How to become an ICAEW Chartered Accountant NTENTS 03 Become an ICAEW Chartered Accountant 05 A rewarding career 06 Success stories 08 The ACA qualification 11 Entry requirements 12 Top tips
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become an ICAEW Chartered Accountant...
ICAEW stands for The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and we are a world leader of the accountancy and finance profession.
We support our global network of authorised training employers in attracting talented students to train for our chartered accountancy qualification,
including our Financial Capability work
A great career choice
Have you got what it takes
Work globally and in any sector
All degrees welcome
where we delve into the world of chartered accountancy.
explore the many areas you can train and work in and highlight how our qualification,
can give you the skills you need to succeed.
Read on to find out what employers want from graduates,
where you can find job vacancies,
and how you can get that extra edge on your own employability.
There’s more information on our website icaew.com/careers and if you have any questions then we would love to hear from you facebook.com/icaewcareers @ICAEW_Careers [email protected] We hope to see you at a careers event soon
! The ICAEW Student Recruitment Team
Straightforward – You can start studying for the ACA qualification independently or while working for an ICAEW authorised employer.
Global – The ACA qualification is recognised around the world,
meaning your career can take you anywhere.
job levels and every day is different.
Transferable skills – From communication and team working,
to problem solving and decision making,
these skills are valuable to all organisations.
Stability – Organisations large and small benefit from the expertise of ICAEW Chartered Accountants.
We really can help,
read what someone in your position has to say … I engaged with ICAEW in a variety of ways throughout university,
networking events and regular use of their brochures and online resources.
These helped me to understand what employers want and gave me the confidence to show them that I had it.
I successfully secured a place on a graduate scheme and am now training to become an ICAEW Chartered Accountant with PwC.
is the median starting salary for graduates in the accountancy sector *
? ICAEW Chartered Accountants are recognised around the world as leaders in accountancy,
You can be one too.
I think being an ICAEW Chartered Accountant people know you’re full of integrity,
you’re professional and you’re top of your field.
their average salary plus bonus 0 –2 years post qualification is £49.9k
The ethical framework,
professional scepticism and behaviours is a significant value of the ACA qualification.
It provides us with a behaviour framework that everyone follows and adheres to which is a big benefit to our organisation.
Professional Qualification Team Leader,
ICAEW is constantly thinking ahead – thinking about what future business leaders need to be and how to train them.
They use the prestigious letters ‘ACA’ after their name (‘FCA’ after 10 years of membership)
Qualifying as an ICAEW Chartered Accountant has been a fantastic platform and has enabled me to do a zillion things that I would have never ever expected to do much earlier on in my career.
Standard Chartered (and former CFO at Vodafone)
Providing ACA training to employees benefits us by creating students who are able to add value to our clients,
both during and beyond their ACA training agreement.
Have you got what it takes
? While technical knowledge is vital,
there is more to becoming a successful ICAEW Chartered Accountant.
People skills – Great chartered accountants are able to communicate complex financial information and advice to colleagues,
managers and clients in an easy to understand way.
to formal face-to-face meetings or video conferences with international clients.
ICAEW Chartered Accountants spend time working across teams to find answers for specific business questions or challenges.
as is the ability to support and motivate others to achieve common goals.
analyse and interpret data from a range of sources helps chartered accountants to make sound,
Professionalism – Chartered accountants are highly respected for behaving professionally and conducting business ethically at all times.
Commercial awareness – By being commercially aware,
chartered accountants are able to think creatively about problems to identify solutions and give their organisation the competitive edge.
IT skills – Chartered accountants have well rounded technical skills,
keep up-to-date with technology and are able to use it to solve problems and develop strategic advice.
How can large multi-national businesses make sure they are on top of their taxes
? ICAEW Chartered Accountants navigate the complex world of tax legislation to make sure clients aren’t paying too much,
Shareholders can see business performance is improving but can they trust the information they are given
? ICAEW Chartered Accountants lead audit teams to review and analyse information,
systems and processes so people can do business with confidence.
This means they enjoy a high-level of accountability and pride in their profession.
but here are some of the things ICAEW Chartered Accountants do.
