To the uninitiated, the range of qualifications and levels of skillsets in finance can appear quite complex.
Anyone in the UK can call themselves an accountant or book-keeper even if they have had no training or don’t have a professional qualification. If you are seeking to recruit a qualified accountant, you will need to check to see that your applicants have passed all the stringent exams set by one of the professional institutes.
The main qualifications are:
- ICAEW / ACA - The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales
- ACCA - Association for Chartered Certified Accountants
- CIMA - Chartered Institute of Management Accountants
- CIPFA - Chartered Institute for Public Finance & Accountancy
Only accountants who have passed all the examinations and obtained the relevant practical experience can call themselves fully qualified.
There are also qualified tax specialists: CTA & ATT
AAT & CAT
These are highly respected accountancy qualifications but they do not equate to the ACA, ACCA CIMA or CIPFA.
*There can be some confusion with the CAT qualification as it stands for Certified Accounting Technician, which is offered by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, but it is not the same as being qualified ACCA.