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Fortune favours the brave in accountancy careers

From manual ledgers to corporate tax, small business to the Big Four, Emma Milgate shows that a career in accountancy can be challenging but brilliantly diverse.

Emma Milgate

May 2019

The accountancy world is vast, from working in-house to practice, and every specialism you can think of. This provides us with amazing opportunities for our brilliantly diverse industry. My career journey to date has been interesting and challenging. I have stepped outside of my comfort zone, been brave and gained new experiences in different specialisms and different firms.

I started bookkeeping for the first company I worked for (manual ledgers, no less) and from there started to look at studying AAT. This took me into an in-house purchase ledger role followed by my first move into practice. I considered a range of opportunities at that time, including audit but decided to go into a smaller practice doing business services. I gained experience doing a wide range of accounting, VAT returns, payroll, management accounts, statutory accounts and even some audit.

I then took the leap into a management role in a local practice for nearly eight years. During this time, I finished my accountancy exams and took the chartered tax exams. I started preparing statutory accounts and ended up running the practices tax offering. At the end of my time there I made the decision to specialise in corporate tax and moved to a top ten firm and recently into a Big Four firm, specialising further in the insurance sector.

Moving to a top ten firm and then on to a Big Four firm is challenging. There are more people to get to know with more specialisms and three months into my most recent move I haven’t yet scratched the surface. Throughout my career I have worked with amazing colleagues and the same is true now. I am asking lots of questions to get to know new systems and processes, and I suspect my questions will continue for many more months to come.

I would encourage you, wherever you are in your journey to explore new opportunities whether it’s where you are or somewhere new. What’s your next challenge?

Emma Milgate is a senior manager at KPMG.

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