In the accountancy industry there are a number of different routes that your career could take and much of the progression will depend on the area of finance you choose to focus on. Gaining industry experience is obviously crucial, but your career development will also hinge on the professional qualifications you pursue. As an accountant, it is easy to get lost in the sheer number of courses available, but here at Randstad we have more than 30 years of experience in accountancy recruitment and are happy to advise you on the right qualification to achieve your goals.

How to get a job in accountancy.

Finding the right professional qualification for you.

In order to secure the management accountant job you desire, you must first complete training with one of the industry’s recognised bodies. Your starting point for this training will depend on your previous experience and qualifications, and the content will vary depending on the particular institution. 

Important things to consider: 

  • Entry requirements 
  • The length of the course
  • Is the course content suited to your career goals?
  • The balance between study and practical skills
  • Are there any fees and is your employer is willing to pay them?

Your options.

There are various professional bodies to choose from when looking to further your accountancy career. Some individuals opt to join the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA). Their professional qualification consists of 12 computer-based exams that can be studied either part-time or full-time. In order to be admitted to the course, you will need to demonstrate a foundation in business or accounting studies through membership of a professional body or a relevant qualification. Students must also submit a “CIMA career profile” in order to prove their practical skills.

Alternatively, some management accountants prefer courses being offered by the Association of Certified Chartered Accountants (ACCA). The professional ACCA qualification requires three years of work experience and includes up to 14 exams, depending on exemptions, and includes modules on Governance, Risk and Ethics, and Advanced Financial Management. 

The Institute of Financial Accountants (IFA) also offers a number of training courses in financial management. These are generally short and intense courses and not all of these are offered at chartered level, but they can provide a great way for individuals to enhance their knowledge.

Continuing professional development.

As well as helping you to achieve your ideal accountancy job, undertaking professional qualifications also demonstrates that you are committed to continuing professional development (CPD). This is a highly desirable attribute among candidates as it shows a willingness to learn and adapt to new industry trends. In fact, there are a number of courses aimed at individuals that already possess a significant amount of experience, but who could progress further with the assistance of additional qualifications. The diploma in international financial reporting offered by the ACCA and similar courses, for example, enable candidates to demonstrate their passion for particular aspects of accountancy. 

Whether you have years of experience or are just starting out in your career as an accountant, a professional qualification could be just what is required to help you gain a competitive edge over your peers. By selecting the qualification that most closely aligns with your own personal ambitions, you could give your career progression a real boost.