great accounting certification lies behind every successful accountant

We think that’s how the saying goes for an accounting certification! All joking aside, there’s no doubt that if you want to get ahead in the accountancy profession then an accounting certification is not a “nice to have” – it’s an absolute must. In some countries, it's also referred to as an accounting qualification.

But what is it? It’s an extra qualification that you earn through a combination of study and relevant on-the-job training in the Finance world. You start working towards it once you leave college or university and get a job.

The very best ones will take you three years to get. They are not easy. And nor should they be - accounting certifications are all about being a bit special compared to everyone else. Making yourself stand out from the crowd. But not just for the sake of it. It’s so you can be a better accountant.

With that comes better career opportunities, job satisfaction – not to mention higher salaries.

Accounting Certifications & Golfers

Look at golfers. You get everything from weekend hackers to Tiger Woods. And the difference is effectively certification, Tiger Woods has been practicing all his life to be a great golfer. He’s got the best coaches in the world, he’s taken lesson after lesson, spent hours on golf driving ranges and the practice putting greens – all to become the best golfer in the world when he gets into competition.

And that’s what accounting qualifications are about. It’s about becoming the best accountant in the world. Now, we fully appreciate that having that ambitionin life is maybe not quite as exciting as being the best golfer in the world!

And accounting doesn’t pay quite as much either…..but still, why wouldn’t you set out to be the best in your chosen profession?

Commitment & Accountancy

If you’re willing to commit to undertaking an accounting certification then in many (if not most) cases your employer will help you get there. That means they will pay for your tuition, your exam fees, membership fees, and on-going education once you’ve passed your exams and qualified.

Employers don’t do that just to be nice. They know that those accountants who have invested their time in getting an accounting qualification will be able to do bigger and better jobs for them. And that can help their company successfully grow. Earnings will improve. And they will pay YOU, their accountant, more. It’s what they call a virtuous circle!

But it cuts both ways. Don’t pass your exams and you could be out and have to pay back all the money the company invested in you. It’s a fair deal.

Now, you may know plenty of people who are already in Finance jobs – and they don’t hold any kind of accounting qualification. They are probably very good at what they do as well. But the Finance salary surveys are always very telling – they don’t get paid as much as qualified accountants.

To make our point, let’s paint a scenario for you.

Advantage Them

Picture yourself at a job interview for a major Finance position:

  •    You’re one of the final two candidates
  •    You’ve both been working for five years in a finance department in an accounting capacity.
  •    You both got the jobs straight after completing your accounting majors at college or university
  •    But you decided that accounting certifications were way too much hard work and just got on with the job
  •    And then you speak to the other candidate. And it turns that she has she’s just finished her Certified Management Accounting (CMA) exams.

The above scenario is not an exaggeration. It’s possible you could have made it to the final two for this job if you came very highly recommended even though you’re not qualified. We’ve seen this time and time again in our own interview processes.

You both have the same day-to-day abilities to do the job. But she’s got the accounting certification. And a high quality one at that.

Who can point to being able to have balance workload, study and life? In short, who now has an advantage. Not you.

Who do you think is going to get the job? Probably not you. The question that’s always asked is “Why has this person not completed an accounting certification”, “Are they ambitious enough?”, “Did they drop out? Why?”. There’s always a nagging doubt in there somewhere.

Get Certified or Qualified!

You’d normally associate being certified with getting locked up in an institution for a while. But getting your accounting certification will be the one time you were glad it happened to you! 

What Accounting Certifications Can You Take?

OK, so let's start giving you some real details behind the certifications we think you'd be interested in:

  • Accredited Business Accountant (ABA) - Completing the ABA certification will make you stand out from the crowd when it comes to providing core accounting services. Nationally recognised and respected it could  help you further your accountancy career in a short space of time.