Accountancy Qualifications

Before going into detail about the different qualifications it is worth mentioning the difference between financial and management accounting.

Financial Accounting can be defined as “The reporting of the financial position and performance of a firm through financial statements issued to external users on a periodic basis”.

Management Accounting can be defined as “The process of identifying, measuring, analysing, interpreting and correcting information for the pursuit of an organisation’s goals”.

The key difference between financial and management accounting is that the financial accounting is aimed at providing information to parties outside the organisation, whereas management accounting information is aimed at helping managers within the organisation make decisions.

A summary of the main Accountancy Qualifications

ACA – Association Chartered Accountant

Usually for students working in Practice (ie. with a firm of Accountants). Financial Accounting Qualification. Open to Graduates or those with AAT. For more information look at www.icaew.co.uk

ACCA – Association of Chartered Certified Accountants

Can be studies while working in Practice or Industry. Combination of Financial and Management Accounting. Open to students with 2 ‘A’ Levels or AAT. For more information look at www.accaglobal.com

CIMA – Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Usually for students working in Industry/Commerce. Management Accounting Qualification. Open to students with 2 ‘A’ Levels of AAT. For more information look at www.cimaglobal.com

AAT – Association of Accounting Technicians

For students in Industry or Practice. Gives exemptions from some of ACCA/CIMA. Varied accountancy qualification with no minimum entry requirements. For more information look at www.aat.org.uk

CIPFA – Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy

For students working in the public sector. For more information look at www.cipfa.org.uk

ATT – Association of Taxation Technicians

Specialist Taxation Qualification. For more information look at www.att.org.uk

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