accounting as a career for my son

My son is 16 yr old and is at the cross road of planning his career (or at least I am, he only plans how to play games with his mates on the laptop). Look at the accountants I use they charge a decent $$ for the service and the clients are pretty much a captive audience (a business or even PAYE can't easily move the business to somewhere else). The attraction is one can have own business and make a good living. So what is the competition in the market for jobs and later accounting business when one has the practice.
 
My wife's an accountant in a public practice and does ok. It doesnt seem to be like the 80's when they earned a squillion?? - all i remember was, "you should do accounting if you want to do well".

Anyway, she had her own business for a couple of years and found people really didnt want to pay much for professional advice - she has 10yrs experience in Accounting/business. Why is it a plumber, electrician can charge 80$ ph and noone raises an eyebrow? She had people ringing up saying "if i use you to do my tax can you gaurantee I will get more back on my tax return" wtf?? You really need to charge 80$+ PH to break even when have rental in a ok office.

Now she works for a small firm doing tax advice, returns, co. stuff and makes ok $.
Bottom line, he will never be out of work in that field, its very specialised.
pieman
 
Because numbers on a bit of paper aren't going to kill somebody if done incorrectly.

Rooster

been audited lately???;)

What I was meaning is every trade can charge $80PH and some are low skilled jobs that any monkey could do but there seems to be a reluctance for people to pay decent coin for business advice that could save them many times times the fee.
I get paid to much imho for waiving a mouse round on a computer all day, my job seems easy and dumbed down compared to what I hear from my wife and I get paid $900PD
 
At 16 most kids don't have a clue about future careers, and probably that is not such a bad thing. This is why "gap years" are becoming so popular, even at 17-18 many young people are unsure of future directions.

Simply ensure he chooses subjects that he can do well at (and that HE wants to do) and that give him a range of future options.

My eldest daughter is an accountant (her choice). It suits her nature and personality. That career would drive my other two kids bananas.
Marg
 
Don't make the mistake of assuming what you want for your son is what he wants.

My father expected me to "take on the family business one day". :eek: I am indeed grateful for his assistance is providing me paid employment when I couldn't get a job in my field after uni, but I never wanted his business. Still wouldn't - it's just not me.

I think he's nearly over it... and that was over 10 years ago. I've been working in a field I really enjoy, not too much stress, good employer. That's more important that money, to me, and I still do OK financially! ;)

Make sure any decision is your son's decision. Yes, you can guide him, but don't make the decisions for him.
 
My son is 16 yr old and is at the cross road of planning his career (or at least I am, he only plans how to play games with his mates on the laptop). Look at the accountants I use they charge a decent $$ for the service and the clients are pretty much a captive audience (a business or even PAYE can't easily move the business to somewhere else). The attraction is one can have own business and make a good living. So what is the competition in the market for jobs and later accounting business when one has the practice.

let HIM decide.
 
My son is 16 yr old and is at the cross road of planning his career (or at least I am, he only plans how to play games with his mates on the laptop).

Biggest mistake, NEVER try to take control of your kids life.

They will make their own decisions and mistakes it's a learning curb, both for parent and child.

At 16 he could be planning his career, just not voicing it. Never know he may want to do something in the games sector, and they can make good cash too. But an accountant has a more "prestigeous" job, and it's professional, yes, but there's nothing wrong with someone choosing to do something they're interested in, and they don't need to go to Uni to make a decent living.

I wanted to go to Uni, wanted to do Forensics. At 16, i packed up and left school to do an apprenticeship, i hated it, and was constantly picked on for being "too smart"-i was a hairdresser. I figured, why waste two years, you don't even need a HSC these days, i'll go earn some money so i can buy my house and buy a good car, get my life started.

Needless to say i went back to school picked all the subjects i needed for forensics and at the start of year 12 i went, i don't really want to do this, i'd spend 8+ years of my life getting a qualification i probably won't use..So i slacked off, but still passed my HSC in all the stupid hard subjects i didn't pay attention to, when i could've gotten my life on track. Now i'm going into a job that i need nothing for really.

Now my parents never tried to make a decision for me, they know i've done a lot of stupid stuff, but they also know i have my head on straight, they know the stupid things i did and still do, but are behind me 100% because they know it's all about learning and you've got to let your kids learn from their mistake, guide them, not push them.

They will end up resenting you, or lashing out because no teen wants a parent to tell them what they should or shouldn't be doing and as a teenager you're always "right" and he will look back one day and say hey, mum was right, or dad was right, or geez i shouldn't have wasted so much time on the laptop, but that's life, make the most of it, and let your kid decide what's best for them, never know it may just be the right decision.
 
i concur that for the study and knowledge required there isnt much reward in accounting. if you cant go for medical fields then you would be better off doing a trade. More money, less stress, less brain ache. knock off at 3 and go enjoy that jet ski.
 
