Why study a chartered accountancy course?

A lady making notes at a desk


If you’re asking yourself “should I study a chartered accountancy course?”, here’s something to consider. Becoming a chartered accountant can open doors with top employers all over the world and lead to a higher salary.

It’s a profession that’s in demand across a variety of sectors. But getting a recognised qualification is the first step.

Which qualification route is best for you?

Which qualification route you choose will depend on your current situation. Are you just beginning to consider accountancy as a career? Or are you progressing through your accountancy studies and wondering whether to continue as far as chartered?

In this article, we’ll explain your options to help you make the right choice. We’ll give you an overview of what your path would look like if you study for a qualification with AAT (the Association of Accounting Technicians), ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants), or CIMA (the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants).

So if the prospect of a prestigious career with high earning potential has turned your question from “should I study a chartered accountancy course?” to “which route to a chartered accountancy qualification is right for me?” you’re in the right place.

How to choose your course – AAT, ACCA or CIMA?

AAT courses

Your path to becoming a chartered accountant could start with AAT. These courses provide a stepping stone to studying an ACCA or CIMA chartered accountancy qualification.

You don’t need any previous qualifications or accountancy experience to get going with AAT. The Level 2 Foundation Certificate is equivalent to a GCSE. From there it’s the Level 3 Advanced Diploma, and then on to the Level 4 Professional Diploma, equivalent to the first year of an accounting degree. 

Full AAT training from Level 2 to Level 4 typically takes two to three years. After completing Level 4, you can progress to studying for a chartered accountant qualification with ACCA or CIMA.

ACCA courses

ACCA also offers a starting point for those with no experience or qualifications. The Foundation Level provides accounting and business basics, and sets you up for the next stage – Applied Knowledge. This is where you’ll learn financial and management accounting techniques.

Applied Skills is the next rung on the ladder. This is your entry point if you’ve already got some finance learning under your belt by completing AAT Level 4.

The final level is ACCA Strategic Professional; pass this and you can apply for certified chartered status.

Most students take three or four years to complete the full ACCA qualification. Once you’ve achieved ACCA Strategic Professional, you can apply for chartered certified status with ACCA. Normally you’ll need a portfolio of work and at least three years of experience in a relevant accounting role, but experience gained whilst undertaking your studies will also count.

CIMA courses

Alternatively, you could work towards chartered status with CIMA. To begin your journey with CIMA, you’ll need a good grasp of maths and English, ideally GCSE grade C/4 or above. 

There are four levels, starting with Certificate in Business Accounting and progressing through Professional Operational, Professional Management and on to Professional Strategic. 

If you’re new to accounting, you can start at Certificate in Business Accounting, but if you have some experience, or a previous accountancy qualification, you can start at the Professional qualification. The full Professional training takes around three years to complete.

After passing your final Professional Strategic exams, and with relevant work experience, you’ll be fully qualified and can become a chartered accountant.

Setting you up for success?

Where you start on your path to becoming a chartered accountant depends on your current qualifications and experience. And choosing to study with AAT, ACCA or CIMA is a matter of personal preference. But once you’ve made that decision, you don’t have to go it alone.

As a trusted education provider, Eagle Education has built a strong reputation for supporting learners to succeed. With our flexible distance learning courses, you can achieve your full qualification at a time and pace that suits you. And you’ll receive high levels of personal support from the very start.

Eagle Education is an approved training provider for AAT, ACCA and CIMA courses. We’ve met best-practice criteria set by the institutes themselves, so you know you’ll be getting top quality tuition.

Our content is delivered in partnership with Kaplan Financial, the market leader in accountancy courses. We know what it takes to achieve your chartered accountancy qualification and 98% of our students would recommend us. What’s more, our pass rates are all above the national average.

You can have it all

With a single subscription package, you get full access to every level of your course. Start when you’re ready. And if you need to brush up on your knowledge, no problem. As a subscriber, you can review previous subjects, modules, and levels anytime.

Our distance learning solution fits around your lifestyle. At Eagle, we’re here to give you the freedom to learn, live life and feel great. You decide how much you want to study, where and when. Study fast or take your time. Either way, your mentor will help and guide you through your qualification.

Try a course free for 7 days

Eagle even offers you the option to dip your toe in the water and try a course free for seven days. There’s no catch. Just choose your ATT, ACCA or CIMA subscription plan, sign up and get your first seven days free. You can cancel at any point before the end of the seven days without being charged.

So whether your goal is to be on the finance team of a single company or work at a practice on behalf of several clients, a chartered accountancy qualification is your ticket to broader career prospects and high earning potential. Simply start in your own time, at your own pace, and progress. Ready to go?

Try our AAT course subscription free for 7 days

Try our ACCA course subscription free for 7 days

Try our CIMA course subscription free for 7 days