How to Become an Chartered Accountant in the UK

The general assumption is that being an Accountant is a pen pusher’s job. With an uneventful career and chances of minimal career growth. It is not a job everyone dreams of. But here are some numbers to shatter that idea – the U.S. Bureau Of Labor Statistics predicts that by 2031 there will be 6% job growth in the accounting and auditing sector. Furthermore, certifications such as the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) can improve job prospects. You can work with various businesses as an Accountant or an Auditor if you have the proper skill set. 

So, how do you go about becoming an Accountant? Read on to learn about the prospects and how to become an Accountant in the UK.

Skills required to Become an Accountant in the UK

An Auditor reports on the company’s financial data and guides board members or managers in making the right call. Critical skills required for this role include:

  • While you do not need advanced mathematical skills to be an Accountant, analytical, interpretation, and adaptability skills are important.
  • Attention to detail while checking reports can come in handy. Errors may occur if an Accountant does not go through financial statements minutely. 
  • Understanding how businesses work is one of the most important skill sets an Accountant must have.
  • Explaining complex financial reports to an organisation’s members, clients, and other stakeholders is necessary. Proficient communication skills can serve this purpose.
  • Maintaining accurate records is the top priority in accounting. Honing organisation skills along with decision-making skills is crucial.
  • With the advancement in technology, an Accountant must learn and invest in relevant technological software that can make their work effortlessly easy.

Qualifications to Become an Accountant in the UK

Choosing the right course from the sea of professional courses required to be an Accountant can be tricky. Here is a list of some popular certification courses that can improve job prospects as an Accountant:

1. Get an Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) Certification

To become a successful ACCA professional, you must clear 13 professional examinations and gather a minimum of three years of accountancy experience. This certification course will guide you and equip you with specialised expertise in accounting and finance.

Not just in the UK, the demand for ACCA graduates is high globally. The average salary of an ACCA graduate in the UK is around Rs. 47,48,000 LPA.

acca salary in uk

2. Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT)

Founded in 1980, the AAT is the chief body providing accountancy, tax, and business advisory services with more than 5,000 ATT licensed Accountants. Earning the ATT qualification validates your understanding of the UK tax system and makes you eligible to serve individuals, public sector businesses, and industries. You must clear two levels of exams to earn the ATT qualification. 

Professional certificate holders are eligible for senior finance roles and perform tasks similar to Chartered Accountants (CAs). The average salary of AAT professionals in the UK is around Rs. 22,60,000 LPA.

AAT Job Salary

3. The Association of International Accountants (AIA)

Established in 1928, the AIA has professional accountants spread across more than 85 countries and has truly advanced the concept of international accounting. Once you achieve this professional certification, you can register with a Recognised Supervisory Body (RSB). Once registered with RSB, you are eligible to conduct audits for companies of varied sizes all over the UK. 

4. Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW)

ICAEW is one of the oldest bodies established in 1880 by the Royal Charter that promotes, nurtures, and supports students and Chartered Accountants. Achieving the Associate Chartered Accountant (ACA) qualification is mandatory to become an ICAEW Chartered Accountant. Besides accountancy and finance, the course focuses on practical work experience, ethics, and professional development. You must clear 15 professional exams to earn the advanced level certification and become eligible for higher level jobs.

5. Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA)

Founded in 1919, the CIMA course mainly focuses on and provides training in management accountancy and related subjects. Obtaining the CIMA certification can help you get job roles in financial analysis, corporate finance, risk management, and many more. To be CIMA certified, you must clear 12 exams, divided into three sections and three levels.

Choose a specialisation

Accountancy is a vast field covering various topics and concepts.  While management accounting entails the supply of information within a company, financial accounting involves information supply to creditors, stakeholders, or anyone outside the organisation. Choosing an area of specialisation like cost accounting, auditing, or tax accounting can help you add value to your resume and keep you ahead of the curve.

Secure an internship

Hands-on accountancy work experience with the right degree can significantly benefit your accounting career. Opting for a part-time job or internship can enhance your accounting skills and provide real-life work experience. This experience can also help you narrow down the industry or job role you want to opt for in the future.


Are you still looking for answers on how to become a Tax Accountant in the UK? Check out the ACCA course from Zell Education. The comprehensive course includes eminent faculty, an in-house learning management program, 100% placement assistance, and many more opportunities.

Is it hard to become an Accountant in the UK?

Becoming an accountant in the UK is smoother if you follow the mandatory steps, such as signing up for the relevant certification course, gathering work experience, and mastering appropriate skill sets.

How do I qualify as an Accountant in the UK?

The steps to qualify as an Accountant in the UK are:
1. Choose a relevant certification course, like ACCA.
2. Start your training.
3. Opt for a specialisation.
4. Gather real-world accounting experience.
5. Start your journey as an Accountant.

Is becoming an Accountant worth it in the UK?

The average annual salary of an Accountant in the UK is Rs. 27,25,000 LPA. It is quite a lucrative job to be an Accountant in the UK.

What qualifications do I need to be an Accountant?

The minimum qualification required to be an accountant in the UK is the AAT. If you opt for chartered accountancy, you must clear ACCA, ACA, or CIMA.

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