How to become an accountant
This post will introduce you to the career of an accountant. You will learn which qualifications are best for this career path and what you can expect as a fully-fledged accountancy professional.
Accountancy is a well-respected and traditional role to enter. Though it takes much dedication, hard work and a high level of education, the career can be very rewarding. A graduate can expect to earn up to £25,000, with a senior accountant earning up to £90,800.
Accountants also have the freedom to select a field to specialise in and are able to work from anywhere in the world.
How to qualify
You can choose to pursue a degree in accounting; however, the field has specific qualifications of its own which can help you become a chartered accountant.
The minimum qualification required is from AAT - The Association of Accounting Technicians. This is a globally recognised qualification and will open up careers in a variety of industries.
There are four qualifications that AAT offer which can take anywhere between 6 to 18 months to complete. Courses include the Foundation Certificate in Accounting, Advanced Diploma and the Professional Diploma in Accounting.
CIMA is another globally known qualification. The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants is the world’s largest body of management accountants and offers a few different certificates. Once you get your CIMA Professional Qualification, you will become a Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA).
As most of these qualifications are internationally recognised you will have the freedom to work in any part of the world you wish.
How to become ACCA qualified
The benefits of an ACCA qualification are impressive and employers are searching for candidates with this around the world.
An ACCA qualification is made up of essential and optional modules. The length of time it takes to get qualified depends on which qualification you’re working towards. The ACCA website recommends that you work and study at the same time, which will allow you to qualify in three to four years.
You will also receive a Diploma in Accounting and Business once you successfully complete ACCA’s first three papers and foundation ethics module.
The advanced diploma requires you to pass all the fundamental exams plus the ethics modules. Depending on your pace you could complete this in 12-18 months.
There are 14 exams in total, but ACCA does allow some exemptions to prevent you from repeating studies. If you have completed a different accounting qualification recently you may not be required to take all the exams. This also means you wouldn’t have to start your ACCA studies at the foundation level.
Once you successfully get through your first professional exam, you have seven years to complete the next set – there are 14 in total.
An ACCA qualification isn’t just about passing exams. To qualify, you must also complete three years of relevant practical experience. It’s up to you where you’d like to complete it. After all this, you will enjoy the reward of having ACCA after your name.
The benefits of becoming an accountant are clear to see: a good salary throughout your career, the opportunity to work for some influential organisations, and the chance to work from anywhere in the world. The years of toil are definitely worth it!
To find out more about the life of an accountant, check out this interview.