Are you considering a career in accounting? Do you want to become an accountant but are unsure of the next step to take? Our ‘how to become an accountant’ guide is here to help.

A career in accountancy requires advanced training, formal certification and, most importantly, the determination to succeed. Reaching the top takes hard work and dedication, but it will be worth it once you get there.

From qualifications and necessary skills, to graduate employers and career trends, you will find all the information you need to know about becoming an accountant in this comprehensive guide.

What does an accountant do?

There are various roles and responsibilities that an accountant has to take on throughout their career, and accountants are required in almost every sector of modern business.

An accountant may be responsible for any of the following - preparing financial statements, analysing cost of operations and products, audits, managing a company’s accounting systems, tax returns, etc., budgeting, and supervising other employees.

Many accountants can use their knowledge and skills to obtain executive roles, or even to become entrepreneurs and run their own business.

What do I need to become an accountant?

There are several accounting qualifications you can consider. Each focuses on different areas and approaches, but all will prepare you for a successful career as an accountant.



The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants is a leading international accountancy body and their official qualification is recognised and respected globally. With a strong focus on professional values, ethics and governance, the ACCA qualification provides you with the professional mind set you need to enter the world of accountancy.

To become a member of ACCA you must complete a minimum of five of fourteen exams, have at least 36 months' experience in a relevant role, and must have completed the ACCA Professional Ethics module.


The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) qualification combines elements of accounting, finance and management. You’ll also learn all the latest techniques used to drive business forward.

CIMA is the world’s largest professional body of management accountants. Becoming a member enables you to use the Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) designation, and you’ll also be able to network with other management accountants worldwide.

Advantages to look forward to when becoming CIMA certified include becoming very highly regarded by top employers worldwide, being taught by tutors with extensive industry experience, and always receiving the latest and most relevant materials to business today.

Becoming qualified online

Studying online is a great way to gain professional qualifications while being able to maintain a current job. The advantages are many, and include the flexibility to study wherever and whenever suits you. This also means saving money on things like travelling to a campus, study materials, and the size of student loans available to part-time students. Being an online student also guarantees access to a dedicated student adviser and tutor, so you are never more than a click away from getting any help you need.

Read more: How to become an accountant part 2

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