Chartered Certified Accountants (CCAs) are a category of professionally qualified accountants.
They are responsible for a variety of tasks, including (but not limited to):
– Auditing financial records
– Reviewing and certifying clients’ book of accounts, balance sheets and other statutory returns
– Business advice (strategic and operational)
– Budgeting and reporting
– Forecasting and investigating finance and accounting issues.
CCAs are employed in private practice as well as commercial establishments in the public and private sectors, particularly in the financial services industry.
Their spheres of influence include corporate finance, insurance, asset and investment management and the handling of private clients.
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Salary & benefits
Entry-level salaries for CCA trainees are between £14,000 and £25,000, depending upon location, industry segment and size of organisation.
Post-qualification salaries range from £20,000 to £50,000. CCAs with more than 5 years of experience post-qualification can earn between £45,000 and £100,000.
Company benefits for salaried CCAs include private healthcare insurance, life assurance, pensions and a variety of lifestyle benefits.
Working hours are similar to those of other professionals in the accounting and consultancy industry: 35-40 hours in a five day week, except for periods where projects are near closing deadlines, or when statutory or regulatory filing and reports are due at milestones in the financial year.
Unless spending time at clients’ premises is involved, CCAs are mainly office-based.
The basic entry requirements for aspiring CCAs include a 2:1 or above honours degree in any discipline, and strong A-level and GCSE grades, particularly in English Language and Mathematics.
The ACCA route is also open to school leavers not interested in pursuing university studies. Many accounting and finance practices have a separate intake for such students, many of whom complete the CCA programme while working and then take up studies for chartered accountants’ qualifications from ICAEW or ICAS to open up career advancement opportunities.
Training & progression
Initial training and practical work experience requirements are completed over a period of three years, comprised of passing 14 levels of ACCA exams, supervised on-the-job experience under the guidance of a qualified mentor and completion of an online practice ethics course.
Career progression is dependent on individual performance, qualification levels and experience across different sectors. CCAs can choose to follow a generalist career path or specialise in particular business segments.
Access to senior-level jobs within the industry can be enhanced by taking up further work-study programmes lasting a period of several years.
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