If you aspire to work in accountancy, the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants is the appropriate body to join. Recognised worldwide as the regulator for the chartered certified accountancy qualification, its job is – more or less – to regulate and control who receives the ACCA qualification and who is therefore entitled to work as an accountant professionally. If you want to get into professional accountancy, this is the qualification for you. Students who complete their studies for the ACCA course will go on to be licenced to work full-time as a trusted accountant. It’s that simple – if you want to be an accountant, you need to do the ACCA course.
The ACCA course provides you with knowledge that you are able to transfer to accountancy roles in almost any business. But why would you want to go into accountancy? There are quite a few reasons, but the main one is just as simple as the reason you’d want the qualification: the career prospects. Chartered accountants can look forward to very high employability rates; a globally transferable skill set, and in general a very satisfactory paycheck. Accountancy graduates can expect a great career path, and exploring this subject area is certainly worth a great deal of consideration for anyone weighing up their options.
The wonderful thing in particular about accountancy is that accountants job posts are generally well-paid and require skillsets that are more or less universal – no matter where you are in the world, there will always be a company that’s prepared – in theory – to pay you. And in this day and age, that’s an immensely valuable thing and should not be underestimated. Accountancy is a flexible and high-return career path, and though it’s not easy to get into, it’s well worth considering.
Accountancy offers a huge variety of jobs, too – the position “accountant” can mean a lot of different things depending on what area you’re working in. You work in the public or private sector, and within these categories there’s still a variety of different areas you could work in.
Any corporation that processes large amounts of money requires an accountancy department – you could be involved within any industry you choose. Small businesses too will often require the help of accountancy firms to help with processing payroll, submitting end of year accounts and preparing management accounts. You might find helping small businesses succeed to be a very rewarding career.
Generally, to take the full ACCA qualification course, a potential student will need some background qualifications either in accountancy (from the association; they’re collectively known as foundation qualifications) or more generally in subjects like mathematics, English, and statistics. The circumstances of each applicant is individually assessed, however, someone with few qualifications but some practical experience may be eligible to begin the course.
The course itself consists of up to 14 separate examinations, three years of supervised and relevant accountancy experience, and completion of an ethics module. This is not something that should be started on a whim, and anyone hoping to get their qualification should be committed to accountancy work and willing to devote three years of their life to studying for the qualification. That’s who’s really eligible for the ACCA course – anyone who’s willing to put enough work in.
The ACCA was set up in the United Kingdom in 1974 in order to regulate and control the accountants that were licensed and allowed to work at the larger firms and companies. A poorly skilled accountant can be a big problem in a company, and therefore indirectly also to a country’s economy. It therefore remains hugely importance to companies to make sure that their accountants have the appropriate qualifications.
Laws that govern accountancy vary from country to country and as such businesses may be more inclined to recruit someone who has studied for their ACCA qualification a little closer to home. This could mean that if you intend to work in a specific country, moving there for your studies would be a wise decision.
An ACCA qualification from a Western university can also be more highly valued by companies in the UK or America than one from elsewhere, simply because the some companies will trust the qualification more, even though they’re the same qualification. It’s not fair, but it is the way it goes, and if you can’t beat them, join them.
Yet another reason to study abroad is to connect with people – both your course mates and people outside your course. Part of the importance of studying at the right institution is the opportunity to network properly; getting to know people whilst your studying will be immensely helpful to your future career, and the ability to just phone a peer for advice is a hugely advantageous thing when you’re working in a high-pressure job, as is often the case with accountancy. By building an international network of peers for support you are helping to widen the potential horizons for your future career.
The largest financial – and therefore accounting – centre of the world is in London. Second largest? New York City. These are huge, intimidating, English-speaking cities that can appear immensely difficult to get ahead in. Companies here will always demand that extra edge – taking your ACCA course in the vicinity of these companies could be that edge.
The ACCA is a qualification that is well worth studying if you want a career in accountancy and as we’ve discussed, will open a lot of career options all around the world. Gaining your ACCA qualification from a London based school is an even better qualification to have, and will be well-respected the world-over.
If you’re going to take an ACCA course, consider studying abroad – it will add a vast amount to your CV. Accountancy is competitive near the top, and who doesn’t want to make it to the top?
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