Perhaps you’ve never thought of accounting as your metier: who wants to reflect the stereotypical number cruncher?

Rail-thin and bespectacled, sporting a mock-inducing pocket protector, waving financial statements about...

For one, we can honestly say that accountants are severely misrepresented in the media. For two, accountants come in all shapes and sizes; they are not all thin, they don’t all wear glasses and they don’t go around perpetually waving balance sheets.

In fact, the average accountant may look very much like you, and embody the same desires: for a stable, lucrative career; one that depends heavily on ethics and the ability to analyse.

And there’s another popular misconception!

While number crunchers do deal with numbers all day, adding and subtracting, so much of their work is in analysis and forecasting based on trends.

There is even one accounting speciality that is based entirely on risk! So you'd be wrong if you assumed your accounting friend's job was boring and uneventful.

The managerial accountant works with businesses to optimise the financial performance of their company. They do so by employing strategic focus on market trends to capitalise on acceptable risks.

That doesn’t mean that they are company executives, just that they provide vital financial information of the company’s assets and liabilities so that the executives can make decisions.

There! Did that make accounting sound rather exciting? But wait! There’s more...

You might choose to become a forensic accountant, reviewing financial records in search of fraud. Or you could be a tax accountant who knows tax law inside and out and finds the best ways to spare clients a heavy tax burden.

Donald Trump is currently embroiled in such a potential scandal: imagine being the auditor of his tax records!

Accounting is one of those careers which leads you to become an expert in your chosen area of the field, which makes it very rewarding.

Now that you’re motivated to explore accounting as a vocation, your Superprof will endeavour to find the best education in accounting and finance available to Glaswegians.

Find accounting courses in Cardiff and accounting lessons in Belfast too!

What is Accounting, Really?

The father of accounting wrote the book on double entry bookkeeping
Friar Luca Pacioli literally wrote the book on double entry bookkeeping! Source: Pixabay Credit: PC Dazero

Believe it or not, accounting is an age-old discipline that involves measuring, processing and communicating financial information about businesses.

The accounting principles we know today were established in 1494 by a mathematician named Luca Pacioli, now acknowledged as the Father of Accounting.

However, the discipline goes way back to ancient Mesopotamia, where the first forays into civilisation – writing as well as money, were made.

By the time of Emperor Augustus’ reign, the Roman government had been keeping detailed financial records for years.

As trading expanded to new shores, new systems of accounting were needed. The Middle East Jewish communities pioneered the double entry bookkeeping system around that time.

Centuries later, the venerable Mr Pacioli refined the method and published it for wider dissemination, forever immortalising this Franciscan friar.

Because of his published work on the subject, accounting books travelled far and wide, ultimately leading accountants to form professional bodies, so that they might share knowledge and skills, and educate the next generation of accountants.

Find out about accounting courses in Manchester...

The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales is one of the oldest accounting bodies in the world still existent today.

They were established by royal charter in 1880 because of the growing complexity of conducting business, among them international trade and the growing trend toward limited liability companies.

However, the oldest known chartered accountants societies were established in Scotland: the Glasgow, Aberdeen and Edinburgh Chartered Accountants societies predate those of England by about 30 years!

It seems so many of us are rooted in a Dickensian view of accountancy à la Bob Cratchit, we fail to realise the world has moved on since then... and so have accountants!

These days, such professionals may specialise in:

  • financial accounting – preparing financial statements for external reporting to shareholders and investors
  • management accounting: making the best of a company’s assets to improve financial performance
  • CPA or Chartered accountant, also known as a public accountant: the person you engage to figure out your taxes and estate.
    • A tax accountant would also serve to do your taxes
  • Auditing is the verification of one’s financial claims, be it a company or individual
    • a managerial accountant may conduct an internal audit, for example; or an entire company may be audited by an external body
  • Accounting information systems: here, the accountant’s experience and skill are especially pertinent
    • a single, incorrect entry of data can skew the entire financial profile of a company, potentially sending global financial markets into chaos!

