Become an Accountant: Career Path and Qualifications

Accountancy has been one of the most fulfilling and highly demanded careers over the last few years. It has led to diverse occupations for candidates good with numbers and a great analytical mind. Specific qualification of an accountant is necessary to start working as a tax advisor, bookkeeper, cost accountant, forensic accountant, or other accounts related professions.

Qualifications of an accountant

To become a qualified accountant in islington, candidates may take from 18 months to 3 years, depending on the pattern of their studies.

●     AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians)

AAT is the minimum level of qualification an accountant must hold in the UK. It is the starting point for newcomers who must pass through four levels to become professionals. It is equivalent to a 4-year degree course from an institute.

AAT Level 2 Foundation Certificate introduces the concept of accounting equations and double-entry bookkeeping, along with a computerised accounts unit. An accountant with an AAT certificate can understand the fundamentals of costing and the purpose of accountancy in a company.

AAT Level 3 Advanced Diploma teaches about costing, double-entry principles, concepts related to accrual, prepayments, year and adjustments, and producing final accounts. Candidates who can conduct manual accounting and apply double-entry principles can start from level 3.

AAT Level 4 Professional Diploma revises the previous two levels and teaches financial account maintenance and business performance inspection.

●     ACCA (Association of Chartered Accountants)

This certification course comprises every topic related to the corporate and business finance sector and laws. It generally has fundamental and professional levels, best suited for candidates expecting better career paths than candidates with AAT qualifications. It is equivalent to a master degree course from a recognised university.

●     CIMA (Certified Institute of Management Accountants)

CIMA offers candidates a broader and deep knowledge of management accounting. To receive this business account award, one needs to complete their CIMA certification in Business Accounting.

●     AIA (The Association of International Accountants)

After completing this Professional degree, a candidate can achieve a qualified accountant status. They also get a chance of becoming a part of the global organisation.

●     Be a member of ICAEW (Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales).

If a candidate wants to be a chartered accountant, they must enrol in a professional body like ICAEW. There is a series of approximately 15 modules within three years, and gain practical work experience within the period.

Career paths for an accountant

In general, accountancy can be split into two fundamental parts: financial accounting and management accounting. Management accounting provides information to people within an organisation. On the contrary, financial accounting provides information to people outside an organisation.

Here are a few career paths for new candidates and their roles in brief.

Financial accountant

These candidates are responsible for keeping track of a company’s financial transactions. That includes the income, expenses, liabilities, assets of the company. Any professional with AAT certification can apply for this post.

They record transaction details in the financial book and ensure correct data entry. These accountants are responsible for making financial statements and advising the management team about business spending patterns.

Management accountants

They collect and analyse the financial data of an organisation and create financial statements. Unlike financial accountants London, this information is shared with the internal party. The financial information is presented in graphs and tables for clear understanding. These reports help owners develop the right financial decisions in a company.

Finance manager

These individuals maintain the financial health of a company. They provide strategic solutions for profit maximisation and risk reduction. A finance manager needs to work closely with a company’s executive team. They can participate in financial planning and analysis, project work related to acquisitions and margins, planning solutions for business growth, and others.

Tax accountant

A tax accountant helps in creating tax statements on behalf of the company. They learn financial transactions and details to identify how much tax to pay and rebate to earn. A candidate must have a CTA (Chartered Institute of Taxation qualification) or ATT (Association of Taxation Technicians qualification) certification for this career option.

Forensic accountants

They combine accounting tactics with the investigation process for solving complex financial situations in a company. Forensic accountants are responsible for fraud detection and sketching a solution. That includes breaches of contract, asset identification, fund tracing, business valuation disputes, asset recovery, etc. An individual with ACA, ACCA, or CIMA certification can apply for the job.

Final thought!

Accounting is the door to several opportunities for newcomers. There are several career paths, but each requires a special qualification and skill set. A candidate needs to select the one that interests them most.

Written by Julie Hanson

Julie is passionate about property – development, investment and portfolio planning. Along with husband Alec, Julie is actively building a property portfolio while helping others to do the same.

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