So you’ve completed your ACCA qualification (... or even if you haven't yet, we know you'll get there with VIVA's help!) You’re opening the door to many wonderful opportunities for yourself and now is the time to think about what you can do after ACCA.
In this article, we explore some interesting pursuits for ACCA graduates. No doubt you’ve already spent some time thinking about all the things you can do after you graduate, but we would like to add some ideas to your list.
Many ACCA students have successfully pursued these avenues and maybe you’ll spot something that will encourage and inspire you.
1. Pack your bags and head out into the world
Regardless of where you graduated, the world is your oyster. With recognition in over 180 countries, an ACCA qualification will give you access to some of the world's economic powerhouses.
New York, London, Singapore, Hong Kong or the Middle East are waiting for accounting and finance professionals to join the companies that call these places home. Chartered financial analyst, audit manager, senior finance executive, and even CFO are just some of the positions needed in these busy economic centres.
2. Get another qualification
Why? So that you can have more letters after your name, of course! But all jokes aside - management accountants and financial accountants on average get around two to three professional qualifications across the span of their careers and there’s a good reason for that.
The Association of Certified Chartered Accountants is a great start for getting a respected qualification, but if there is a need to expand your skills into the area of forensic accounting, risk management, international accounting practices and management consulting, then being an ACCA member alone will not be enough.
A Masters in business administration, BSc degree, master’s degree or another professional qualification are popular choices for gaining a deeper understanding of advanced principles and concepts that govern the accounting industry.
One of the best degrees to do after ACCA is chartered financial analyst. CFA concentrates more on finance than on management. You will take a really deep dive into financial analysis, investment, portfolio management and asset management.
3. Start your own business
Imagine the thrill of controlling your destiny, making key decisions, and directly experiencing the fruits of your labor as a business owner. As an ACCA-certified professional, you already possess the technical knowledge and a keen eye for financial details, ensuring that your business runs efficiently and ethically.
For those who value autonomy and a personal touch in their professional journey, setting up your own accounting firm can be the dream. This venture enables you to offer tailored financial solutions to your clientele, from tax planning to financial management.
4. Launch a consulting firm
The world of consulting is vast and varied. With businesses always needing expert financial advice, a consulting firm can be an ideal pursuit. Leveraging your ACCA certification, you can advise clients on audit matters, tax efficiency, risk management, and independent financial advisors.
5. Teach finance and accounting
Some people just have a passion for the industry that outshines everyone else. They want to eat, sleep and drink data and financial analysis. When you find yourself outgrowing corporate and you don’t want to start your own business, another option is to join an organisation where you can teach students everything you have learned. This can be a university, college or tuition provider.
ACCA qualified tutors are in demand around the world because students really benefit from having passionate and dedicated financial management professionals who want to share their skills and experience. This is also a very rewarding avenue of pursuit because you can watch others grow in their desired careers and advance in the world of financial accounting.
6. Delve into the world of management accounting
A qualified management accountant has so many more opportunities opened up to them. If you do the CIMA qualification when you’ve completed ACCA, you will get an exemption for a number of modules in the CIMA qualification. If you have three years of relevant work experience, it will not take you a long time to complete the CIMA, and you’ll be ready to take on a career in the following areas:
- Tax specialist
- Financial accountant
- Finance manager
- Financial controller
- Forensic accountant
Combining ACCA and CIMA, which is also a globally recognised qualification, will give you leverage to earn a top salary with respected firms. You can fulfill a senior executive role where you make essential business decisions, analyse important financial data and make recommendations on investments, expansion and diversification.
7. Make a difference in the world
Finance isn’t just all about profits, financial reports, financial risk and business solutions. ACCA professionals can make a real difference in the social challenges that the world is facing. Some ACCA graduates use their knowledge of business law, balance sheets, operational data, and financial policies to work for non-profit entities and government organisations.
Chief financial officer is a popular choice for a certified chartered accountant working in companies that aid some of the world’s most economically and socially needy populations. Unicef, American Red Cross, Oxfam, Greenpeace and Habitat for Humanity are just some of the organisations that promise a rewarding career to ACCA graduates.
8. Work for a start-up
Start-ups, while potentially rich in innovation and groundbreaking ideas, often face challenges in financial management, budgeting, and navigating the complex financial landscape.
As an ACCA qualified professional, you can play a pivotal role in a start-up's journey, ensuring its financial stability and long-term sustainability. Being part of a start-up often means wearing multiple hats. You might find yourself not just overseeing accounts but also being an integral part of strategy discussions, fundraising rounds, and even product development, depending on the start-up's nature.
9. Enter the Digital Realm
The financial world has seen a rapid evolution with the rise of technology. Fintech, or financial technology, is transforming how we think about banking, investments, and transactions.
Blockchain, the technology behind popular cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum, is especially creating ripples in the finance sector. From securing transaction data to enabling smart contracts, blockchain offers a multitude of applications that require financial experts to navigate.
By immersing yourself in Fintech and blockchain, you'd be at the forefront of merging traditional financial knowledge with cutting-edge tech advancements. This not only future-proofs your career but also provides a stimulating environment that challenges the conventions of traditional finance.
In this article, we’ve looked at some interesting pursuits for ACCA graduate professionals. If you found this inspiring, we hope that you’ve already started planning your next steps.
If you want to do another qualification, like CIMA, we have just what you need. We offer you premium tuition at a fraction of the cost with our All Access membership - we know that’s something any good accountant will appreciate!
And if you're still on your ACCA journey, then take advantage of our ACCA All Access membership - still available at the Early Bird price of just £249!