Naturally, you wouldn’t want that to happen; nobody would! That is why accounting classes in Leeds and accounting courses in Edinburgh are so well attended.

Let us now discover schools where you may pick up on the accounting skills that will open professional doors for you.

These days, plenty of people learn new skills so they can change jobs
You may decide to change jobs or gain more skills to earn a promotion Source: Pixabay Credit: Geralt

Accounting Courses in Glasgow

There are four main qualifications that you could get to be able to work as an accountant:

  • The Association of Accounting Technicians Professional Accounting Diploma
  • The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants Qualification
  • The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales Chartered Accountant qualification
  • The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants Certificate in Business Accounting

Some of those qualifications do not require you to hold a university degree in accounting, most of them are accessible with a mix of GCSEs and A-levels. However, most of them will allow you to skip parts of the exams if you hold a relevant university degree, so the higher accreditation is preferred.

In most cases, professional accountants first complete a university degree in Finance and Accounting before enrolling in one of these Accounting qualification programs.

But where in Glasgow can you obtain such a degree?

Glasgow is the city where accountancy gained royal endorsement: The Glasgow Institute of Accountants and Actuaries was founded in 1854; one of the three that was first in the world to gain a royal charter.

You may earn your bachelor through the University of Glasgow accounting program, or you might decide that the business courses or accounting courses at the City of Glasgow College would suit you better. See below a couple of examples of suitable courses in the city.

University of Glasgow

Accountancy and Finance BAcc

This course spans four years and naturally leads students into a career in one of the branches of the accounting profession, but there are also many other professions that can benefit from this programme. The study of accountancy and finance provides a better understanding of how business work and is, therefore, a firm foundation on which to base careers in business management and the financial services sector.

Pupils will acquire enhanced analytical and communication skills, essential to accounting and finance, yet also a huge benefit for many other careers.

The programme is structured as follows:

Year 1
"The Accounting Profession course will provide a flavour of the profession you hope to work in after graduation. You will be introduced to the theory and practice of financial accounting, management accounting and finance. You will learn about the processes of accounting and the structure and development of accounting statements, budgeting and management control within organisations, as well as the nature of the financial markets. You will also study economics and management."

Year 2
"You will concentrate on the regulatory framework of accounting practice, standard setting, the use of cost information and the provision of information for decision making and the operation of the financial markets. You will also study business law, taxation and statistics."

Years 3 and 4
"You will study advanced financial accounting and audit and a range of optional courses."

According to their website, recent graduates of the University of Glasgow Accountancy and Finance BAcc have been employed by:

  • PwC
  • KPMG
  • Grant Thornton
  • Alexander Sloan
  • Cigna
  • Deloitte
  • Royal Bank of Scotland
  • Credit Suisse
  • EY
  • Morgan Stanley

City of Glasgow College

This college offers a range of courses designed to give you the skills you need to enter the world of business and finance. Just some of the training courses and study programmes are:

  • AAT - Assoc of Accounting Tech Level 6 Diploma CPD.
  • AAT - Assoc of Accounting Tech Level 8 Diploma CPD.
  • College Certificate in Book-Keeping (Accounting).
  • College Certificate in Computerised Accounting (SAGE).
  • College Certificate in Financial Accounting.
  • PDA Book Keeping (Accounting).
  • PDA Financial Accounting.
  • PDA Management Accounting.

You can visit the establishment's website for further information on each of the above (including term dates and entry requirements), but here we will take a look at one of the options available to accounting students.

(SCQF level 5)

Course overview

"This course provides an introduction to both Financial and Management Accounting and gives sufficient training in accounting procedures and techniques to enable you to progress further academically or to be equipped sufficiently to attempt clerical level types of employment in an accounting environment.

Further details of the topics covered are provided in the section “What you Study” below.

You'll be assessed continuously throughout this course with the assessments taking the form of practical assessments, assignment and case studies. There is no final examination.

You'll undertake a programme of guidance activities designed to help you make the most of your qualification and college experience.

You'll be required to attend college on 4 days every week from 9am to 5pm for one academic year.

