How to become a chartered accountant
This guide will set out the various ways you can become a chartered accountant via the route of studying an ACCA. It considers role of ACCA part qualified students and the choice of doing the ACCA UK or ACCA global.
A career in accounting can be established through various modes. It does not necessarily require people who have only full qualifications in programmes such as ACCA. A part qualified ACCA student can apply and get into well-paid jobs in junior roles in accounting departments of well-established city forms or even chartered accountancy practices.
Becoming a part qualified chartered accountant
- A good part qualified ACCA student would be one that has completed or on the verge of completing up to part 2 of the ACCA programme.
- Of course, the further you go through the ACCA study programme, the greater credibility you have as an employee.
- He/she will also have gained some practical knowledge to add to the theoretical knowledge gained through the study programme.
- Remember, getting some relevant practical accounting knowledge can be attained from any role that requires use of accounting concepts and does not necessarily have to be in a fully fledged accounting job e.g. in a chartered accountancy practice.
- An ACCA student is required to complete a student handbook of relevant practical knowledge at a firm and assessed by the superior.
Fully qualified chartered accountant
- One needs to complete every single paper of all three parts. The papers become progressively more difficult with each part. However, it should be remembered that the programme is very flexible and you only to take a minimum of 1 paper each exam session or a maximum of 4 papers.
- The associated handbook of practical knowledge needs to be completed and passed with positive assessment from a superior/s at work. This therefore requires you to gain an accounting position in a firm. It would be preferable if you can lend a role in a chartered accountancy practice.
- The exams take place in June and December, but papers that are allowed to be taken via computer (computer tests e.g. paper 1 of part A), can be taken any month.
- A person has up to 10 years from paper 1 of part 1 to the last paper of the final part (part 3).
This is a great programme for those who intend to work and gain a highly relevant and prestigious qualification at the same time. Its flexibility allows a person to determine how intense their study programme is.
ACCA UK and ACCA global
The programme is also flexible enough to give the imperative in choosing between ACCA UK or ACCA global options. Those who take the ACCA global route will have to do several papers with an international element thus qualifying you to work abroad as an accountant.
The ACCA programme can be done through some universities that run ACCA modules, Chartered accountancy centres or colleges that provide tuition. A cheaper alternative is the distance learning accounting with firms such as the Financial Training Company or the BPB. To learn more on doing ACCA through distance learning, please read the following article.