How to Become a Chartered Accountant: All You Need to Know
Chartered accountants have a good reputation internationally and they can get many development potentials and high-income opportunities. To become a Chartered Accountant is not an easy task, a solid education foundation is a necessary.
Chartered accountants have high gold content worldwide. Being a chartered accountant means bright prospects, a good salary, and a competitive work environment where elites gather. A Chartered Accountant (CA) is an international accounting title awarded to accounting professionals in many countries around the world. In the United States, this qualification is equivalent to a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). To realize the pursuit of the company or the client to maximize profits, chartered accountants provide accounting information to decision-makers utilizing finance or audit. It can be clearly seen that chartered accountants work around company finances.
6 Steps to becoming a chartered accountant
Before getting a rewarding career, people often have to put in a lot of effort, including a lot of time and energy, and a certain expenditure on education. You need to overcome fatigue and not be afraid of hardships. As long as you work hard towards achieving your goal of becoming a chartered accountant, the victory will knock your door.
Step 1: Understand the chartered accountant description and responsibilities
1. Chartered accountant responsibilities:
The first task of a chartered accountant is to provide financial advice and to set out financial plans and forecasts in the financial report. In more detail, the ultimate goal of a chartered accountant is to maximize profits. Chartered accountants need to manage the financial system and make a financial budget, also provide financial auditing. This is independent of the supervision and inspection of the company's finance department. Chartered accountants should review and prevent transaction risks, make tax planning for the company, and provide business decision-making advice to decision-makers. In short, the hunt of maximum profit in all aspects.
2. Chartered accountant requirements:
To become a chartered accountant you need to:
- Have a bachelor's degree or two-year associate degree in accounting;
- Obtain relevant financial and accounting qualification certificates, such as CFAB;
- Internship or work experience in accounting and finance-related industries, at least three years;
Step 2: Think before you do: whether is it worth to be a chartered accountant or not
There is no turning back to open the bow. Before you are determined to work for it, let us look at the advantages and disadvantages of becoming a chartered accountant.
If you are passionate about accounting, this industry will also bring you many advantages:
1. The development of potential and income growth is very good.
Later you enter the workplace after graduating from university, keep working hard, and your potential will constantly improve. In such a situation, you can start from the basic financial assistants, junior accountants, auditors to finally reach the position of a chief financial officer or even self-starting CEO.
At the same time, your labor compensation also keeps increasing, and the financial staff who have obtained the publicly recognized accounting qualification certificate have not started at a low salary, and the annual increase is stable. This is how the benefits of becoming a chartered accountant nurture year by year.
2. Flexible working environment.
Chartered accountants work environment is not only limited to office. Although most of their work is done on their desks using a laptop computer, they also spend part of their time in meetings and may sometimes be invited to meet with clients or visit company branches.
3. Large market demand
Accounting is not a sunset industry that is disappearing. Instead, the demand for accounting talents is increasing by 10% each year. In particular, professionals such as chartered accountants are favored by many listed companies and entrepreneurs. If you are skilled you will be the target of many recruiters.
4. A good foundation for entrepreneurship
With the foundation of a chartered accountant, it is not difficult to start and run a company yourself. In your own company, you will gain a deep knowledge about the company's financial situation and financial decisions, and the profits can reach higher.
Being a chartered accountant has also some disadvantages which also need to be mentioned:
1. The qualifications of the accounting profession are not static, but there will be some changes every few years. So, in the process of becoming a Chartered Accountant, you need to keep up-to-date of industry trends and keep up with changes in qualification exams. This is also one of the challenges of this profession.
2. You will have a very busy business period each year. The settlement from the end of the year to the deadline of the tax accountant on April 15 every year, you will be busy in the process, there is a lot of financial work to be processed. But at the same time, other times of the year you will be very relaxed.
3. The work that chartered accountants have to do may not be so wide-ranging and mighty, some part of the work is just repetitive, so it will inevitably be a bit tedious and boring, but if you can keep learning and progress at work, this will not stump you.
To conclude, the work of chartered accountants is still worth a try. It is very helpful for the development of personal potential and the growth of abilities. The advantages outweigh the disadvantages in general.
Step 3: Research Best colleges and universities for the chartered accountant
Chartered accountants don't have high requirements for undergraduate degrees, but accounting, finance, and business majors will be more pleasing. Next are some recommended universities offering the chartered accounting major?
- Harvard University
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
- Stanford University
- University of Oxford
- The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)
- University of Chicago
- University of Pennsylvania
- University of Cambridge
- University of California Berkeley (UCB)
- Columbia University
- London Business School
- New York University (NYU)
- Yale University
- National University of Singapore
- The University of New South Wales (UNSW Sydney)
- The University of Melbourne
- HEC Paris School of management
- The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
- Bocconi University
- University of California Los Angeles (UCLA)
Step 4: Go through Certifications and Internship
What you need in college is to choose accounting major and enrich your knowledge as much as possible. After graduating, you need to register and pass a series of qualification exams.
First, you need to register for CA qualification, and then pass the first exam: Common Proficiency Test (CPT), which is the test for the basic course, and then the Intermediate Exam (IPCC), which consists of two parts. The main form of the test is a thesis. Next, you need to work with your mentor for a three year internship.
If you want to further progress in your career, getting an ACCA qualification can be a great help. The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, or ACCA for short, is a leader in the chartered accountant industry and a place where the elites of the accounting industry come together. If you also have an AAT degree, you can also skip the first three exams.
Or CIMA qualification. The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) is a UK based professional body offering training and qualification in management accountancy.
CIMA is more focused toward management accounting. You can choose the corresponding qualification according to your work style and personal personality and ability.
You know, becoming a chartered accountant is not a sprint, but a marathon. This means that you cannot stop at the acquisition of a basic qualification or the position of a grass-roots financial staff member. You need to continuously study, take exams, improve your skills, and eventually become a top chartered accountant.
In the field of accounting practice, you will also be exposed to a lot of basic work that accountants have to do. Entering the work unit and becoming a formally chartered accountant are only based on these basic work and gain more and higher authority, therefore, you need to continuously accumulate knowledge by basic, daily, and repetitive tasks.
Step 5: Prepare relevant skills for a chartered accountant
1. Hard working, quick learning and perseverance;
2. IT Expertise;
3. Strong analytical and solving problem-solving skills;
4. Communication and interpersonal skills
Step 6: Find relevant chartered accountant jobs, and apply it.
Before becoming a chartered accountant, you can start as a financial officer, such as a cashier or engaged in accounting-related industries, such as auditing, taxation. These are closely related to chartered accountants and the valuable work experience of these jobs can become a solid foundation for chartered accountants.
Wish you all the best!