I have just finished the Associated Chartered Accountant Course (ACA, ICAEW) what career options do I have?
First of all congratulations! You completed one of the most demanding certifications in the business world. You should be proud of yourself! You can even print business cards with ACA in front of your name Just like doctors have Dr. ! Now you have open the door to many career options.
Present career status:
You probably are still in the audit or accounting firm that initially recruited you. I stayed with BDO Ltd for a total of 2 years after I completed the ACA course. I want to express my gratitude and you should do. Like they did for me, they probably paid for your 3 year ICAEW studies, paid you a salary for those 3 years and gave you the arena to practise what you learned! So yeah, they do deserve a big Thank you.
After all, this Company is your first career point. Without knowledge of accounting, at least the basics, you will never truly understand how a Company’s “numbers” work, let alone make them work in your favor! Now onto the actual point of my article…
Chartered accountants have multiple career options can be found in a VAST ARRAY of industries
Couple of years back almost 80% of CEOs where actually Chartered Accountants. That’s because as an ACA you have the most balanced overview of what a Company does. And if you were paying attention to your Business Strategy and Case Study courses you should know that an ACA gives the overall direction of where a Company will go.
3 examples of different career options for an ICAEW graduate.
- I am currently in the Financial Services industry as Head of Training and Business Development. I also have a side business after finished a certification in Life and Financial Coaching
- A Cypriot influencer I know has her own clothing store and is doing awesomely well.
- A close relative of mine has a huge transportation (logistics) company in the U.K. and actually stopped paying his subscription to ICAEW because he does not longer need it.
So it’s safe to say that you DO NOT HAVE TO stay in the audit/accounting industry after successfully completing the course if you don’t want to.
Opening your own Company!
Do you have your own clients? If so, you can set up an audit firm of your own.
If you have a hobby or passion that has a viable business proposition go for it! You can even start it on the side and see if it gives you enough income to quit your full time job.
As an ACA I believe you have the knowledge and the background to succeed in owning your own Company. All you need it to is believe it for yourself.
Remaining loyal to one Company
A tricky but potentially rewarding career option. I would not know how exactly this works but I have a rough idea from a couple of friends taking this route. Usually this will entail overtime working, taking initiatives for new projects and finding new clients and the risk of carrying out repetitive work.
Time wise, climbing through the ranks from Supervisor to Senior Manager depends on the size of your Company. For example, if you are in a Deloitte size Company it will take much longer than being a 6-people-office.
Regardless of what you choose to do know that your qualification opens the doors to many career options and opportunities. Now it is up to you to take a risk, grow out of your comfort zone or climb the corporate ladder.
No matter what career option you take, never stop learning and educating yourself. If you want to be ahead of the competition an ACA qualification may be not enough. Keep searching and keep growing both in your career and your life!
ACA Fotis Chrysochos 😉