As many as 94% of today’s workforce across industries doesn’t possess the full suite of skills they’ll need to do their jobs well by 2030. 69% of CFOs indicate that they’ll be accelerating their digitisation efforts in order to keep up with future demand, while 74% of companies in accounting cite a lack of skilled workers as a major hindrance in growing their businesses.
The good news is that there are many opportunities for professional upskilling and training. Let’s look at the most popular finance professional qualifications you can pursue.
You’ve likely started your career in finance with one of three professional qualifications: ACA, ACCA or CIMA. Each of these puts you on a starting track towards a long-term career in finance.
The ACA qualification (from the ICAEW) equips you with in-depth knowledge for a career in financial management and accounting, reporting and tax compliance.
An ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) qualification, on the other hand, gives you more exposure to management accounting and auditing.
At the end of the day, both ACA and ACCA set you up for a career as an accountant and are popular with graduates who want to work at accounting firms.
A CIMA (Chartered Institute of Management Accountants) qualification is different in the sense that it focuses more on management accounting than on financial accounting and reporting. For this reason, it’s a popular choice for those looking to work as a finance professional.
Your choice of professional qualification will largely dictate your options for further studies.
The ICEAW offers a standalone course, an ICAEW Certificate in Finance, Accounting and Business (ICAEW CFAB). This course offers helpful additional training for those looking to enter the business world, with many of the course topics included in the ACA qualification.
Your next option is to study towards the ICAEW Business and Finance Professional (BFP) qualification. Another standalone offering, this course provides you with professional status and opens the door to more senior positions; it is a popular choice after completing the ICAEW CFAB.
ACCA members have access to many online courses and qualifications aiming to provide professionals with ongoing learning opportunities. Particularly relevant options include courses in cyber security, sustainable finance, forecasting, and financial reporting.
Those looking to advance their careers in management accounting could opt for the CIMA Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) qualification. Internationally recognised, this designation puts you on track for more senior positions in management.
Another option is the Association of International Accountants (AIA), which offers three levels of accountancy qualifications. Depending on your experience levels, you can pursue either the Certificate in Accountancy, Diploma in Accountancy, or Advanced Diploma in Accountancy.
A Masters in Finance is a good choice for those looking to attain a Chartered Financial Accountant (CFA) designation. This is a highly specialised course, giving you the advanced knowledge needed to grow in your career.
Professionals with technical and soft skills are in demand. Give your career the leading edge by not only focusing on professional qualifications, but also committing to learning about the necessary upcoming tools and tech in your field.
Never underestimate the value of a recognised finance qualification. In a diverse and dynamic industry, you’re bound to reap the benefits down the line.
There are plenty of opportunities for growth for those with the right skills and experience. We’ve put together a handy guide on your roadmap from accountant to CFO. Download your free copy here.
If you’d like to discuss your options and explore your career path, we’d love to hear from you. Get in touch with us today.
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