New industries. Different causes. Global possibilities. The world is changing, and with it, there are new opportunities for you to shine. A qualification with ICAEW can take you to new heights; the opportunities are limitless. ICAEW Chartered Accountants are more than just number cruncher’s – they are talented professionals, prized for their ability to effect change.

What’s the difference between an accountant and 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 £26,300 with the potential to increase to £47,700 after qualifying.*

* 2021 High Fliers Accountancy Sector Report.

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.

Chartered accountants can choose to specialise in various areas such as working in the finance area of the beauty industry for example or even working for a celebrity in the film industry. Being a chartered accountant means that you have a high level of training and skills to apply in various areas of work which can offer more opportunities for accountancy jobs.

There’s more to the ACA qualification than number crunching. 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.

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.

Case Studies

 Julian FordJulian 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”

Tang Yan Ru

Tang Yan Ru, Assistant Manager at T Biz Management Services in Malaysia, explains why she swapped a career in dentistry for one in chartered accountancy.

“I originally started my studies in dentistry, but later discovered that compared with dentistry, accounting and finance offered a more practical career in the future – with the rational that finance plays an important role in ALL organisations, hence my switch to take up the ICAEW ACA qualification.

“The best part of the qualification is that it drives you to succeed – the qualification is challenging, hence, it forces you to put in your best effort to excel and then employ that to the work you do.”


Roshan Ramesh, Senior Associate at PwC based in UAE gives us his account on training as an independent student.

“As an independent student, a major part of my time went into preparing for the exams and planning my studies on a regular basis.

“The ACA qualification equips you with a sound technical knowledge in various fields such as Accountancy, Finance, Tax, Law, Ethics and Business Management which are transferrable from industry to industry, thus providing a strong footing in the business world.”

About the Author

  • Name: ICAEW
Back to Top

Receive the latest Graduate Jobs Internships & Placements Profession Newsletters