An Accounting Technician’s Guide to Becoming a Chartered Accountant

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Chartered accountants hold more senior positions to accounting technicians in organisations and enjoy higher earning power and potential. As an accounting technician looking for serious upward mobility, a chartered accounting qualification is the perfect one to consider.

If you’d like to brush up on your knowledge of exactly what these two job roles entail and what the differences are between them, consider reading this blog post: What’s the Difference between a Technical Accountant and a CA?

1. Upskill, upskill, upskill

As an accounting technician, your path to becoming a chartered accountant will always involve further studies. The qualification, in this case, is pivotal and the training and studies are both challenging and extensive. Accounting technicians do, however, have various routes available to them in this regard.

Qualifying options available:

  • The traditional path to qualifying as a chartered accountant is to complete an undergraduate degree in Accounting followed by a postgraduate CTA at a SAICA-accredited university. This must be followed by two SAICA examinations (an ITC and an APC), which have to be passed.
  • Other qualifying options include the ACCA qualification (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) and the CIMA qualification (Chartered Institute of Management Accountants). Both are leading global bodies for professional accountants.

2. Decide on how to fund your studies

Attaining the relevant qualification in order to become a chartered accountant can be costly. While there are a few options available to you as mentioned above, they will all require some capital. So be financially and psychologically prepared to pay for this education. Consider starting a savings account specifically for it.

Due to the high earning potential of qualified chartered accountants, this qualification truly can be an investment in your future. Whether you opt for the SAICA-accredited university route or the ACCA or CIMA qualification, it’s always helpful to keep your eye out for scholarship or other funding opportunities.

3. Prepare thoroughly for the exams

The specialised Board examinations for qualifying chartered accountants are known to be challenging. They will require you to prepare properly and well in advance. This is not something you can cram for or take lightly, so be sure to allow yourself enough time to study and fully comprehend the topics before writing.

4. Gain the necessary work experience

Newly qualified chartered accountants need to complete their articles before climbing the corporate ladder, specialising, or starting their own businesses. Around three to four years of training in a corporate environment is standard before your salary skyrockets, so don’t expect instant wealth. Be prepared to put in the hours and learn all you can during these first few years.

Are you still not sure what your accounting path should look like? With a chartered accountancy qualification, you could go into various jobs, industries and lines of work, from financial management to high impact entrepreneurship.

Consider reading this blog post called: 6 People Who Turned Accounting into the Coolest Job Ever for some inspiration and motivation for your career in commercial finance.

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