In school Angelisa had always enjoyed accounting as a subject and as she learned about all the career opportunities that came with it, accounting became a natural path for her to follow.
“I think I really liked the idea that just because you were an accountant it didn’t mean you had to remain one, and that it gave you a solid knowledge base to launch a business if you wanted to. And hearing what accountants’ salaries were like only made the career even more inviting.”
With commerce degrees in high demand, Angelisa completed her Bachelor of Commerce at Victoria University, majoring in accounting and commercial law, which gave her a solid foundation to her accounting career.
After graduating, Angelisa made a smooth transition into the workforce. She really appreciates the wide variety of job opportunities that accounting can offer and after two years as an assistant accountant and two years as an financial accountant working in two different industries, she has gained a lot of valuable experience.
“Although accounting might not seem like the most exciting job out there, one of the best parts of it all is knowing that you are behind a lot of the company’s success. You’re basically providing the numbers and information to the big managers that allows them to make decisions in order for the company to succeed.”
Though handling the numbers and reporting side of things can be rewarding, accountants also have to put in a lot of longer hours, especially at the end of the financial year.
“Some of the deadlines at month-end and year-end can get a bit hectic but it just means you’ve got to stay a few extra hours sometimes. But in saying that, if you do late hours a lot of the time the managers will allow you some time off to make up for the hours spent earlier in the week.”
There is obviously an expectation that to be an accountant you must be good with numbers but there’s also a lot more to it than number crunching, including spreadsheets, reporting and working collectively with others. Angelisa notes that good communication skills are really important, as you are often dealing with managers or colleagues and so working together as a team is also a big part of being an accountant.
“There are a lot of different types of accountants; for example, you can be a financial accountant, a management accountant, an auditor or a tax accountant and so there are a lot to choose from to suit your personality type and what you want from your career.”
Angelisa is continuing her studies with a view to becoming a chartered public accountant by next year, before moving to a management accounting role.
“It’s important, I think, for anyone planning on becoming an accountant to enjoy it, because there will be long hours and hard work sometimes, but if you enjoy it then it makes it much easier. You have to have the tenacity to keep focused on your studies and just persevere.”