What to do after ACCA

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An ACCA qualification can open many doors and many opportunities. But once you’ve passed your exams, what should you do next? Besides celebrating of course. In this blog, we’ll talk about the options available to qualified ACCA accountants, so you feel more confident about your next steps.

Can I do CFA after ACCA?

Chartered Financial Analyst status is globally recognised and a common path for many accountants who’ve completed an ACCA course. But, is it right for you?

To become a charter holder, CFA students must pass three tricky exams, have a bachelor’s degree, and have at least four years of relevant, professional experience. Each exam comes with a minimum of 300 study hours and this can increase if you have to re-sit any. To put this into perspective, the average pass rate (over 10 years) for Level I is 40%. Level II is 43%. And Level III is 51%. It takes time, discipline, and dedication, so you’ll need to be sure before you start.*

There’s also the studying cost factor. At Level I, you’ll need to pay an enrollment fee and exam registration fees, on top of your learning and resources expenses. However, CFA status does bring attractive salaries and benefits with it. The average UK salary for a Chartered Financial Analyst is £51,000 per annum. In contrast, a Financial Analyst makes on average £39,000 per annum.**

Potential roles for those who are CFA certified include Asset Management, Risk Management, Consulting, and Corporate Banking.

The simple answer is yes, you can do CFA after ACCA. But you’ll need to weigh up the money and time that goes into getting CFA status. There’s no guarantee of earning the charter even if you put in the hours. It’s ultimately a personal decision, and one you shouldn’t take lightly. As a Chartered Certified Accountant, you’ll have the skills and expertise to match a whole host of careers. Your best bet is figuring out what path of accounting you find the most interesting and finding routes in.

What jobs can you get with an ACCA qualification?

Most students go on to work as Certified Chartered Accountants. And as we mentioned earlier, this gives you the freedom to pick a company and role that suits you. Once qualified, junior salaries can start at £25,000 and increase to £45,000 per annum for senior accountant roles.*** In addition to gaining the ACCA letters after your name, a lot of employers also offer great benefits, so all your hard work and studying will definitely pay off. Pardon the pun.

Because you learn a wide range of skills, ACCA students have the potential to reach senior levels over time. With significant experience, director level roles can earn you in excess of £100,000 per annum***.

Here are just some of the jobs you can get with an ACCA qualification:

  • Management Accountant
  • Financial Accountant
  • Corporate Treasurer
  • Financial Controller
  • Finance Manager
  • Forensic Accountant
  • Chief Financial Officer
  • Auditor
  • Tax Specialist

Should I continue studying or go into work?

To answer this, you’ll need to know what next steps you want to take. Consider these three questions:

1. Where do you see yourself in 5 or 10 years?
The path you’ll take if you want to run your own firm is very different to the one you’ll take to become an auditor.

2. What are you interested in?
Think about whether you want to do a core role or whether you want to broaden your experience.

3. Do you want to stay in the finance industry?
Some accountants go on to study a business or management degree.

Our best advice is to research your options and find the right route for you. Keep your eye on the job market during your studies and find out what’s available. If you’re not sure, don’t worry. You have time to breathe after your studying. This will help you identify any areas that you do or don’t like.

You can also choose to continue your studies within your role. CPD, Continuing Professional Development, is beneficial to people in all kinds of industries. It means you continue to learn new skills, technologies, and techniques whilst working. Anything you learn can be applied to your current or future roles and develops your overall knowledge.

If you’re currently studying ACCA, why not take a look at our pricing options? You could save money with our subscription.

*Source – Investopedia
**Source – Pay Scale
***Source – Kaplan