Entry requirements

Minimum entry requirements:

  • Two National 4 and One National 5 qualification at Grade C or above in relevant* subjects; OR
  • Other equivalent qualifications or experience, where verifiable evidence has been provided such as qualification certificates or employer references.

* relevant subjects cannot include any from the following list: Art and Design, Design and Manufacture, Drama, Graphic Communications, Woodwork, Health and Food Technology, Languages, Music, Media, Photography and Physical Education.

Mandatory modules

  • Preparing Financial Accounting Information.
  • Preparing Management Accounting Information.
  • Analysing Accounting Information.
  • Handling Wages and Salaries.
    Computer Applications: Accounting.
  • Recording Credit Transactions.
  • Developing Skills for Employment.
  • IT Solutions for Administrators.

Other available units

  • Maintaining Costing Systems.
  • Preparing Final Accounts.
  • Consumer Protection Legislation in Scotland.
  • Communication.
  • Recording Cash Transactions.
  • Recording Data in the Ledger.
  • Spreadsheets for Administrators.
  • Personal Finance Awareness.
  • Financial Services: An introduction.

HNC Accounting
SCQF Level 7

Course overview

"The HNC Accounting Award has been designed to meet the demands and requirements of the Accounting Industry.

Opportunities are provided to develop your skills, knowledge and understanding in preparation for employment, or for progression to courses such as AAT level 8, or HND Accounting.

The course focuses on the technical skill of students to be able to process accounting information for a variety of organisations including Sole Traders, Partnerships and Limited Companies. Students will also learn how to handle both Financial and Management Accounting scenarios and prepare written reports to communicate the outcomes. In addition, training is included on popular accounting software such as SAGE Accounts and SAGE Payroll. The course also enhances your skill in using Excel spreadsheets.

Personal Development Planning is also a key element of this course to encourage learners to consider future paths and set targets to ensure that the most is being made of opportunities available.

Throughout the course, you will undertake a programme of guidance activities designed to encourage the successful completion of the course.

You'll be required to attend college for 4 days every week from 9 am to 5 pm for one academic year."

Minimum entry requirements

  • One Higher at Grade C or above in a relevant* subject; OR
  • Three National 5 qualifications at grade A in relevant* subjects; OR
  • NC/NQ** containing a minimum of 12 credits, more than one credit at SCQF level 6; OR
    Other equivalent qualifications or experience, where verifiable evidence has been provided such as qualification certificates or employer references.

*relevant subjects cannot include any from the following list: Art and Design, Design and Manufacture, Drama, Graphic Communications, Health and Food Technology, Languages, Music, Media, Photography, Physical Education.

**Internal applicants must complete 16 credits undertaken in the NC/NQ qualification.

Mandatory units

  • Recording Financial Information.
  • Preparing Final Accounts.
  • Using Financial Accounting Software.
  • Cost Accounting.
  • Management Accounting using IT.
  • Group Award Graded Unit.

Other available units

  • Payroll.
  • Personal Development Planning.
  • IT in Business: Spreadsheets.
  • Business Law.
  • Economic Issues.
  • Mathematics for Business.

Accounting Classes for the Job Changer

There are plenty of good reasons for anyone to change jobs: your current position is no longer satisfying, you like your work but no longer see the point of a dead-end job; you’ve been let go of and need to retrain into a viable career field...

Whatever your reason, rest assured that there are further education options open to you so that you may become an accountant.

Discover how you might become an accountant in London...

A prime example of such further education would be Acudemy’s Foundation in Accounting course.

Whether you know anything about bookkeeping, ledgers, trial balance or even management, you will be treated to an introduction to accountancy before getting into the meat of the subject.

And then, things will really start grooving...

You will learn all about principles of accounting, including the generally accepted accounting principles (also called GAAP); the set of ‘rules’ that govern the accounting world.

You will learn how to read and interpret a financial statement, and all about cost accounting.

Journals and ledgers, trial balance and profit & loss: the intricacies of financial reporting and how all of those factors affect the bottom line can be yours in this 15-hour course.

