Being a school leaver, an A-Level student, a university graduate or you simply already have a career in accounting, it can be a daunting prospect finding the right path to your ultimate dream. Accounting studies can play a major role in your future career.

Your accounting studies will give you the experience to assess the economic activities of a full-range of organisational types including public organisations and government, businesses, individuals, not-for-profit organizations.

The question is: do you want to become a fully qualified chartered accountant?

If you’re looking to earn a top salary, the best option for you to take is to become a fully qualified chartered accountant. But of course, there are plenty of other accounting and financial roles you should consider before making your decision.

The main thing to remember is that becoming a chartered accountant takes years of hard work and exams covering a range of accounting disciplines. There are six main professional qualifications for accountants, with ACCA and CIMA being the top dogs for chartered accountancy.

Chartered accountants are expected by the An organisations management team will expect the chartered accountant to deliver accurate and trustworthy data about account and financial records across the company. You would be in charge of budgets and accounting systems and would play a large part in financial audits and financial information passed between clients.

You would also be responsible for are taxation, insolvency, forensic accounting and corporate finance.

What does ‘chartered’ mean?

If you don’t have the label ‘chartered’, your career in accountancy will not reach the heights you may dream of. Having a status of ‘chartered’ allows you to work with CEO’s and finance directors of any organisation across the world. This includes the largest and most highly sought after positions. You would be are recongised as the very best in your chosen profession, complete with the full set of necessary skills and experience. Employers know you will have on-the-job experience as well as the required accounting qualifications.

The top accounting organisations also provide you with ongoing support and resources to help you maintain your position and influence at the top of your profession.

Degree courses in finance and accounting

If you take a finance and accounting degree, you may be exempt from having to take certain exams from the main accounting bodies such as ACCA and CIMA. You should be aware that having a degree is not strictly necessary for a career in accounting as accountancy courses can be taken whilst in full-time employment. Accounting degrees cover a broad range of accounting skills including taxation, audit, business strategy, business and employment law, management accounting, advanced accounting theory and risk management. A general understanding of economics and statistics is also attained and how they shape a businesses finances and decision making.

Foundation degrees in accounting

If you take a foundation degree in accounting, this is broadly equivalent to two-thirds of an honours degree and you can usually complete it in combination with work-place training or employment. You will gain many of the technical skills needed for a career in accountancy and the kinds of areas covered in the degree level are also covered in the foundation course. To progress to the full degree, a further 12-15 months study is normally required.

Diplomas of Higher Education in accounting

Very much like the foundation degree, a Diploma of Higher Education in accounting is equivalent to two-thirds of an honours degree. The difference is that your accounting studies for this qualification require full-time study at a university or other higher education institution. You will gain many of the technical skills needed for a career in accountancy and the kinds of areas covered in the degree level are also covered in the Diploma of Higher Education. If you want to progress to the full degree, a further 12-15 months study is normally required.

Certificates of Higher Education in accounting

The Certificate of Higher Education is the most basic level of accounting study at higher education level. It is equivalent to the first year-thirds of an honours degree. Some of the areas of finance and accounting are covered from the honours course, however this qualification is mainly to gain confidence to study at the university level. To progress to the full degree, a several more years of study is required, depending on your chosen route.