across industries.
During your studies, you’ll develop your communication, teamwork, critical analysis and numerical skills, and learn to persuade others by supporting your decisions with numbers.
You’ll prepare for a career in financial accounting or management accounting as you study topics, including financial management, economics, management accounting, and financial reporting.
The differences between financial and management accounting
- Financial accounting is historic and involves recording how the business has done in the past. You will also prepare financial accounts.
- Management accounting focuses on budgeting and dealing with accounts in the present, and includes topics like costing, pricing, and market share.
Accreditation and exam exemptions
Our BA (Hons) Accounting and Finance degree is accredited by three key accounting bodies: ACCA, CIMA and ICAEW. When you graduate, you’ll have exemptions from a range of professional exams.
Depending on the modules you choose, you could earn the maximum number of exemptions for ACCA and CIMA exams. This means you’ll have fewer exams remaining if you choose to become chartered after you graduate.
Having exam exemptions shows your depth of knowledge. Some employers pay for your remaining exams, so more exemptions will make you more appealing during your job search because you’ll need less exam funding during your career.
Choosing your career
A degree in accounting and finance could lead to a range of jobs and career pathways. You might work in an accountancy firm, with an insurance company, in a bank, or somewhere else.
You can focus on different subjects as you study to work towards your own goals. When you choose some of your modules after your first year, you could decide to focus on accredited modules to work towards becoming an accountant, choose to study finance modules which will prepare you to work in banking or investment, or decide to study analytics modules where you’ll explore data analysis.
You could become an:
- Finance analyst
- Data analyst
- Financial consultant
- Investment broker
- Control analyst
Never a dull day in finance
Jobs you could do with an accounting and finance degree
Explore some roles you could go into after studying accounting and finance, and find out more about them below.
Accountants handle financial records for companies across all sectors, so you can work in an industry you care about. You could choose to work in sectors, including insurance, banking, sports, entertainment, tax, charity, or something else.
As an accountant, your work can involve preparing financial statements, auditing accounts, and preparing tax returns. You might also monitor the financial health of an organisation.
Chartered accountants offer specialist accounting services. They are members of a professional accounting body such as the ACCA and must have passed specific exams set by their professional body.
To become a chartered accountant, you need to continue your studies after you graduate. Depending on the modules you choose during your degree, you could graduate with up to 9 ACCA exam exemptions, so you’ll have fewer exams to compete after your degree.
As a tax advisor, you would work with individuals and companies to arrange and plan their tax situations. If you work with companies you will use your expertise in corporate tax, VAT, and international tax. If you work with individuals, you will focus on topics such as National Insurance, estates and trusts.
Management accountants prepare and communicate financial data. You’ll interpret and analyse data and work with a specific company, and will advise companies based on this data.
Public Finance Accountant
You’ll specialise in working with organisations funded by public money. You could work with local councils, specific charitable trusts, or national bodies to advise on key financial decisions, monitor budgets, and complete other tasks.
You’ll investigate cases of fraudulent use of money and explore where missing money has gone and options to recover it. Depending on the case, you may also testify in court.
Investment bankers work with companies and governments and advise them on how to achieve financial goals and plans. You could specialise in corporate finance or other topics.
Provide advice and financial services to small businesses and individuals. You could work with people to set up current accounts and savings accounts, organise overdrafts, or arrange mortgages and loans.
What happens after you graduate?
Whatever your career goals, choosing your degree can put you on the right path.
Meet Michael, BA (Hons) Accounting and Finance graduate
Accounting and Finance alumnus Michael Gray did a work placement at BMW before securing a graduate job at Deloitte. Michael shares his story and how his experience and skills developed at the Faculty of Business and Law played a key role in becoming a Finance Manager.
My name is Michael Gray and I work for Artifax Software Ltd, and I'm The finance manager there.
I've grown up in Croydon, which is in South London.I was the first to go to university in my family.I chose Portsmouth. That first day of driving into the car park and moving in was something I'll never forget. So what really sold me? Being a guy from London, you're not really used to seeing the sea. You can go for a run to de-stress. If you do want that city side of stuff, you've got that there also, absolutely perfect for me.
Getting a job in my placement year was definitely more difficult than getting a graduate job. A job popped up from BMW. To be honest, I couldn't have wished for a better placement year.
I think one of the main reasons I got the job was because of the really good support that I got from the university. From CV building to interview practice, it was really exceptional. You think you're going to excel, but you're not really that good at excel until you actually are thrown in the fire.
I think the thing I'm most proud of in my journey so far is getting the call from Deloitte saying that I was lucky enough to be recruited.
That was an amazing thing. Imagine, one of the big four that you learnt throughout your studies that these are the sort of companies you want to aspire to and be recruited by, and getting that phone call was something I could have never imagined.
So, the future for me is that within the next five years, I'll be CFO of the group of companies.
That's the aim. If I didn't go to the University of Portsmouth, I probably would be wondering what I want to do next probably, but because I had that support network of great tutors, I knew exactly what I wanted to do, that was invaluable.
Accounting, economics and finance courses
Prepare for your career in accounting or the financial industry with a degree course that caters to your ambition. Choose a course with accreditations from relevant professional bodies such as the CIMA and the ACCA.