Accreditations to Look for When Applying for Accounting Degrees

If you have a head for numbers and a keen eye for detail then an Accounting degree could be the perfect course for you. During your degree you’ll learn how to measure, analyse, process, and communicate financial information to various interested parties.

This is will also involve upholding and adhering to established rules and guidelines for your industry and profession.

You’ll gain extensive theoretical and practical knowledge, with many Accounting degrees offering their students placements within the industry to strengthen their skills and build their confidence in a work environment.

An Accounting degree is relevant in all areas and sizes of business from local convenience stores to international conglomerates, making an Accounting degree a popular choice with students and employers a like.

Here’s more about studying an Accounting degree and where it can lead to:

What are the different types of Accounting degree?

There are various types of Accounting degree and many universities also offer the option of combing Accounting with another relevant degree, such as Business Management or Economics.

Common types of Accounting degree are Bachelor of Accounting, Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Accounting, and Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Accounting (sometimes abbreviated as BS/ACC).

Many of the Accounting degrees in the UK are also accredited by a relevant professional body at national level.

Here’s more about accreditations to look for when applying for Accounting degrees:

Who can accredit Accounting degrees in the UK?

There are three professional institutes of chartered accountants in the UK, and a number of other bodies that award different accountancy qualifications.

They are:

  • Chartered Accountants Ireland
  • Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales
  • Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland

Why should I study an accredited Accounting degree?

To become a Chartered Accountant, which is the most popular career path for Accounting graduates, you’ll need to complete so postgraduate study to gain your Chartered status.

Many graduates choose to do this by applying to work for one of the “Big Four” accounting firms. They are:

  • Deloitte
  • PwC
  • Ernst & Young
  • KPMG

These work experience roles give you the support and training you need whilst taking your professional exams and gaining your chartered accountant status.

By gaining a qualification that has been accredited by a professional body you’ll be entitled to exemption from certain exams when you work towards your chartered accountant status after graduation.

Accredited courses count towards professional qualifications and/or registration. In some cases they may also be a legal requirement of the profession, so they could be essential to your career, not just a benefit.

Competition to become a Chartered Accountant and to get a place with a firm as a trainee to complete your postgraduate qualifications is tough. Having a degree from an accredited university will give you a boost above other applicants.

As well as helping you to get your foot in the door in the first place, it could also mean you have a higher starting salary and are fast tracked for promotion.

What happens when I become a Chartered Accountant?

Once you’re a fully qualified practitioner of Accounting you’ll be working for a professional accounting body, such as the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Ireland, so you’ll need to maintain certain standards of practice.

This includes adhering to the generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) set out by organisations such as the Financial Reporting Council (FRC).

There are typically three types of accountancy you can practice once you’ve gained Chartered status:

  • Public accountants –you’d be working for a public organisation(s) or individual(s)
  • Management accountants –also known as private or cost accountants, you’d be working for a private company or companies
  • Government accountants –you’d work for local or national government

In all of these roles typical daily tasks involve managing financial systems and budgets, undertaking financial audits, providing financial advice, liaising with clients, performing risk analyses, and detecting and preventing fraud (also known as forensic accounting).

What are the alternatives to becoming a Chartered Accountant?

Although becoming a Chartered Accountant is the most common career path for Accounting graduates, it certainly isn’t the only option available.

There are many transferrable skills that you’ll gain during your degree that will make you very attractive to potential employers.

Less common career paths include:

  • Actuary
  • Budget analyst
  • Claims examiner
  • Cost estimator
  • Credit controller
  • Financial analyst
  • Financial trader
  • Payroll administrator
  • Personal financial advisor
  • Tax adviser
  • Retail banker