Being an ACCA member will open up your career to endless possibilities and opportunities. ACCA members have access to over 7,300 approved employers and 80 accountancy partners. The ACCA qualification is based on international accounting standards, its also independently benchmarked for quality and has over 110 years of history. Most employees see ACCA as a mark of professional excellence and are keen to hire ACCA qualified professionals who will help push their organisations forward.
There are many options and qualifications for ACCA students who are interested in pursuing additional qualification courses. Students can look into pursuing the following courses along with their ACCA or even after completing it. Some of the courses they can check out will be certified courses or diploma courses too which relate to commerce.
Additional courses for ACCA qualified professionals
CFA - Chartered Financial Analyst:
The combination of ACCA along with CA is great especially if you have an interest or knack for investment banking or portfolio management. The CFA will give internationally approved and required certification which will provide you with thorough knowledge of both investment management and portfolio management skills which will be the main base of the investment industry. You can explore the CFA certification course which is regulated by the Institute of Chartered Financial Analysts of ICFAI or from the CFA institute of USA, this is a distance education program. In the growing financial sectors, such as banking and insurance, CFA-qualified professionals are in high demand. The CFA exams are conducted 4 times a year and it is a great course for very ambitious ACCA aspirants to pursue.
Company Secretary (CS):\
Pursuing a Company Secretary for CA along with your ACCA is going to be very beneficial in the long run to grab top opportunities, especially at the management level. CS is a great qualification to have along with ACCA especially as far as course content and understanding the corporate environment are concerned. Being an ACCA, if you have an additional qualification as a Company Secretary, will give you the ability to easily handle or tackle and administer secretarial work/department along with managing account-related work/finance department.
CPA - Certified Public Accountant:
CPA is the American version of Chartered Accountancy. The CPA degree is awarded by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and it is mandatory to have the degree if you wish to practice as a Public Accountant in the US. A professional who has both the ACCA and the CPA degree will be able to tackle a wide range of tasks in areas such as Assurance service,
Forensic Accounting, Tax, and Financial Planning, International Accounting, Internal and External auditing, etc. Many American companies based in India are on the lookout for candidates who have a CPA qualification and have good knowledge of US GAAP.
FRM- Financial Risk Management:
The FRM or the Financial Risk Manager is awarded by the Global Association of Risk Professionals (GARP) and is a globally recognized standard for those interested in venturing into managing risk. FRMs who are certified belong to a very elite global network and are recognized by valuable employers across diverse businesses. A financial risk manager will provide a solid foundation in an ever-evolving industry, they are required to successfully complete a two-part rigorous practice-oriented exam. From the time of its inception in 1997, FRM programs have played a vital role in creating certified FRMs who have obtained positions such as Chief Risk Officer, Senior Risk Analyst, Head of Operation Risk, and Director of Investment Risk Management to name a few.
Who can pursue a role as an FRM:
- Those who wish to or are currently pursuing a job in finance and are looking to climb up a success ladder
- One can bolster their expertise in the risk management domain.
CIA (USA) - Certified Internal Auditor:
The Certified Internal Auditor program is conducted by the Institute of Internal Auditors - USA. Once an aspirant attains this qualification then they will be recognized as an expert in the field of Internal Audit. The Aspirants will then have to appear for an exam from their home country via CIA exam centers which are found in various parts of the globe, it is not necessary for students to visit USA in order to write the exam. It is an online exam and can be attempted at any point in the year, there are no specific windows for this. After working as an ACCA, if you wish to boost your career trajectory as an Internal Auditor then this is a great course option. Once you pursue this course, you will be able to gain a wide knowledge of topics such as Generally Accepted Accounting Principles(GAAP) and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX).
Financial Modelling is a skill that is considered a must-have these days, especially for this who are looking to build a career in mergers and acquisitions (M&A), investment banking, equity research, project finance, etc. Financial Modelling will help its aspirants to be proficient in not just making spreadsheets but also building and use the technical knowledge to prepare financial models for various purposes. It is perfect for an ACCA if they are looking to go into practice, financial modeling is a very important skill set that is very beneficial when preparing project finance reports for clients who are seeking funds.
One of the main reasons why an ACCA should look into financial modeling is so that they aren’t restricted to roles such as Accounting, Taxation, etc. They will be given the tools to explore other areas such as research, analysis, project finance management, forex analyst, etc. It will also help boost the compensation packages which has helped many ACCAs to step out of the stereotypical roles and will be looking into more challenging domains and roles.
CFP - Certified Financial Planner:
If you are someone who wishes to grow your personal financial planning career, the CFP is an apt choice. The Certified Financial Planner (CFP) is an additional certification that will build your skills in guiding your clients to set up a successful business portfolio and plan their wealth and investments wisely. There are many financial products and investment options that are widely available these days, however, investors are on the lookout for someone with experts who can guide them in the right options which will aid them to meet their objectives by using the available resources.
CFE - Certified Fraud Examiner:
A fraud examiner is a professional investigator who is trained to keenly observe and identify fraud and other types of financial crimes by closely analyzing financial transactions and by conducting forensic audits. Fraus examiners typically work in banks and other financial institutions, legal accounting firms, and even state as well as federal law enforcement agencies. Just like other types of investigators and certified fraud examiners will also have to work in private practice as independent consultants for a variety of different clients.
SAP - System Analysis Program Development:
SAP is a world recognized as it has a wide range of features and implementations of SAp that differs from company to company. But due to its implementation complications, many IT organizations such as Accenture, IBM, and many others offering SAP consulting to make things easier. It consists of many modules such as Human Resources, Production Planning, Project Management, Treasury, Financial; Accounting, Controlling, management accounting, etc.
For an accountant who is involved in financial accounting, statutory reporting, costing, taxation (Direct and indirect), etc, the modules which are the most relevant are SAP FI (Financial Accounting) and SAP CO (Controlling/ Management Accounting). A qualified ACCA can choose to be an SAP consultant or to be a certified SAP auditor or to be in the finance team of an organization having SAP ERP or can then more to be a certified SAP trainer. The options are endless, it is not mandatory to be trained on SAP but it is definitely recommended as it substantially increases the chances of getting hired. There are many sets of certifications and training for SAP FI and SAP CO.
These are just some of the courses that are available but there are many more qualifications that you can look into along with ACCA. At IIC Lakshya we have helped the careers of over 68,000 students, we have over 270 qualified professors who help students prepare for professional commerce courses such as CA, ACCA, CS, CMA, etc. We provide access to the best and most sought-after professors from India and offer courses in offline and online modes to help ensure you are able to get the best out of the course. If you have any queries on any of the courses you can reach out to our career advisors who will help you with the information you need.