What Qualifications Do Professional Accountants Have?

Do I need an accountant if I am self-employed

Accountancy certifications are an important (and mandatory) step in the career of any professional accountant operating in the UK. If you’re looking to hire an accountant to help manage your company finances, you want to know that they’re fully licensed, qualified, and equipped to offer you bespoke and specialised advice and consultation. To put your mind at ease, we’ve put together this short guide on common accountancy qualifications, so you know what to look for to ensure your new accountant is qualified to help you.

The first major accountancy qualification, and a popular choice for budding management accountants, is the Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA). This qualification is offered by CIMA: the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants. To gain acceptance onto the CGMA programme, applicants must first pass the CIMA Professional Qualification and have at least three years of relevant work experience. The CGMA qualification course prepares one for a career as a managing accountant with topics like financial management, strategic planning, business analytics, and risk management.

The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) offers an internationally recognised qualification, simply known as the ACCA qualification. The ACCA is suitable for those looking to become professional accountants. To qualify, applicants must complete 14 exams as well as holding three years’ practical experience within an approved role. Upon completion, the newly-qualified accountant will have gained a comprehensive knowledge of audit and assurance services, financial reporting, business law, and taxation principles.

The Institute of Financial Accountants (IFA) provides another respected certification which focuses on public practice and small businesses within the UK. Applicants must pass four papers covering more broad accounting topics such as accounting principles, taxation, and business law. This certification is more accessible than the CGMA or ACCA qualifications and is most suitable for those wishing to work as an accountant in a smaller organisation or for their own clients.

For accountants looking to further their careers by specialising in forensic accounting, the ICFA qualification from the Institute of Certified Forensic Accountants offers the perfect opportunity. ICFA applicants must have a degree in accounting or equivalent qualification, along with two years of experience. They will also need to pass the ICFA examination which covers topics such as fraud detection and investigation, financial statement analysis and dispute resolution.

All of MCC’s professional accountants are fully qualified and ready to help you make the most of your company finances and start planning for long-term financial management. If you’re unsure exactly what kind of accountant you need, get in touch today! We offer the best accountants Manchester has to offer, and we are here to answer all of your questions.

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