It can often be bewildering trying to determine which of the 6 key professional qualifications for accountants is the right one for you. At this point we breakdown each of them, giving the fundamentals and some information. All 6 are well-known and respected across the world of accountancy.

Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)

An ACCA qualification offers key knowledge in all facets of accountancy and so is an excellent choice if you find yourself uncertain as to which area you might want to end up in. ACCA is over one hundred years old and has thousands of students in over 170 countries. After many name changes, in 1984 they gained a Royal Charter of Incorporation and later became the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants. It is a worldwide body for professional accountants and its core values are opportunity, diversity, innovation, accountability and integrity.

Using ACCA you are able to accomplish internationally well recognized qualifications, support and guidance, first-class accountancy knowledge along with the highest standards of practice and ethical conduct.

Their qualifications are typically studied full-time or part-time while you work. There’s also a possibility to self-study or use a tutor. Their expertise is soundly in line with international accounting standards and they are recognised by all the key regulatory and education authorities.

The Charted Institute of Management Accountants Professional Qualification in Management Accounting (CIMA)

A CIMA qualification is strongly recommended for individuals who are interested in a career in business and management. With Over two hundred thousand students worldwide, CIMA is the world’s leading professional body of management accountants.

There are basically two key qualifications, the entry-level Certificate in Business Accounting and the Professional Qualification. It is possible to study at your own pace and the majority of students complete the entry-level in one year and the professional exams within four years. And after that, you will require 3 years working experience before you can become a CIMA member.

Management accountants perform numerous services, including advising managers about the financial implications and consequences of business decisions. Furthermore you will participate in business strategy and audits.

The core values of CIMA are to challenge the way it’s done, help others succeed, inspire a shared vision, promote success, stand up and be a role model.

The Charted Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA)

If you are attracted to following an accounting career in public finance, the study of the role of the government in the economy, CIPFA is the professional body you need to be contacting and training with. It is the only organisation across the world which specialises in public services. Its variety of qualifications creates the bedrock for an accountancy profession in public finance. The most essential and appropriate professional qualification for public sector accountants is taken with CIPFA and you can also take a postgraduate diploma if you are already employed in a leadership position.

The Charted Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy provide amenities to educate you in their CIPFA Education and Training Centre. Additionally you can be taught the same abilities in other education institutions throughout the world.

Like ACCA and CIMA, you can take the examinations at your own pace and you would be awarded chartered status in the event you do pass. In conjunction with employers, students and academics, the CIPFA qualification has been produced with genuine working practices in mind.

The Associate Chartered Accountant (ACA)

This is another well-thought-of qualification which is certainly an all-rounder, covering accountancy, finance and business. It is recognised all over the world and a major professional qualification. The combined features bring a comprehensive understanding, knowledge, skills and experience for which you will need to become an ICAEW Chartered Accountant.

Each of the ACA courses is taken at the same time as in employment and there are roughly three thousand authorised training employers where it is possible to carry out ACA training.

There are plenty of entry routes to choose from, specifically the graduate route directly to the ACA qualification or possibly the A-Level route where a good number of companies will need a pre-requisite accounting qualification first. A-Level students should certainly select the Certificate in Finance, Accounting and Business which you are able to take at your own pace whilst in employment.

Another possibility is a fast-track course known as the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) course which allows a person to become qualified as a chartered accountant in 4 years. AAT have made this qualification in partnership with ICAEW and it provides you with an exceptional grounding in accountancy, finance and business. Moreover, this may be studied for at the same time as in employment so it is not necessary to go to University.

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ireland (ICAI)

This is the most significant and longest-existing accountancy body in Ireland. Training for ICAI qualifications lets you to emerge as a fully qualified member of Chartered Accountants Ireland as well as earning ACA (Associate Chartered Accountant) designation.