What do ICAEW Chartered Accountants do?

Chartered accountants 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 such as KPMG, Deloitte and L’Oreal – 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 tell you strong people skills, creative thinking and clear communication are instrumental in your development.

Depending on the area you choose to specialise in, typical tasks could include:

  • Taking control of managing financial systems and budgets.
  • Deliver 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 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.

Case Study

Zoe Wong, Finance and Operations Director at Depop, explains her creative route to accountancy.

“The ACA qualification gives a broad foundation for anyone wanting to work in business and offers multiple routes that can suit passion and interests.
I love working in areas I am passionate about – fashion and ecommerce. I work at a start-up app called Depop, where I have been growing the finance function and helping the business
scale up and grow. It’s always a personal achievement to see your business growing year on year.

The business stakeholders I support deal with a fair few celebrities and events, so budgeting and forecasting is really interesting!”


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