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Your career prospects as a qualified Chartered Accountant

Published on: 26 May 2023

As the world of finance and accounting continues to evolve, one profession that remains in high demand is that of a Chartered Accountant. Chartered Accountants play a critical role in the world of finance and accounting. With their extensive training and expertise, they provide valuable services to individuals and organisations across a wide range of industries. While the process of becoming a Chartered Accountant can be rigorous, the rewards of this profession are well worth the effort. And with the growing demand for financial professionals who can provide expert guidance and advice, the future looks bright for those who choose to pursue a career in this field.

In this blog, we'll explore what exactly a Chartered Accountant does, how long it takes to become one, and the potential career prospects and roles you can expect to fulfill once you are fully qualified.

What is a Chartered Accountant?

So, what is a Chartered Accountant? A Chartered Accountant is an accountant that has been professionally accredited with 'chartered status’ following the completion. Chartered Accountants are financial professionals who provide a wide range of services to businesses, individuals, and organisations.

Chartered Accountants have expertise in several areas that regular accountants do not - for example, they can help corporate organisations secure finance for mergers, acquisitions, and capital restructuring. 

They can also assist with in-depth cash flow forecasting and fund management within a business and provide personal financial advice to both individuals and companies. 

Being well-versed too in forensic accounting, allows Chartered Accountants to support litigation into commercial fraud and apply their extensive knowledge to larger and small-scale businesses and individuals alike, making them valuable assets to organisations of any size.

What industries to Chartered Accountants work in?

Chartered Accountants can work in various industries, including nonprofits (charities), audit and assurance, insolvency and tax, public practice, business, corporate finance, and forensic accounting. You’ll find a breakdown of some key roles and responsibilities for chartered accountants in these specific industries below:


In nonprofits,Chartered Accountants help organisations manage their finances and provide them with the necessary financial reports. They also ensure that the organisation complies with relevant financial regulations and laws and that the charity's financial resources are being used in the most effective way possible.

Audit and assurance

In audit and assurance, they review and evaluate financial statements to ensure accuracy and compliance. They also identify potential areas of risk and provide recommendations to clients to improve their financial performance. In addition, they provide a range of assurance services, including internal control evaluations and due diligence reviews.

Insolvency and tax

In insolvency and tax, they advise clients on how to manage their finances during difficult times and help them resolve any financial issues. They also provide advice on tax planning, including strategies for minimising tax liabilities and ensuring compliance with tax regulations. In insolvency, they help clients through difficult financial situations, such as bankruptcy or liquidation.

Public practice

In public practice, they provide financial advice and services to individuals and businesses. This may include tax planning and compliance, financial reporting, and auditing services. They also help clients with financial strategy, including financial planning and budgeting, investment advice, and risk management.

Corporate finance

In corporate finance, they help companies raise capital and develop financial strategies. This may include mergers and acquisitions, valuations, and financial due diligence. They also provide advice on financial risk management and help clients develop financial models to guide their decision-making.

Forensic accounting

In forensic accounting, they investigate financial fraud and provide expert testimony in court. They also provide litigation support and help clients develop strategies to prevent fraud from occurring in the future. In addition, they may work with law enforcement agencies to investigate financial crimes and provide evidence in court.

How much does a Chartered Accountant make?

Chartered Accountants are highly skilled and in-demand professionals, and their salaries reflect that. In England, the average salary for a Chartered Accountant is £35,122 per year. In Scotland, it is £33,509 per year, while in Wales, the average salary is £31,970 per year. In Northern Ireland, chartered accountants earn an average salary of £34,005 per year. These figures may vary depending on the size of the company, industry, and level of experience.

Is the demand for Chartered Accountants high?

With their extensive knowledge and training in finance and accounting, Chartered Accountants are in high demand across a wide range of industries. From small businesses to multinational corporations, there is a constant need for financial professionals who can provide expert advice and guidance. In addition, the growing complexity of global financial regulations means that there is an increasing demand for Chartered Accountants who can help companies navigate this ever-changing landscape.

How to become a Chartered Accountant

Becoming a Chartered Accountant requires a combination of education, training, and professional experience. ICAEW is one of the leading professional bodies for Chartered Accountants. To start the journey towards becoming a Chartered Accountant, individuals must typically first complete a degree in accounting or a related field. After that, they can enrol in a training program such as a Level 4 or Level 7 Apprenticeship, during which they will gain practical experience in various areas of accounting and finance. The ICAEW Chartered Accountant qualification, the ACA, is one of the most advanced learning and professional development programmes available, as it combines study, work experience, and exams to ensure students develop a thorough knowledge of the profession. Once an individual has completed the ACA program, they can become a member of the ICAEW and use the Chartered Accountant designation.

Start your career as a Chartered Accountant with ICAEW today

If you're interested in pursuing a career as a Chartered Accountant, the ICAEW is an excellent place to start. With over 150 years of experience in training and supporting Chartered Accountants, the ICAEW is one of the most respected professional bodies in the industry. We offer a wide range of resources and support to help individuals start and advance their careers, including training programs, networking opportunities, and ongoing professional development. In addition, ICAEW has a strong commitment to ethical standards and ensuring that Chartered Accountants are held to the highest levels of integrity and professionalism. More information about the latest job listings and career advice available from us can be found on the ICAEW Jobs website.