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How to Decide Your Future After Completing ACCA Exams

After your ACCA qualification, it can be hard to know what the future holds. Read this article to find out what to do next.

Girl capture sunsetOnce you pass your ACCA exams to become qualified, it might be hard to know what comes next. Read on to find out what options are available to you.It’s true that a lot of doors can open when you’re an ACCA affiliate. After all, the average UK ACCA salary is €35,000-€58,000. In Canada, the range is between \$45,000 CAD and \$125,000 CAD.A Certified Chartered Accountant can expect a salary starting at €25,000. From there, salaries increase with experience and in more advanced roles. Senior accountant roles can expect to bring in salaries around €45,000.Certified Chartered Accountants that fill a role as a director can even pull in €100,000 or more! Before you jump ahead, though, you’ll want to decide how you want your career to look.

Evaluate Your Choices

After you pass your ACCA exams, you should do some reflecting and consider where you see yourself in the future.Your career can go many different ways depending on the choices you make during this time. Keep reading to see some things you should consider.

1. Think About What Interests You

You’ve studied a lot of topics over the past several months to prepare for the exams. Now’s the time to think back on some of those topics and decide what you’re interested in.Even though accountants all generally deal with numbers, the way you look at those numbers each day can be very different depending on your job. Perhaps you enjoyed working with taxes more than you liked working with financial statement analysis.Deciding which topics you are most interested in is a great way to narrow down what your career path looks like. Even if you only realize whether you want to work for a public firm or a private company, you know you’re moving in the right direction.

2. Open Your Own Firm

Some accountants dream of opening their own firm. With the ACCA exams behind you, it’s definitely possible for you to pursue that dream!Before you do, it may be a good idea to work in another firm first. You’ll gain experience and learn the ropes of how the business works.Plus, you might find a senior level accountant at the firm who is willing to help guide you on your journey.

3. Consider an MBA

Even though you just finished some grueling exams and a long road of education, you should think about getting a master’s degree.A Masters in Business Administration (MBA) specifically can help you progress in your career as an accountant.Having your MBA can help you stand out when job searching. Try to research some of the jobs your interested in to see if a master’s degree is part of the qualifications.Since you’re already in ‘school mode’, it might be easiest to just keep going now.

4. Find a Mentor

Having a mentor is a great thing for your career, regardless of the path you choose.Find someone in a position similar to the one that you’re interested in. Let them know that you’re looking for someone like them to help you navigate the early stages of your career.Mentors can provide a lot of value and really boost your success. You can learn how they became successful in their roles and what they’ve seen their colleagues do, too.In addition, your mentor may have a network of people who may be looking to recruit people like you for their teams.

Finance Careers to Consider

Applicants waiting for interview sitting on chairAfter you’ve passed the ACCA exams, you can start to search for jobs in accounting. Here are a few accounting career options you may qualify for now that you have the exams behind you.

Assistant Accountant

This might be the first role you consider as a new Certified Chartered Accountant. Assistant accountants hold a junior role in an organisation or firm. Generally, they report to the controller or a financial director.The role itself has a lot of diversity and allows you to learn much of what accounting has to offer. You might be doing any of the following:
  • Bookkeeping
  • Managing payments
  •  Recording transactions
  • Prepare financial statements
  • Overseeing financial accounts

Tax Specialist

A tax specialist can be found in an organisation or a firm. Their main role is to provide tax advice to their clients or the company they work for.Tax specialists that work in public accounting firms have many clients who might be individuals or small businesses.This role may also prepare tax documents and abides by the filing deadlines.


This is another career that you can pursue either within an organisation or in a public firm. If you work privately, you may be considered an ‘internal auditor’, where you look at your own company’s financial health and reduce risk.Auditors have the task of ensuring financial statements are accurate and precise. Having audited financial statements helps companies secure more funding because it shows that they are less risky.Investors and banks have better confidence in companies that undergo regular audits.

Forensic Accountant

A forensic accountant is similar to an auditor because they investigate financial reports to detect fraud. Forensic accountants also ensure accuracy with reporting.Their role involves observing assets and resources that a business uses to make sure they are being reported properly.The reports that forensic accountants provide can also be used in court as evidence during investigations.

Financial Accountant

If you’re looking for a general accounting role, you might want to consider being a financial accountant.You’ll be recording and reporting on business transactions. Plus, you’ll have your hands in creating financial statements, including cash flow and balance sheets.Some financial accountants work with external parties and craft reports for:
  • Creditors
  • Shareholders
  • Investors
  • Regulation authorities

Final Thoughts

With the ACCA exams behind you, you can finally start using the ACCA letters after your name! That will open up some doors to the future of your career.It’s a good time to explore the roles you might want to hold and what kind of work environment you’re looking for, whether public or private. Maybe you even want to open your own practice someday.
Alan Lynch
4 min read

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