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What to do after ACCA

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So you’ve completed, or nearly completed, your ACCA course and are looking to the future. What’s next?

As you’re probably aware, ACCA is one of the most prestigious and recognised accountancy qualifications in the world. With it you can operate within 179 countries and can be earning 100k* and over, within 5 years of qualifying.

But with so many possibilities, where do you start? To help give you an idea of what paths many follow, here are some ideas.

The list is by no means exhaustive, but it’s a good place to start.

Work in industry

Although the world has gone through a tumultuous time, and technology continues to evolve, the demand for accountancy and finance professionals remains high.

You could work in near enough any industry, as long as the company is big enough to need accounting services. Be that, IT, Insurance, Sport, Business, Retail, Hospitality or any other. Your chosen profession is in demand.

Within these sectors, here are some roles you could move into - once you decide where to specialise.

Join an accounting firm

Another popular option would be to join an accounting firm.

Accounting firms help identify the best solutions for clients in all sorts of industries, so you get the benefit of using your skills across a broad range of businesses, giving great variety to your career. They often specialise in services such as: tax, management consulting, mergers and acquisitions and forensic accounting. It can be varied and high-pressured, but it’s a rewarding career.

Continue studying

ACCA opens many doors for you even in terms of further education. It’s a great foundation for many advanced specialisms within professional services. Here are a couple of options.

MBA (Master of Business Administration) - One common option is to go for an MBA Post Graduation degree. MBAs offer an overview of key business practices and are highly valued by top employers. It’s normally expected that you would follow this path after at least a couple of years of practical experience, however.

CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) - CFA is another popular post graduate course many study after completing ACCA, and it can definitely boost your finance career. This qualification is usually a requirement if you are looking to get a finance role with a large organisation (such as the ‘Big Four’).

The CFA program is the gold standard in finance credentials, designed for aspirational and experienced finance professionals who want to take their career to the next level.

Convert to Law

Many who complete ACCA decide that they are attracted to the area of Law.

The Law module in the ACCA qualification gives you a solid grounding in corporate and business law, so there are some crossovers, and this could account for why some seek to progress in this direction.

However, if you want to practice law after becoming an ACCA member, you need to look into studying for a law degree.

Start your Own Business

For the budding entrepreneurs, an ACCA qualification can give you a good foundation to start your own business in the field of finance or accountancy.

You could, for instance, start your own consulting company, work as a freelance accountant or as an Independent Financial Advisor to small and medium sized businesses. Don’t forget, there is also the chance to work overseas.

Much opportunity for the ACCA qualified

There are a whole range of options open to you once you’re qualified, but try not to be overwhelmed with the possibilities. Take your time and do what feels right.