This has two levels – Foundation and Professional.
Foundation teaches you the fundamentals of accounting, and is ideal if you’re new to accountancy. It is also relevant if you already work in accountancy but don’t have any formal qualifications.
Professional is for those who are already in accounting and is broken down into Applied Knowledge, Applied Skills and Strategic Professional. It is a very intense course and regarded as a higher level than the AAT qualification. It also can lead to full chartered status.
Bide your time – consider how long it will take
With the AAT qualification most people take six to twelve months to complete each level – so you could complete the whole qualification in 18 months, or take up to three years.
The ACCA qualification is made up of two levels – up to nine units at Foundation level and up to 13 units at Professional. You can take up to 10 years to do the whole qualification, but most people manage to complete it in four years.
The first set of Foundation units often take between six months and three years to complete, while the Professional units usually take between 2.5 – 3 years.
Once qualified, find your specialism
Accountancy isn’t just one job. It’s actually a career that can be incredibly varied. Simply put, accounting careers can be split into two areas: management accounting and financial accounting. Within these there are specialist fields:
Business recovery and insolvency
Be mindful of the difference between management accounting and financial accounting
Management accounting provides information to people within a company, while financial accounting provides information to those outside of it, such as shareholders.
Unlike financial accounting, management accounting is not required by law and only covers particular products, while financial accounting covers the entire organisation.
And you can choose between working in the public or private sector, or become a freelance accountant. It’s up to you.
Want to be an accountant?
So, think you’d like to be an accountant? Want to know more? Feel free to check out our AAT and ACCA pages to find out more.
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