How to Become a Chartered Accountant in UK?

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How to Become a Chartered Accountant in UK

The UK is popularly known as the world financial center. Subjects like Accounting and Finance are studied by international students in rich and culturally varied areas. There are numerous career options and pathways available in this field, with chartered accountancy being one of the most popular. Becoming a Chartered Accountant UK will open many career prospects, from working as a financial consultant to having private equity. If you are dedicated and focused, then this is a perfect career choice for you. There are some key career checkpoints on becoming a chartered accountant UK which we will be touching upon in this blog! 

Know everything about the January Intake Universities in UK

Why Study Chartered Accountancy in UK? 

If you are planning to take a career path as a CA, studying in the UK provides you with ample opportunities. Listed below are the top reasons for the same: 

  • Accreditation from Professional qualification: The UK provides the accreditation from professional qualification to become a chartered accountant UK. To become a certified CA in the UK, candidates must pass to at least one professional accounting certification from the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), or Certified Public Accountant (CPA). 
  • Shorter Duration: In comparison to other countries, aspirants can pursue a graduate degree 1-year early in the UK. This enables them to save their money and time. 
  • Work Placements: Candidates are provided with an opportunity to work along with their degree programs in UK universities. It allows students and employers to understand each other based on the skills possessed by individuals. 
  • Real-World Experience: Students get real-world experiences such as decision-making activities in challenges of company boardrooms or stock exchange trading floors in top UK universities. 

Roles and Responsibilities

The details of your position as a certified chartered accountant UK will vary depending on your focus and the industry in which you work. However, in general, you can expect the following daily tasks:

  • Budget management 
  • Performing financial audits 
  • Financial advice 
  • Working with clients, individuals and companies 
  • Risk analysis 
  • Tax planning advice 
  • Maintaining accounting records and preparing billing information 
  • Advising clients on areas of financial improvement 
  • Working together with external and internal auditors
  • Preparation of reports and recommendations after the audits 
  • Preparation of annual financial statements, monthly and annual financial statements 
  • Negotiation of contracts with suppliers 

Skill Required

Below are the top skills that must be present in the professionals looking forward to becoming a chartered accountant UK: 

  •  Interest and general business awareness 
  •  Motivation and commitment to combine study and work 
  •  Communication and social skills 
  •  Organization and time management 
  •  Methodical approach 
  •  IT skills 
  •  Strong analytical and problem-solving skills 
  •  Arithmetic ability 
  •  Leadership and work skills in effective team 
  •  Motivation and initiative 
  •  Integrity and reliability. 

How to Become a Chartered Accountant in UK?

After familiarizing yourself with all the roles and responsibilities of chartered accountant UK and the skills required by them, we shall look at the steps on how to become a chartered accountant UK. 

Step 1: Start your Training

Start your apprenticeship after school or college, after your first degree, or after completing a business qualification. 

Step 2: Study an Accredited Degree

You can also study any accredited qualification in subjects like Accounting or Finance. These degrees are supported by ICAEW. It provides you with relevant knowledge and skills and frees you from some papers in the professional exams. 

Step 3: Work for 3 Years to Gain Experience 

Candidates also need to complete at least three years of on the job training along with giving professional exams. 

Top Courses for Chartered Accountant UK

Professional Qualifications for Chartered Accountancy in UK

To become a chartered accountant UK, candidates must qualify to practice. There are many ways in which you can train yourself. Provided below are the four qualifications from the associations based in the UK that are generally regarded well to pursue this course. 

ACCA – Chartered Certified Accountant

This qualification is a famous route to become a chartered accountant in UK. The course helps in developing the applied knowledge, skills and strategic understanding and planning. The average salary of an ACCA trainee is €19,300 per annum (INR 16 lakhs). 

CIMA – Chartered Management Accountant

Candidates learn professionalism, leadership and business ability, and alongside knowledge in accountancy. There are four ways to pursue such as certification, operational, management and strategic. The average salary of CIMA qualified accountants is €63,000 per annum (INR 54 lakhs). 

ICAEW – Associate Chartered Accountant

This degree is particularly premium because it is completed as part of an apprenticeship contract that includes around 3 – 5 years of professional training. There are three levels to complete: Certificatication, Professional and Advanced level in finance, accounting and business. The average annual salary earned by professionals of ICAEW is €134,000 (INR 1.15 Cr). 

ICAS – Chartered Accountant

To be ICAS qualified, there are three levels to complete and i.e Test of Competence, Test of Professional Skills, Test of Professional Expertise. You must have 450 days of relevant work experience. The ICAS chartered accountants have an earning potential between €44,000 –  €66,000 (INR 38 lakhs – 56 lakhs). 

What are the Requirements to Study in UK?

Top Universities for Chartered Accountants UK

The prestigious 10 universities offer programs in Accountancy, Finance and Business to become a chartered accountant UK. Below are the universities with their QS World Rankings 2022 and the estimated fees of 1 year.  