This certificate program will then enable you to delve further, into intermediate accounting or even in advanced accounting!

Although they are based in London, they offer courses everywhere in the UK, and even offer online accounting courses!

If you quite like your job but are looking for continuing education with an eye toward promotion, you might consider a Finance for Non-Finance Managers course, held in Lanarkshire.

Specifically meant for the entry-level or mid-level manager (but suitable for executives!), those instructors will cultivate an appreciation for the work of the financial accountant, take you through financial statement analysis and give a comprehensive overview of revenue recognition.

Their curriculum will not earn you an accounting certificate, but you will certainly gain a new appreciation for managerial accounting and underscore the importance of accounting and business.

This is a one-day class and Consensa, the organisation that sponsors this course, will make tutors available to you, as needed.

Speaking of tutors...

Whether you are working towards your degree in accounting as an undergraduate, a student sharpening skills for your Highers or whether you are striving to pass your CPA exam, a tutor in accounting always comes in handy.

Let’s also find where in Birmingham you could get an education in accounting!

No need for intensive searches to find the right accounting tutors
It is not difficult to find an accounting tutor in Glasgow! Source: Pixabay Credit: Free-Fotos

Finding an Accounting Tutor in Glasgow

A simple Internet search would reveal all types of accounting tutors: ranged by price or level of accountancy, by area of speciality – accounting theory, business accounting or academic support, if you are an accounting major.

However, if you are looking to understand accounting concepts at a fundamental level, you could not do better than a Superprof accounting tutor.

In Glasgow, you will find several Superprof accounting tutors, with an average price of £20 per hour of instruction. See a few below:

  • Maligie

Maligie offers lessons to accounting students in their own home for £10 an hour. An auditor by profession with a degree in Accounting and working towards an MSc in Accounting and Finance, Maligie can tutor any accounting-related subject or mathematics-related topics.

The tutor chooses to explain each topic in detail and discuss related issues using a theoretical and practical approach.

  • Pooja
Pooja is an MBA degree-holder with specialisation in Finance who boasts more than 3 years of experience in teaching Accounts, Economics and Business Administration to individuals and groups of varying ages. She charges £8 per hour and tailors her classes to each student. His/her level of study and interest are the two criteria that determine how lessons will be structured,
  • Deepansh

Deepansh is a chartered accountant working with one of the big 4 audit firms of the world. He is offering Accounting lessons for £40 per online lesson (lasting one hour) and approaches his teaching by considering each topic whilst putting himself in the shoes of his students so that he can make them understand the content being covered in a better way.

However, you don’t have to limit yourself to local tutors!

If you are willing to take instruction online, you could choose from any of Superprof’s 5,000 accounting tutors in the country to help you learn about accounting practices and accounting systems!

On every Superprof tutoring page, you will be able to see an in-depth profile of their experience and area(s) of accounting speciality, whether your chosen tutor gives lessons via webcam or strictly in his/her region.

And, most importantly, you will be able to see feedback and testimonials left by other students!

  • Mike

Mike worked with several companies as a financial controller and finance director; he now teaches corporate finance. He charges £35 per hour and has glowing reviews!

  • Devansh

Devansh holds an accounting degree – a Masters in Commerce and has been teaching for the past 2 years. His rate is also £35 per hour. He offers lessons via Skype, having led plenty of accounting students to their undergraduate certificate.

  • Dorothy

Dorothy is based in London and tutors in economics as well as accounting. She has vast experience in corporate accounting and accounting management. She charges £40 per hour.

All of these Superprofs – in fact, most Superprof’s give their first hour of instruction for free; an added bonus to the cost-conscious student seeking a career in accounting.

In fact, you may find a Superprof tutor for your accounting courses anywhere in the country!

Whether you are still searching for accounting classes to study with or have already obtained your certification in public accounting, there is always more to learn and these organisations are standing by to offer you the latest in accounting information.

So is Superprof!

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A vagabond traveler whose first love is the written word, I advocate for continuous learning, cycling, and the joy only a beloved pet can bring. There is plenty else I am passionate about, but those three should do it, for now.