The difference between an accountant and a chartered accountant with the attached ACA or FCA letters is the associated in-depth training which spans for undertaken a minimum of three years in the industry.
Chartered accountants will have completed a diverse portfolio of exams in financial management, auditing, business strategy, and taxation. Chartered Accountants follow an ethical code that has its own disciplinary procedures.
Chartered accountants are in touch with students like no other institute and take great pride in getting you to the top of your career and accomplishing your respective goals in accounting.
If you are looking at studying accountancy in Ireland, take a look at this article on the different qualifications that the country has to offer.
If you are serious about studying accounting and picking up the associated credentials as a means of securing future employment, progressing within your current position, or upskilling your competencies within the workplace, then chartered accountants might just be for you.
With a membership body consisting of over 30,000 influential members, the institute provides unparalleled education in accountancy to students and working professionals from across the globe.
This is one of the oldest institutes of education on the island of Ireland that still remains to this day. Although at the time of its founding in 1888 it went by its full title of ‘the Institute of Chartered Accountants'. Fast forward to today where Chartered Accountants still work in tandem with both businesses from a variety of sizes and bodies of government to raise awareness of the importance of sound financial advice.
With ample experience and expertise spanning from across the globe Chartered accountants is a great place for companies to seek advice on the economic landscape in which they operate.
In our ever-changing economy financial advice is relied upon more now, than perhaps ever before. This can largely be attributed to the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic which has seen a dramatic change in business brought on to comply with different preventative measures across the world.
It is no secret that like countless other countries, businesses on the island of Ireland have faced and continue to deal with an array of challenges that have surfaced as a result of Brexit uncertainty. More and more businesses, both public and privately owned are turning to financial advice as a means of safeguarding their operations from the unknown.
This makes the institute all the more attractive for somebody who is looking to take the next leap in their accountancy career. Becoming a chartered accountant would mean that you will always be in demand and you’ll likely have little trouble finding employment across a variety of career paths thereafter.
You might also find this post on the CPA qualifications of use!
So why become a chartered accountant?
Chartered Accountants aim to guide businesses through these moments of uncertainty and in their general operations every step of the way. The institute prides itself on its expertise and the training which it provides its students throughout their time attaining the qualification.
Regardless of whether you wish to pursue a career in accountancy or not, the diverse set of skills and competencies that you learn and develop as a chartered accountant are invaluable and will serve to help you in your own respective journey of career development.
You will have the opportunity to learn first-hand from an array of industry leaders across numerous industries and develop your understanding of how to navigate complex new markets, pivot to new business models and access government supports.
You can rest assured that by attaining the qualification will serve to future Proof your Career and gear your development towards the workplace of the future.
Acquiring a mix of skills in finance, strategic forecasting, accountancy, auditing and taxation will not only stand to you in an interview situation but it will also help to differentiate yourself from other applicants applying for the same role!
It is also extremely accessible for students to start out on their journey in becoming a Chartered Accountant! You will have a multitude of options available to you if you decide to take that first leap towards the next chapter in your career.
Perhaps one of the main points that typically resonates with students is how flexible the learning is made. By choosing to become a Chartered Accountant with Chartered Accountants Ireland you will have the option to choose to study on a full-time basis or while you work. This is particularly helpful for students who operate a busy schedule and are unable to take time off work to study for the qualifications.
You can either choose to study while you are working by opting for a Training Contract, or you can also gain some valuable experience working in an accountancy practice through the employment contract option.
Lastly, those who wish to stay where they are in their current job can do so and learn in their own time. This is suited for those who wish to get experience in the industry further down the line. Being able to study on your own terms is a popular method amongst those who have just recently graduated and full time working professionals and is what is known as the ‘Flexible Route’.
Now that we have covered the why let's discuss how exactly you can join tens of thousands of leading professionals and become a chartered accountant. Alternatively, you could also check out the ATI qualifications.
How to become a chartered accountant
In order to achieve your title as a chartered accountant, there are numerous exams that you will have to sit. You will also need to have racked up enough practical accounting experience.
While this might seem like a long road, particularly when compared to other professions, you will certainly be awarded for your efforts through career prospects and potential salary. After all, a Chartered Accountant can expect an average starting salary of €45,626. The highest salaries can exceed €185,000.
The question of how you can get started will depend on your past experience with accounting such as your educational qualifications. If you have an eligible degree in business or accountancy you may be entitled to exemptions from some of these exams, meaning you might be well on your way already!
The most common route to becoming a Chartered Accountant is to study after completing your undergraduate or masters degree. What many students don’t realise is that you don’t necessarily need to have studied accountancy at leaving cert or college level. In fact, a considerable chunk of chartered accountants come from a range of different academic backgrounds.
You will find that many accountancy firms and businesses offer graduates to work under the various training contracts that we touched on earlier. Of course, you’ll need to secure these contracts through an interview process which often consists of numerous rounds.
Some of the bigger accountancy firms in Ireland conduct these interviews annually and are largely geared towards final year students. So if you are entering the final year in the near future, you should familiarise yourself with the different deadlines across your preferred firms.
These applications typically take place towards the beginning of the academic calendar, so if you are serious about becoming a chartered accountant it may be worth preparing your application for submission sooner rather than later!
Don’t leave all the application work for after you graduate from your respective degree, because there is a considerable portion of the application process that you could complete beforehand. Once you have your exam results transcript, you should get in touch with the institute to discuss the appropriate next steps.
What exams will you need to complete?
If you are starting out in accountancy and have no prior experience or and don’t qualify for any exemptions, then you will start you at the foundation level of the course. This is for the CAP 1 exams that you will complete during your first year. You might also be able to find a way around sitting this set of exams if you are the Holder of a one-year accountancy diploma.
The next set of exams that you will need to complete are the CAP 2 examinations. Similarly, there are exemptions from sitting this set of exams. The exemptions are given to students who have attained a one-year Masters (M. Acc) degree.
The final set of exams are the FAE exams which you will sit in your final year. While you may have evaded the prior exams as a masters student there is no getting around passing your FAE exams and subsequently completing 3 years of work experience in order to qualify as a chartered accountant.
If you want to find out more about the accountancy school, pick up some Acca tips and maximise your potential grade in the associated Acca exams and CPA exams, then click here to look at the professional accountancy training in more detail.
Here is another article on the ACCA qualifications!
“In a complex global economy, talented, ethical, and committed professionals have never been more highly valued. Combining unrivalled knowledge, skill and commitment, chartered accountants enable businesses, organisations, individuals and communities to achieve their financial and strategic goals with rigour, integrity, and vision.” - Chartered Accountants
Whether you are considering a career in any industry sector, from tech to finance, attaining your qualifications in accountancy can propel your career, developing you into a core player when it comes to driving the future of business.
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With countless qualified accountancy tutors available online with just a few simple clicks of a mouse, you’ll waste no time finding the right fit for you. So secure Your Success as a Chartered Accountant then get the ball rolling with a Superprof tutor today!
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