How do organisations ensure that they are a success
? ICAEW Chartered Accountants often find themselves involved in developing the strategy for all types of organisations,
to conducting a full valuation of the target company,
ICAEW Chartered Accountants are involved in all kinds of company mergers and acquisitions giving advice to clients every step of the way.
Work globally and in any sector ICAEW Chartered Accountants are valuable to all organisations and you will have the flexibility to shape your career to suit your interests and career aspirations.
You can train for the ACA in various countries around the world and many careers in chartered accountancy come with international travel and worldwide prospects.
direction and profitability of organisations around the world.
Imagine a career where you can investigate fraudulent activity and deliver your findings as an expert witness in court
? Or a career that gives you the opportunity to make a real difference,
through ensuring that it has the funds to deliver its charitable work
? With a range of industries and sectors to work in,
a career in chartered accountancy really does offer limitless and exciting opportunities.
Read on to discover more.
business and financial services
Source: ICAEW member data at January 2015.
Professional services and public practice Professional service and public practice organisations support clients of all sizes,
types and in all sectors around the world.
ICAEW Chartered Accountants are often at the heart of all types of organisations.
accountancy practices offer their clients a range of services including audit,
Working in this sector,
you’ll get a real insight into how businesses operate and will experience the range of issues and opportunities they face on a regular basis.
This sector offers great flexibility and progression for ICAEW Chartered Accountants.
You can choose to either specialise or move between business areas to get a broad range of experience.
working in this sector means that you will experience the full process of financial management and reporting.
You will also develop an understanding of IT,
which can be challenging at times.
I have enjoyed working on a range of interesting cases – from drug lords laundering money in South America to insurance claims following damage caused by volcanic eruptions – where we were asked to value the impact.
One exciting case involved going to Afghanistan to investigate an alleged instance of corruption and misappropriation of £35m of taxpayers’ money.
It can be a highly competitive environment with rapidly-changing risks and constant demands for innovation.
As your career progresses,
you’ll become involved in making strategic decisions to drive the business forward,
creating plans and leading change for business success.
FCA Chief Operating Officer FBN Capital,
During the early years of my career I experienced a breadth of roles that exposed me to the global banking sectors of Europe,
and I covered investment banking inside out.
That vast experience provided the architecture for my career.
Another highlight has been the identification of shipping documents proving the sale of goods from a weapons manufacturer in China and delivery to Iran,
as well as a terrorist bank account which was frozen immediately.
but I feel like I’ve helped to do my bit.
But my accountancy training really equipped me with the vital analytical skills and strategic mindset that you need as Chief Operating Officer,
to be able to go into any area of the business,
ask the right kind of questions,
process huge volumes of data and gain an accurate measure of any business situation.
I can’t think of another form of professional training that equips you so well and stays with you throughout your entire career.
To read Funke’s full story visit icaew.com/funke
ICAEW Chartered Accountants play a key role in helping non-profit-making organisations.
Working in the public sector means you can have a real impact on people’s lives.
Would you like to use your skills to make an impact on society
? Then consider working in the charity and not-for-profit sector.
Organisations in this sector need to carefully manage scarce resources and ICAEW Chartered Accountants working in them get involved in a range of activity.
financial systems and liaising with budget holders and trustees to manage the needs of the organisation.
delivering high quality audit work,
systems reviews and consultancies into the needs of charity clients.
ICAEW Chartered Accountants in this sector manage,
distribute and invest finances in public services such as health,
emergency services and local authority services.
They are constantly challenged to reduce expenditure and improve efficiency to ensure value for money.
By working in this sector you’ll be responsible for making sure that public money is being spent properly for the benefit of the nation.
You’ll be helping local communities and changing people’s lives,
while leading a successful and satisfying career.
After training in public practice I developed an interest in charities and it seemed natural to progress to join a charity full time to give something back.
I now work for Cancer Research UK which delivers a rewarding career where your successes can contribute directly to financing a cause that you believe in.
This was the case a few years back when I made the most of a one-off opportunity to reclaim VAT that was eventually worth £9.6m to Cancer Research UK.
