Accounting is one of the most popular courses students desire to study at tertiary level. Universities in the UK, offer accounting and finance courses at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Doctoral studies in accounting and finance are also available at many of the UK’s universities.
Accounting courses cover areas such as corporate finance, financial risk, management accounting and auditing, as well as the general areas of business such as operations and people management. Cost accounting, forensic accounting, internal auditing, management accounting and independent accounting are just a few of the rapidly specializing fields that accountants can now experience with a degree in accounting.
To obtain a degree in accounting in the UK, would be a great idea. However, if your mind is not yet made up as to where to pursue your degree in accounting, Here are lists of universities to choose from with thorough teachings.
Top 7 UK universities for Accounting & Finances:
- University of Leeds Leeds
- Lancaster University Lancaster
- University of Warwick Conventry
- London South Bank University London
- Loughborough University Loughborough
- University of East Anglia Norwich
- University of Nottingham Nottingham
Accounting and Finance UK Entry Requirements
- Typical International Baccalaureate requirements: Minimum 35 points.
- Typical A-levels requirements: AAB and studying at least one of accountancy, business or mathematics.
- Typical IELTS requirements: 6.5 overall, with no lower than 6.0 in any one component.
How to Become a Chartered Accountant?
There are several different professional bodies that regulate the training and work of accountants in the UK but, as a general rule, qualifying as an accountant will involve three years of study (in addition to a degree, which can be in any subject), exams and relevant employment. Training for professional exams is provided by employers. Early responsibility and fast promotion is available if your work and exam results are satisfactory.
Selecting your training will depend on the direction in which you want to take your career. For example:
- To work for local authorities, health authorities, or other public sector bodies, the Chartered Public & Finance Accountant (CIPFA) would be the most relevant qualification. If you pursue this route, your work would typically involve managing financial services such as income collection; providing budgeting information and advice to management; and being directly involved in the management of a multi-million pound organisation.
- To work for Chartered accountancy firms of any size, the ACA Chartered Accountant qualification through the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) would be more appropriate. Once qualified, your role would involve visiting clients as part of an audit team; and reviewing their business operations and financial records to establish the validity of the company’s accounts.
- To work for private sector companies, public sector organisations or in private practice the Chartered Certified Accountant (ACCA) qualifications would be the most relevant option. This would enable you to manage accounting systems; audit financial records and investigate anomalies; prepare financial statements/management information; improve procedures & processes; and advise clients on tax and other financial issues.
- If you are more interested in financial management and analysis, qualifying as a Chartered Management Accountant with CIMA provides you with a qualification related to organisational management and planning.
It is important that you research your options carefully before deciding which route to take. Please use the links below to find out more about professional bodies and qualifications.
While a degree is not an essential preparation for training, many employers offer graduate trainee schemes and you can get exemption from certain exam papers if you have a relevant undergraduate qualification. Note that some employers also look favourably on degrees in unrelated subjects – for example, a language qualification would be attractive to firms with international clients. Competition for a good traineeship can be very fierce, so a wide skill set can help you stand out from the crowd.
Once qualified as a chartered accountant, you’ll need to undertake Continuing Professional Education (CPE) to keep your technical knowledge up to date, and if you intend to work directly with clients (rather than being an employee) you’ll need to gain a Certificate entitling you to practise, which involves undergoing inspections and getting insurance.
Professional bodies and qualifications
- The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales (ICAEW) – ACA, FCA
- The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS) – CA
- Chartered Accountants Ireland (CAI) – ACA, FCA
- The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) – ACCA, FCCA
- The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) – ACMA, FCMA
- The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) – CPFA