Looking to get ahead in accountancy and finance? Try ACCA…
From managing accounts in the healthcare industry to providing financial advice in renewable energy, financial expertise is in high demand in every sector. But how can you gain the skills and experience needed to stand out to employers and get ahead in the financial field?
We spoke to ACCA, the global body for professional accountants, to find out everything you need to know about ACCA qualifications:
What is ACCA?
ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) is the world’s most forward-thinking professional accountancy body, providing a range of accountancy training and qualifications worldwide.
With a diverse community of over 247,000 members and 526,000 future members in 181 countries, ACCA members are among the world’s best-qualified and most highly sought-after accountants.
They’re also in demand in every sector imaginable, making job opportunities vast for ACCA members.
What does the ACCA syllabus include?
The ACCA Qualification gives students the most up-to-date skills needed to become a finance and business professional.
It’s made up of three levels of exams, plus an Ethics and Professional Skills module and 36 months of practical experience in a relevant finance or accounting role.
Here’s a rundown of each level, and what they cover:
1. Applied Skills: This is an introduction to the world of finance and accounting, helping you to gain a broad understanding of essential accounting techniques such as effective business operations, management accounting and financial accounting.
2. Applied Knowledge: At this level, you’ll develop the strong, practical skills that are part of the strategic finance professional’s toolkit – including taxation, financial reporting and audit.
3. Strategic Professional: The final stage of ACCA will teach you dynamic skills and strategic vision that all great businesses and financial leaders need. Strategic Professional exams also give you the opportunity to specialise in areas that best suit your career ambitions.
Who is ACCA for?
ACCA offers a range of pathways, making the qualification available to anyone – no matter what your experience level is.
Here’s how you can start studying ACCA, depending on your previous qualifications:
- If you have at least two A Levels and three GCSEs in five separate subjects, including English and Maths (or equivalent) – you can start studying the ACCA Qualification straight away. On completion, you’ll become an ACCA member.
- If you have a relevant degree – you may be able to start studying ACCA at a higher level, making you eligible for exemptions from some exams.
- If you don’t have any of the above qualifications – you can start with a Foundations in Accountancy qualification and then progress to the ACCA Qualification. Alternatively, you could take an ACCA Apprenticeship.
How much do ACCA accountants earn?
Your salary expectations will vary depending on the location you work in, the size of the company, the sector, and any other qualifications you may have.
Once you’re ACCA qualified, you can expect a starting salary of £25,000, increasing to around £45,000 after you’ve gained a few years’ experience.
If you progress to director-level roles with ACCA, you could earn in excess of £100,000.
What methods of learning ACCA are there?
There are many ways to carry out ACCA training, enabling you to learn flexibly in a way that suits you.
You can choose to study ACCA online or in a classroom, full-time or part-time – from anywhere in the world.
You can also choose how frequently you sit your exams and how many you take at one time.
How long does it take to study ACCA?
It’ll take around one year to five years to become fully ACCA qualified, depending on whether you study part-time or full-time.
What job can I get with an ACCA Qualification?
Accountancy is essential to all sectors and industries. This means that employers seek out ACCA-trained professionals for a range of job roles around the world.
Common sectors and job roles for qualified ACCA professionals include:
|Management Accountant, Business Analyst, Risk Manager, Group Accountant
|Financial services sector
|Corporate Financier, Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Officer, Fund Accountant
|Finance Manager, Management Accountant, Internal Auditor, Financial Accountant
|Audit/Assurance Trainee, Tax Consultant, Forensic Accountant, Business Advisor, Financial Analyst
Benefits of studying ACCA
The ACCA Qualification is highly relevant to a range of sectors within accountancy and finance. Here are a few of the key benefits of studying ACCA:
- You’ll be globally recognised. Because the ACCA qualification is recognised all over the world, your career prospects will be vast wherever you go.
- You’ll stand out to employers. ACCA qualifications are highly valued by employers, making ACCA professionals in demand. ACCA also currently works with more than 7,900 Approved Employers worldwide, helping you to get into work once qualified.
- You’ll gain practical, work-based skills. ACCA is designed to equip you for the workplace, helping you to develop expertise that’ll help you succeed in a range of accounting and finance roles.
- You’ll develop valuable business and finance expertise, whilst gaining the ethical judgement to create, protect, and report the sustainable value delivered by organisations and economies.
- You’ll join a global community of 247,000 ACCA professionals, providing you with the opportunity to build valuable connections all over the world.
What do ACCA students say?
“For me, accounting is a fundamental part of any business – who doesn’t need an accountant? From a young age, I loved learning, structure, and numbers. The idea of being part of something and making a difference not only within the organisation, but also for future generations, was a huge positive advantage for me.”
“…. I’ve always heard about it – ACCA is such a globally recognised qualification. Even if you don’t know about accounting, I think you would have probably heard about it. When you gain an ACCA qualification, you can stand out from the crowd. There’s endless opportunities, sectors, and roles that you can go into.”
Ready to start studying? Find an ACCA course today.
ACCA is a membership body which accredits and supports professional accountants all over the world.
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This story originally appeared on Reed.co.uk