Almost a third of European accountants dreamed of becoming an entrepreneur before beginning their training, new research claims.
Running their own business was the most popular pre-qualification career dream among accountants polled by recruitment specialists Careers in Audit, ahead of being a lawyer cited by 22 percent of respondents.
Another 14 percent wanted to be a sports star, while 3 percent had visions of taking to the skies as a pilot. One respondent even had ambitions to become an atomic physicist.
When it came to inspiration most were motivated by the achievements of public figures such as Nelson Mandela and Sir Richard Branson. Only 3 percent cited their boss as the figure who most inspires them, while just one in 20 opted for prime minister Tony Blair.
Max Williamson, chief executive of Careers in Audit, said: "Many accountants in practice today will still have the chance to turn their dreams into reality. Indeed some accountants go into the profession purely as a stepping stone.
"Entrepreneurs such as Karan Bilimoria of Cobra Beers and Sir Martin Sorrell are just several of many high profile names who trained as accountants before taking the risk to go it alone.
"An accountancy training can certainly give you a clearer analysis and assessment of risk. However, to be a successful entrepreneur means taking risks not just calculating them, together with having business acumen and a go-getting spirit."