I had become a fundraiser as well as an accountant
I have been given an increasing amount of responsibility on the audits I am assigned to,
exercising greater judgement and providing support to other members of the team.
My biggest step forward since starting my training has been working on the audit for the Department of Business,
Getting to grips with a complex and far-reaching organisation and making an effective contribution to the audit was extremely rewarding and gave me pride in my work.
To ready Richard’s full story visit icaew.com/richard
To read Ewan’s full story visit icaew.com/ewan
ICAEW members and students: their story
Sajjad Haider & Co,
Dubai A family friend recommended the ACA to me as an ideal way to get a head-start in my professional life.
I am now an Audit Associate and after almost a year and a half,
I’ve become a significant member of the audit team who’s allowed to handle clients independently.
I consider the growth that I have experienced as a result of my audit career is my biggest achievement to date.
and that obtaining a job where I felt like I was making a real difference was important to me.
I applied to the National Audit Office (NAO),
attracted by the opportunity of working for the organisation which holds the government to account,
and whose work leads to direct improvements in the delivery of public services.
Singapore After graduating I wanted to pursue a professional qualification and the ACA was a natural choice.
I am now a Tax Manager,
meaning I provide tax advice to clients and conduct regular research into uncertain tax and accounting issues.
The most enjoyable part of my job is that I get to meet and deal with clients in a variety of industries and geographies.
I feel an incredible sense of satisfaction whenever I am able to provide advice and add value to my clients’ businesses.
its professional reputation attracted my interest.
I’ve had many high points so far in my career,
which include recently being promoted to Audit Assistant Manager.
My highest point has been becoming the first ICAEW Chartered Accountant to have trained in Gibraltar.
Seeing my brother qualify as a chartered accountant also inspired me to follow the family profession.
Becoming president of the Cyprus Chartered Accountants’ Student Society has helped improve my communication,
presentation and social skills and involves a lot of teamwork.
I chose to study the ACA because I wanted a qualification that is internationally recognised and respected,
that would stretch and improve my skills.
On a normal day I tend to be reviewing or modelling commercial propositions for new sales initiatives,
customer trade terms for economics and controls,
in project management meetings or engaging with third-party partners.
It prepares you to successfully handle a variety of situations that you will come across throughout your career.
The skills framework is made up of seven ladders,
each containing seven or eight steps that represent a particular skill.
skills and on-the-job experience.
To follow in the footsteps of our members and become an ICAEW Chartered Accountant,
you will need to complete our globally-recognised ACA qualification.
This means that you will develop the skills and expertise you need as you progress through the qualification.
The seven professional development ladders
you’ll discuss your current skills and agree where you should start on each of the ladders.
the higher up the ladders you will start
! As you progress through your ACA training,
you’ll be asked to demonstrate your competence in each of the required skills.
you’ll be asked to record your success in your online training file.
You will continue to progress though the skills ladders throughout the remainder of your ACA training.
understand the impact and behave appropriately.
Ethics is an essential part of the accountancy profession.
We integrate ethics throughout the ACA qualification to develop your ethical capabilities – so you’ll always know how to make the right decision,
you’ll also need to complete our online training programme.
Practise – our practising ethics webinars help you understand ethical dilemmas though a range of scenarios.
you’ll need to show your employer that you are able to apply your ethical capabilities in your day-to-day role.
Three to five years’ practical work experience
Practical work experience is a key component of ACA training.
which must be completed as part of a training agreement with one of our 3,300+ authorised employers around the world.
The agreement is separate to your employment contract and details the commitment both you and your employer have to you achieving the ACA qualification.
securing an ACA training agreement with an authorised employer will mean you receive the highest standard of training and support from the start.
Your employer will guide you through your ACA training and you’ll benefit from six-monthly reviews.
These regular reviews will give you the chance to discuss your progress through all components of ACA training with your employer.
you will record your practical experience in your online training file.
Practical work experience means real-life work of a financial,
business and/or commercial nature.
It will need to be completed in at least one of the following categories: • accounting • taxation • financial management • insolvency
You’ll record your progress in your online training file with your employer completing the final sign-off at the end of your training.
