Becoming an ICAEW Chartered Accountant is not just a qualification, it’s seen as a way of life in accounting. Completing ICAEW’s chartered accountancy qualifications mean you are ready to make an impact on important financial decisions. It shows you are ready to go global with a qualification that is internationally recognised. It proves that you are able to work in any industry from fashion to banking. So let’s take a closer look at what it really means to be a chartered accountant.
What do ICAEW Chartered Accountants do?
As a chartered accountant you are never limited to one discipline. You can take your career into a diverse range of specialist areas including auditing, taxation, corporate finance, forensic accounting and business recovery. Chartered accountants hold influential positions within leading organisations – you are able to develop in an industry you really care about all over the world.
There’s more to the ACA qualification than numbers. Successful chartered accountants will have strong people skills, creative thinking and clear communication, which are instrumental in their development.
Depending on the area you choose to specialise in, typical tasks could include:
- Taking control of managing financial systems and budgets.
- Delivering responsive financial audits – an independent check of a company’s financial position.
- Research and communicate financial data and advice to clients
Technical knowledge is vital, but it’s also about being able to understand business challenges. Solving problems, finding answers, analysing information and interpreting facts and figures to make business recommendations and then being able to communicate this information is key.
What’s the difference between an accountant and a chartered accountant?
Truth is, anyone can be an accountant. Not everyone can be a chartered accountant. Becoming an ICAEW Chartered Accountant means you have received intensive training, you will have studied the trade for at least three years and you will be a member of a professional membership body with a royal charter.
Chartered means you are at the top of your profession and you are ready to take on challenges and equally be rewarded for them. As a graduate, ICAEW Chartered Accountants can earn up to £30,000 with the potential to increase to £51,000 after qualifying.
Types of Chartered Accountancy
There are two main types of accountancy, both as important as the other.
Management accountants provide financial insight internally. This can include aid for decision making, budget analysis and forecasting.
Financial accountants, on the other hand, provide information externally to shareholders, investors and creditors.
Aimee Dimmock, Audit and Accounts Junior at Foxley Kingham, explains her surprise at how diverse the role of a chartered accountant is.
“The role as a chartered accountant is far more diverse than I ever anticipated. I went into the role with the belief that each day I would be “number crunching” to produce financial statements.
“Little did I know, my apprenticeship would be able to provide me with the opportunity to engage in a vast array of work, from accounts, to assurance, tax and bookkeeping work. As a result, my day to day work is always so varied, which for me, makes the role far more engaging.
“My advice to any school leaver would be to do your research. The ACA qualification opens windows of career opportunities, in numerous industries.”
Julian Ford, Tax Associate at ForrestBrown, tells us about his route to the ACA by completing the ICAEW CFAB qualification.
“I chose to study CFAB during my spare time whilst studying a Master’s degree in Accounting and Finance; this helped boost my career and differentiated me from other candidates whilst applying for ACA training contracts by demonstrating my commitment to further study.
“The culture is fast-paced, challenging, and supportive with plenty of opportunity to progress my career”
Rebecca Shooter-Dodd, Corporate Controller at Revasum gives us her account of relocating abroad.
“In my career I have had the opportunity to work in London, Australia & California – the ACA has allowed me to travel the world whilst working, having amazing experiences and meeting new people.
“Moving around the world is exciting, I think the main opportunities that have come from this are to learn from different people across the world, and how global businesses operate.
The business stakeholders I support deal with a fair few celebrities and events, so budgeting and forecasting is really interesting!”