QS World Rankings 2023University Average Estimated 1 Year Tuition Fees
15The University of Edinburgh€31,500 (INR 27 lakhs)
64The University of Warwick€25,770 (INR 22 lakhs)
91University of Birmingham€20,220 (INR 17 lakhs)
146Lancaster University€20,865 (INR 17.9 lakhs)
92Durham University€21,500 (INR 18 lakhs)
81University of Glasglow€18,350 (INR 15 lakhs)
325University of Strathclyde€27,750 (INR 23 lakhs)
86University of Leeds€9,250 (INR 7 lakhs)
56London School of Economics€22,430 (INR 19 lakhs)
179University of Bath€9,250 (INR 8 lakhs)

Explore the best and top universities in UK for International Students

Admission Requirements

There are three entry routes to pursue chartered accountancy in UK and i.e Foundation Route (after 12th), Direct Entry Route (after graduation), and the ACA qualification from ICAEW (Institute of Chartered Accountants and England Wales) which is considered as a gold and premium standard accountancy qualification that qualifies you as a chartered accountant UK. 

  • Foundation Route (after 12th): Candidates must have passed 12th as basic eligibility to enter the program at the first level and i.e CA Foundation that can be completed within 4 months. They should also have Business, Accounts and Finance as the main subjects. 
  • Direct Entry Route (after graduation): For postgraduate courses, candidates can directly opt for the CA Intermediate level if they have scored 55% – 60% in an undergraduate degree. 
  • ACA Qualification from ICAEW: The popular entry route to the qualification is an undergraduate honours degree (1st or 2:1). Candidates with no qualifications can also apply and those should be A level school leavers, AAT graduates, apprentices, and members of the chartered bodies. 

Application Process

Below is the application process according to the University of Birmingham. If you wish to apply to different universities in the UK for the chartered accountancy course, visit their official website and start your application process. There are three key steps: 

  • Find your course online through the ‘degree finder’.
  • Consider if you are meeting the entry requirements. This will include a good honours degree, and English language proficiency. 
  • Complete the online application form via the course webpage and upload all your supporting documents. You will need academic certificates and transcripts, a personal statement, proof of English language proficiency score, two LORs, a requirement of two references. 
  • The next step is to wait while the admission team check your all documents. Your application will be marked as ‘Pending’. 
  • After the decision is made it is notified via the portal. 
  • Finally, you will receive one out of three of them and i.e conditional letter, an unconditional letter, or a refusal. 

Know more about the UK Universities That Issue Offer Letter Within 14 Days

Salary of a Chartered Accountant in UK 

Careers in chartered accountant UK, banking and capital markets tend to attract the highest salaries, with larger employers generally paying more than smaller ones. Salary packages in the UK benefit students with bonuses, profit-sharing plans, health insurance, pensions, and vehicle allowances. According to data gathered from the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), the starting salary packages for accountants depends on the type of location, size, sector and firm. The estimated starting salaries of graduates accountants are up to € 40,000 (INR 34 lakhs approx). Accountants in the UK who are on training period can be expected to earn up to € 65,000 (INR 55 lakhs approx). The average annual potential salary for a chartered accountant UK is € 84,500 (INR 74 lakhs approx) with a yearly bonus of around € 17,000 (INR 14 lakhs)

Explore the Top High Paying Jobs in UK 

Top Recruiters 

When it comes to the UK’s top chartered accountancy firms, below top 15 dominate the market. These famous financial giants are: 

  • KPMG 
  • PwC
  • Deloitte
  • EY
  • Grant Thornton
  • Smith & Williamson
  • Moore Stephens
  • Saffery Champness
  • Crowe Clark Whitehill
  • Mazars
  • PKF UKI 
  • BDO 
  • RSM 
  • Haines Watts
  • UHY Hacker Young 


What is the ACCA and why is it important to be qualified from them?

ACCA or Association of Chartered Certified Accountants is a global professional accounting body based in London, UK. The ACCA qualification is considered an equal postgraduate degree in the UK. The accreditation from this association means you can pursue your chartered accountancy career globally. 

Can I opt for a postgraduate degree in chartered accounting with some other undergraduate degree? 

A non-related undergraduate degree can be considered only when you study courses like economics, business, accounting and mathematics. It also varies according to the university type. 

Where can chartered accountants work across the world?

Professionals can opt to work in venture capital, hedge funds, retail and commercial banking, investment management firms, capital markets, trading companies, investment banking, or in the family business etc. 

What is the difference between a chartered accountant and a normal accountant?

A chartered accountant offers specialized accounting services and business advice in the sector they work in. The key difference is that the latter is typically more qualified and experienced. 

How long does it take to become a chartered accountant UK?

The course usually takes 3 – 4 years to become fully qualified. If you want to become a chartered accountant without a degree, you can apply for the ACCA qualification with a combination of GCSEs and A levels. 

  If you want to get into your dream course in a high-ranked global university, you’ll need more than just good grades; you’ll also need flawless application because the competition is fierce. You may enlist the assistance of Leverage Edu specialists to assist you with the application process so that you can realize your goals. Call us immediately at 1800 57 2000 for a free 30-minute counselling session.

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