You work in the accounts department at your local NHS hospital, and start at 9am. You're currently working on the monthly finance report, which means compiling spreadsheets, graphs and written data from receipts, invoices and purchase orders. Once the report is finished, you analyse all financial records for the year so far, and note general spending trends. In the afternoon, you meet with the head of finance to help plan next year's budget. You discuss how much funding to allocate for different departments, based on your analysis of spending, and also suggest ways to save money. You finish at 5pm, having enjoyed using your skills to help the hospital get the most out of its funding.
You enjoy maths, have a logical mind and like analysing facts and figures. You're good at planning, get on well with others and enjoy working in a team.
You'll usually need five 9-4 (A*-C) grade GCSEs (or the equivalent), preferably including maths, in order to apply for at least two A levels (or the equivalent) at college.
You'll need to have professional accountancy qualifications to be able to work as an accountant. There are various routes in. You could get a trainee position with A levels (or equivalent); take a degree in accountancy at university, or take a non-accountancy degree and then get a job and study professional accountancy qualifications while you're working. The NHS runs a financial management scheme for graduates. If you're planning to go to university, check each ones entry requirements as they vary.