Accountancy & Finance

How to become a Chartered Accountant

Becoming a chartered accountant is a great way to build a solid career in accounting and finance. It is an esteemed title that requires dedication and skill to obtain but the rewards can be life-changing. Here we’ll look at how to become a chartered accountant, including the necessary courses for chartered accountants, what does a chartered accountant do, how much do chartered accountants earn and more.


Take the first step to becoming a chartered accountant with StaySharp

Getting the relevant qualifications is the important first step for anyone interested in how to become a chartered accountant. With StaySharp, you can study for a chartered accountancy qualification on your own schedule, working at your own pace and from wherever you like. We offer courses for chartered accountants in partnership with ACCA (Association of Certified Chartered Accountants) and CIMA (Chartered Institute of Management Accountants), with all courses designed to be studied flexibly.

What is a chartered accountant?

A chartered accountant is a professional accountant who has completed a rigorous training programme and obtained membership in a professional accountancy body. They are experts in finance, accounting and taxation and are qualified to provide financial advice and audit services to individuals and businesses. The difference between what is a chartered accountant and other types of accountant is the qualifications the individual has. Once qualified, chartered accountants are subject to ongoing training and regulation to maintain their professional standards.

What does a chartered accountant do?

Chartered accountants often work in accounting firms or in-house financial departments of companies, providing services such as auditing, tax planning, financial reporting and strategic financial management. They may also advise clients on business mergers and acquisitions and provide guidance on financial investments and risk management. Those interested in how to become a chartered accountant should be confident within all these areas and proficient in mathematics, bookkeeping and financial strategising.

How much do Chartered Accountants earn?

The chartered accountant average salary in the UK is around £47,000 p/a, though this varies according to factors such as location, experience and seniority. Your chartered accountant average salary will also vary according to the chartered accountancy qualification pathway you have chosen and how long you have been qualified, with newly qualified accountants generally having to accept slightly slow entry-point salaries. For example, there are differences between the ACCA salary for an accountant who is fully qualified and the average ACCA part qualified salary, as there is between the part-qualified CIMA salary and newly-qualified CIMA salary. Of course, with experience and time, chartered accountants can earn far in excess of this average.

What qualifications do you need to become a certified chartered accountant?

Two of the most worthwhile courses for chartered accountants are those with CIMA and ACCA, both of which are offered by StaySharp. After completing either of these courses to their highest level – CIMA Level 4 and ACCA Level 3 – you’ll receive chartered accountant certification. By studying with StaySharp, those interested in how to become a Chartered Accountant can study for a prestigious chartered accountancy qualification on their own schedule, with all course materials made available online to allow learners to study anywhere, at any time.

How long does it take to become a chartered accountant?

The time that it takes to become a certified chartered accountant varies depending on a range of different factors, such as the amount of time you are able to dedicate to studying for your qualification and the type of qualification you take. Those following the CIMA pathway could become a certified global chartered management accountant in as little as three years, while the ACCA qualification takes around five years to complete.

What skills does a chartered accountant need?

The most important skills a chartered accountant needs include:

  • Strong analytical skills
  • Attention to detail and accuracy
  • Excellent numeracy skills
  • Good communication and interpersonal skills
  • Sound judgement and decision-making abilities
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team
  • Proficiency in financial regulations and accounting standards
  • Time management and organisation skills
  • Adaptability and ability to work under pressure

What is a part-qualified chartered accountant?

A part-qualified chartered accountant is an individual who has completed part of a relevant chartered accountancy qualification but has not yet completed the pathway as a whole. For example, the learner has completed Level 1 and 2 of the ACCA pathway but is yet to move on to Level 3. Part-qualified accountants may be able to secure entry level roles or valuable work experience. However, we would always recommend studying your chosen course in its entirety if you are interested in how to become a chartered accountant to give yourself the best start to your new career.

Is becoming a chartered accountant a good career?

Becoming a chartered accountant can be a brilliant career choice for those interested in finance, accounting, and business. Here are a few reasons why:

  1. High demand: chartered accountants are in high demand in various industries, including finance, accounting, audit, and consulting, providing a wide range of job opportunities.
  2. Competitive salary: chartered accountants typically earn a good salary, which often increases as they gain experience and progress in their careers.
  3. Career growth: chartered accountants have many opportunities for career growth, including leadership and management roles, which can be challenging and rewarding.
  4. Diverse work: the work of chartered accountants is diverse and dynamic, with opportunities to work on projects in various industries and with a wide range of clients.
  5. Transferable skills: the skills and knowledge gained from becoming a chartered accountant are transferable across various industries, providing opportunities for career changes or advancement.

Overall, becoming a chartered accountant can be a rewarding career path for those with a strong interest in finance and accounting, and who are willing to commit to a rigorous training and professional development program. If you believe this could be the career for you and are interested in how to become a chartered accountant, explore StaySharp’s Accountancy & Tax courses today.

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