Accounting partnership adds up to increased career success for students

Date 28.03.2019

Accounting students heard today how completing new professional training, offered for free thanks to a University partnership, will increase their future employability.

The Xero Adviser Certification is awarded following completion of an eight-hour training module that is supplementary to their main degree.

The Certification means students are competent in using an increasingly popular form of ‘Cloud’ based accounting software that has been developed to better meet the changing needs of the sector.

With the trend toward customers moving away from traditional accounting platforms – and employers increasingly asking that accountants are trained to use new technology – University of Northampton students are ahead of their peers long before they graduate.

So far, 27 students have completed the course which they can now include on their CV demonstrating their extra-curriculum activity but also to show employers their knowledge base involving both desktop and iCloud accounting products.

Today (26 March 2019) Mike Day, Director of UK Education at Xero and who developed the Certification visited Waterside campus to explain the system and the benefits of becoming proficient at using the software to accounting students.

One of those is Oliver Everitt – originally from Aylesbury – who is in the second year of his Accounting and International Development degree: “I gained my Certification a little while ago, but it didn’t take long to see how it would help with my career prospects. The industry is undergoing change where traditional desktop accountancy software is being replaced by new, innovative and modern software that is proving successful, in particular for small and medium sized firms.

“One local firm needed someone with expertise and who had the Certificate for a short-term contract as a Finance Assistant – to my surprise, I was hired on the spot.

“The Certification was too good of an opportunity to ignore as it was a chance for me to enhance my skillset and apply my knowledge learnt in class to the real world.

“Going forward, I’m looking at a future internship in South Africa and want to go on to work in the charity sector, so having this training under my belt will really help me land the right job.”

image mike day xero oliver everitt

Mike Day, from Xero, with student Oliver Everitt.

Honor Pacey, Lecturer in Financial Accounting at the University said: “I have owned my own accountancy practice for 20 years. More recently – and in response to the flexibility customers want – the world of processing their accounts is changing. From my experience, about 90% of my clients have moved to new platforms.

“I regularly hear that employers need accountants who are fully versed in using new technologies and at the University we are committed to making sure our graduates are as prepared as possible to meet this.”

Mike added: “Accounting has moved from being on paper and office-bound to a profession that is truly anytime, anywhere and anyplace, so it’s natural that any software used would evolve with the sector.

“Keeping ahead of the technological game – whilst never removing the skills of the accountant – is very useful indeed and Xero are proud to work with University’s like Northampton to develop this in their students.”

Find out more about accounting courses at University of Northampton.