You haven't heard of subprime mortgages, CDOs, etc etc etc? A piece of paper can be more powerful than faulty wiring.

Pretty sure subprime mortgages weren't the result of someone missing a zero.:rolleyes:

Sorry to get the thread off track momentarily too.

Cheers

Rooster
 
I agree with the majority of posters here - let him decide. If he stuffs up like I did he can always go to uni later as a mature age student, or take on an adult apprenticeship. No one stays in the same career for their whole lives anymore anyway.

Of course if he just wants to bum around the house until his mid 30's I would probably be alarmed.
 
i think i am glad and not glad that my parents were not involved in my uni studies selection. i am glad they leave that choice of study to me cos i could pick the course without problems. but at the same time, being a 18 year old kid, i got no idea what would be a good and suitable course i should take e.g. the prospects & wages etc.

for majority of school leavers, i reckon they are still young to decide what they should do. sometimes we can follow our dreams and if life is very good to us, we may be enjoying what we do. but how many are there? most of the people i know chose a course that they hope would give them a good salary and hopefully their profession is high in demand... nothing about interest.

of course if your son is not good with numbers, then accounting might not be a suitable course. you could give him some options and then let him decide. by giving him options, a least that would be a starting point.
 
Meh...I think the key here is balance. There is nothing worng with saying to your son////"look accountancy, it's OK.." but at the same time you should be asking "...what is it that you like doing?"

Balance people...it's the key....

Give advice and your opinion (let him know it is YOUR opinion), but also guide and support his final decision... :)

He may choose to become a teacher!!!!!!!!!! AAAAAAAAAGGGGGHHH!!!! Tell him NO!!!!! j/k
 
my perspective on accounting is that it is not very exciting. It is pretty boring to study and pretty boring to do.
I know accountants who will admit that themselves.

But....

There are always jobs, generally the pay is pretty good once you have experience. If someone works pretty steady at being an accountant they will definitely earn an above average income plus you can end up in all sorts of business management roles (Chief Financial Officer, Chief Procurement Officer etc) because accounting is a core skill for business management.

If your son really likes dealing with numbers then it would be good for him. Some kids like numbers, others like more physical things and others like creative work.

I know a few accountants who just get through the week and look at what they can get because of it. I.e. they will admit their job is not enthralling but they get good money so they can play with their toys on the weekend.
 
So what is the competition in the market for jobs and later accounting business when one has the practice.

Present the option to him, and what it entails (good or bad), but do not try to railroad him.

There are 2 aspects to what you have written here - and they are not necessarily convergent.

1. Accounting - this can cover a huge range of activities. If you look at seek.com, you'll find the bulk of the jobs are not related to either public practice or even tax (i.e. corporate).

2. running a business - which is a totally different skillset all together (whether you are running an accounting practice etc)


Back to your question then:

The competition for jobs at entry level is quite fierce - in the sense that they are relatively abundant but relatively low paid. They can typically be long hours at month/year end

To give you an idea, some of the areas in accounting:
1. audit
2. analysts
3. financial/Tax
4. management

Of these, from what I have observed, 1 and 3 may be more likely to "fit the criteria" if going to a public practice.

Keep in mind that in the corporate field, accountancy is the path to the "big" (or "big sounding") exec jobs - Financial Controller, Treasury, CFO.... and CFO is only one letter away from CEO.... :)

Cheers,

The Y-man
 
Thank you all. I understand that the decision is finally his, and have no intention of dictating what he should do. But looking back when I went to uni I had no guidance in selecting which course, all I remember was those men with hard hat in construction sites looked good so I picked civil engineering. What I try to do is to research as much as possible, and discuss with him and possibly the school's career officer. I work all my life, one thing I hate most is office politic, hence the attraction of running one's business. In terms of $80 ph, I pay my accountant 3.5 grand when I've all the figures on a A4 page, I am sure he charges way above $80 ph. Most accountants charge $250 - $350 ph nowadays.
 
I know someone who did accounting and hated it so he went back and studied engineering so it's very hard to tell if a particular profession will make someone happy.

At 16 I knew exactly what I wanted to study.

I do notice though that today many teenage kids have no idea what job they want to do so IMO schools and the industry should be working closer together and offering more opportunities for work experience
 
I do notice though that today many teenage kids have no idea what job they want to do so IMO schools and the industry should be working closer together and offering more opportunities for work experience


I can't remember if it was in yr 10 or early yr 11 but my sons school had a visiting psychologist give the children a personality test for career suitability.

My sons was so spot that he is now leaning towards a couple of the courses recommended.
 
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