• information technology • audit or assurance (audit is not compulsory).
so you’ll also be guaranteed to get more responsibility throughout your ACA training too.
The ACA modules cover a wide range of subjects,
to enable you to develop a broad understanding across accountancy,
professional development and ethical learning you gain throughout your ACA training.
If you are in an ACA training agreement your employer will guide you on the pace and order that you complete the ACA modules,
and discuss professional tuition with you.
Typically you will either complete the Certificate Level (often within the first year) before the Professional Level,
or a combination of the two if you are specialising in a particular area,
You will then move onto the Advanced Level.
To support you in applying your knowledge in exams,
there are alternative modules for Business Planning,
When you start an ACA training agreement,
your employer will guide you on the modules that are right for you.
you should consider your future ambitions when selecting which modules to sit.
or have completed an accountancy,
finance or business-related undergraduate degree,
a Masters or professional qualification,
you may be eligible to apply for exam credit towards the ACA qualification.
Strategic Business Management
Audit and Assurance
Financial Accounting and Reporting
Business and Finance
Certificate Level This is a snapshot of what training for our chartered accountancy qualification will involve.
Visit our website icaew.com/careers to find out more about the ACA qualification and how it will help you to develop into a business professional.
• An introduction to accountancy,
• Learn to apply technical knowledge in real-life scenarios
• Strategic decision making at a senior level
• Each has a 1.5 hour computer-based exam
• Each has a 2.5 –3 hour exam
• Real-life scenarios with increased complexity
• Exams can be sat at any time
• Exams can be sat in March,
• Available as a stand-alone qualification – ICAEW Certificate in Finance,
Accounting and Business (ICAEW CFAB)
• Alternative modules available for Business Planning and Financial Accounting and Reporting
• Each has a 3–4 hour written exam • Exams can be sat in July and November • Alternative modules available for Corporate Reporting
All degrees welcome ICAEW Chartered Accountants come from a wide variety of degree disciplines Because successful businesses and organisations need people with varied backgrounds,
you can train to become an ICAEW Chartered Accountant whatever your degree background.
Graduates registering with us in 2014 hold degrees in:
Employers recruit from a variety of degree disciplines because they want people who can think differently.
Accounting or Accounting and Finance – Developing your knowledge on commercial awareness is essential when understanding a business’s needs,
research and analytical skills are immediately transferable qualities should you pursue a career in chartered accountancy.
Arts and Humanities 14.89% Business and Management 26.77% Engineering 2.17% Languages 1.70% Law 2.84% Maths 10.95% Science 9.17%
Business and Management – Appreciating the complexities of changeable business landscapes is extremely useful when working with companies as an ICAEW Chartered Accountant.
Engineering – Problem solving by using your numerical skills and adapting to deadlines are an essential part of exceeding your client’s needs without running out of time.
being able to communicate with international clients is a great attribute for employers.
ICAEW’s entry requirements relate to your school,
college or other relevant qualifications and full details can be found at icaew.com/careers.
Your chosen employer will have their own entry requirements,
so check their website before you apply.
Law – Impeccable accuracy and attention to detail are essential when reviewing financial records,
and communicating financial matters to clients.
as is the ability to think clearly,
review and be thorough in your workings.
Science – The ability to summarise analytical data to reach an objective conclusion is the foundation of being a chartered accountant,
as is having a strong understanding of ethical implications within your work.
What bosses want and how to achieve it Being bright and numerate really helps but attitude is what makes people stand out.
I value people with drive and energy
people who ask questions and find better ways of doing things.
I look for authenticity,
for self-belief and for people who can relate to others easily.
Technical skills we can teach but that ability to connect with clients is not easy to develop in those that don’t have it.
because you’ll fail miserably if you try to be someone else.
to be able to connect with and better serve the businesses we work with.
quick grasp of issues and resolutions,
positivity and a can-do attitude.
Former Finance Director,
skills sessions and exhibiting at careers events throughout the year.
Networking is a key skill so come along to our events and talk to our employers.
There are diverse opportunities on offer.
Research the type of organisations,
sectors and locations that appeal to you.
You’ll be applying for an ACA training v