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ACA Careers - Career Options

There are many career paths on offer to ACA-trained accountants, ranging from roles in the public sector to posts within
commercial organisations. A huge 83 per cent of all FTSE 100 firms have at least one ICAEW Chartered Accountant on
the board, demonstrating the wealth of opportunities that ACA careers typically offer.

ACA Careers - Career OptionsThere is the potential to specialise in a particular disciplines within ACA careers. The opportunities include working in the fields of corporate finance, business recovery and insolvency, audit and assurance, financial management, forensic accounting, tax or information technology. Those ICAW Chartered Accountants with careers in the capital and banking markets are typically the biggest earners, boasting an average annual income of around £166,000. Those working within the utilities, mining, water and energy sectors will typically earn £130,000, whilst an average accountant will be earning around £85,900 between six and nine years after they qualify.

At the start of your career, one of the biggest decisions will concern whether you want to work in industry or stay in practice. This is vital as it can be difficult to change directions later on. You will also have to decide if you want to start specialising immediately or create a broader basis of experience from which to move on and progress at a later date.

Competition for those people with ACA careers can be fierce, but flexibility can open up a wide variety of opportunities for you. Choosing an alternative location to London, for example, may offer you chances that the capital is unlikely to deliver.

If you plan to go down the industry route, it is important to be realistic about your expectations. This is a very different world, and one where significant amounts of specific knowledge and experience are likely to be needed before you can progress further. It may be necessary to undertake further training in order to specialise in an area, even if this is not the job you ultimately want to do, in order to broaden your expertise and experience.

It is also important to be realistic about the financial benefits of moving into industry. Do not necessarily expect a large salary boost, but the gaining of a wealth of experience and knowledge may well allow you to reap the rewards of these initial ACA career moves in the years to come.

ACA careers can take many different forms, but ongoing training and the building up of experience are the keys to success in every field. It is also essential that you prepare to sell yourself and your skill set in the most effective ways possible, whether that is through a good interview technique or via a perfectly crafted CV, and that you take a strategic approach when it comes to planning your next move.


If you are deciding which Accountancy qualification is best for you review our guides - ACA Qualification  ACCA Qualification  CA Qualification   CIMA Qualification    CPA Qualification
We also have a dedicated career advice section and guides on your options with each accountancy qualification - ACCA Careers    CIMA Careers    CA Careers     CPA Careers
If you're not sure which career move would best suit your skills and experience take a look at our Job Profiles. The profiles provide advice on the qualifications, skills and experience
required for each career option. The job profiles also outline salary expectation, job responsibilities and career progression.

For information on our Finance & Accountancy Recruitment or to view Finance & Accountancy Jobs.

Our Finance & Accountancy Salary Survey 2015 is now available.


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