FIVE REASONS TO BECOME A CHARTERED ACCOUNTANT
AUTHOR: RACHEL PATTISON
Why train as a Chartered Accountant?
Training as a Chartered Accountant opens the door to a vast range of exciting career opportunities in every sector of business and finance, in Ireland and internationally.
Irish Chartered Accountants are in constant demand, here and abroad, as their technical competence, professional standards and expertise are essential in business, public practice and government.
Training as a Chartered Accountant will give you an opportunity to join Chartered Accountants Ireland, the country’s largest and fastest-growing accounting body. Tuition combines innovative coursework with mentored work experience. That proven approach produces accountants who have a greater ability to analyse business problems and develop dynamic solutions. Perhaps that’s why Chartered Accountants rise further and faster in a diverse range of important roles in organisations worldwide.
One – Why Chartered Accountants have the edge
What’s the difference between Chartered Accountancy and other accounting qualifications? Prospective students often ask that question. The answer is that no other professional accounting qualification gives students the same support, structure, guidance and quality of tuition in the training process. Every professional accountancy body in Ireland requires trainees to have a minimum of three years’ practical experience. We are unique because we ensure that our trainees are supported while they get their experience.
Support and guidance
As an Irish-based organisation with headquarters in Dublin and Belfast, we are in a unique position to support and guide our students. Members of our Student Services team are available at any time to advise you or answer queries, a fantastic resource at exam time
Two – Exam success
Our new, purpose-built training centre in Pearse St, Dublin, with its comfortable lecture theatres and restaurant, underlines our singular commitment to students. The Institute’s investment in cutting-edge technology means lectures from our Dublin and Belfast centres are available online. Training support extends to our active student societies, which organise a full calendar of social events and give students a voice at the Institute.
Unlike other professional accountancy bodies, we don’t outsource our training; classes are run directly by the Institute. Students have more contact with their lecturers and the Institute, who work together to ensure the highest standards.
Transparent approach to exemptions
And we don’t use attractive exemptions to lure students, unlike some other accounting bodies. We compare each student’s third-level qualification against our own and, if they overlap, we offer exemptions. If they don’t, we don’t. This transparent approach to exemptions puts students at the appropriate level and ensures that the vast majority of students pass their exams and qualify as quickly as possible.
Three – What does training involve?
Chartered Accountant training involves a combination of academic and professional training regardless of the route you take. We offer a variety of courses, each with different structures based on local requirements.
We also have a distance programme (at CAP1 and CAP2) that offers great flexibility. Students enrolling on a regular course attend lectures for the equivalent of four to five days a month, from October until May. Some venues have a mixture of evening and weekend lectures; others offer face-to-face lectures at weekends with streamed lectures and home assignments.
Students opting for the distance programme will watch content online and attend workshops approximately two days a month. This means students can study at their own pace.
Bedrock of a professional career
Our lecturers are committed to equipping students with the kind of technical knowledge that will form the bedrock of their professional careers. Trainees are taught how to apply the technical knowledge learned in the classroom to real-life situations. Broad business skills are developed and mentors instil the values that are the foundation of our members’ reputation.
Training can be either in industry (any sector) or in traditional accountancy practices. In both, trainees can expect to learn about financial accounting and reporting, business finance, management accounting, taxation and planning, and auditing and assurance.
Four – Chartered Accountancy – a global qualification
Irish Chartered Accountants have true global mobility as their training is recognised internationally. Those looking for an Antipodean adventure will be facilitated by exclusive agreements with the Chartered Institutes in Australia New Zealand. Numerous others are in place with countries such as South Africa, Hong Kong, England, Scotland and Wales.
We have unique Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRA) that offer our members an outstanding entry point to business in any part of the world. An MRA is an agreement between professional bodies that allows membership to transfer from one jurisdiction to another.
Chartered Accountants Ireland is a member of the Global Accounting Alliance (GAA) and Chartered Accountants Worldwide and is part of a global network of more than 320,000 Chartered Accountants. This brings enormous benefits to our members living, or working, in foreign countries. Of the Institute’s 24,000 members, more than 3,500 are working in 90 countries.
Five – Career paths and rewards
A Chartered Accountancy qualification offers you an exciting career path in the industry of your choice, anywhere in the world. Today’s member takes on the role of a business adviser, who makes high-level strategic decisions aimed at driving business, improving profit margins and increasing market share for their clients/employers.
Many Chartered Accountants also use their expertise to set up their own businesses, becoming highly successful entrepreneurs. Chartered Accountants generally also have a solid foundation in economics, marketing and management information systems.
As well as dominating public-accounting practices, Chartered Accountants are found at the highest level in virtually every sector, from healthcare to the music industry.
The rewards that go with the Chartered qualification are significant. The average starting salary for a newly qualified Chartered Accountant in business/industry is €58,000, according to a 2015 survey in Leinster. The average starting salary package in financial services (insurance, funds, banking) is €59,500.
Seven in ten people said their salary increased by at least 10 percent over the last three years. And, hopefully, that’s just one of the benefits at the start of a long and challenging career.
What to do now?
Browse this site for more information, or email if you have questions. We’ll be glad to help.