Essential Information on Accountancy and Studying the ACCA Qualification
Article by Soul Patel
Accountancy begins at the secondary school level, for students making progress towards their GCSEs. At this stage students are provided with a full grounding in basic accountancy principles, which will remain useful to them throughout their lives. Beyond this level, most universities offer an undergraduate degree in accountancy, and some even offer a postgraduate education in accountancy. Beyond the graduate degree level, the student continuing on the university path via postgraduate education would be tending towards an academic rather than professional career in accountancy. Accountants who wish to pursue a professional rather than academic career would do well to take one of the ACCA courses available, pursue the professional ACCA accountancy qualification, and attain membership of one of the top certifying accountancy associations in the world.
Accountancy professionals are required in absolutely every industry and by virtually any human organization. It’s useful to divide this broad expanse of possibilities into three main categories.
Accountants in public practice. Accountants working in firms of accountants, provide services to clients from every sector. Accountants in public practice have to remain independent from their clients. Generally, only accountants in public practice can provide statutory audit services.
Accountants in industry, working for companies or non-incorporated businesses as employees or business principals. Professional independence would be impractical in these circumstances and the focus of the accountant here is the performance of the business rather than financial reporting.
Accountants in Government service. Here the accountant is an employee of the government. In government service, reporting and financial control is usually guided by delivery standards and quality that are appropriate for measuring the performance of a government institution. These standards must differ from the standards applied to profit making organizations.
Accountancy standards around the world are enforced by a number of professional associations such as, the ACCA, ICAEW, CIMA, CIPFA, ICAS and many more. These associations observe their members throughout their professional working lives and carryout qualifying exams for them. In the UK, the term “qualified accountant” generally refers to an accountant who has attained full membership of one of these accounting bodies. Aspiring student accountants should be aware of, and realize that, the accountancy profession is constantly evolving. Also it is important to know that this article gives a very general overview of the routes into the profession and a general overview of the nature of the profession.
Of all the accountancy bodies globally the ACCA is proving to be the most popular and is currently growing the fastest. There are a number of ACCA courses available around the world for prospective students. You can find out more about the ACCA qualification at their website and more on possible courses for you online too. If you are considering doing an accountancy qualification the ACCA would be a great place to start.
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