A chartered accountant is referred to as a financial professional who possesses technical and specialized accounting knowledge and is a member of the accounting body regulating the practice of accountancy in his country of residence after sitting for and passing their qualifying exam.
They can work in practically any industry, from financial services to health care and manufacturing, where they can execute accounting duties and make business-critical strategic decisions.
Knowing the duties and responsibilities of a chartered accountant and the typical career path might help you decide if this is the right field for you. In this post, we'll go over how to become a chartered accountant in Australia, as well as their key responsibilities and benefits.
How To Become A Chartered Accountant In Australia
The following steps will show you how to become a chartered accountant in Australia:
1. Pursue a bachelor's degree in Accounting
To become a chartered accountant in Australia, consider earning a bachelor's degree in accounting, commerce, or business majoring in accounting and finance from an approved university. These degrees can help you gain the core knowledge, techniques, and insights you'll need to become an accountant while also helping you earn professional certification in the area.
Some of the courses available are financial accounting and reporting, management accounting, audit and assurance, business law and economics, quantitative methods, taxation IT and accounting systems and processes, etc.
2. Apply for provisional membership
Provisional memberships are available to people who intend to enroll in a chartered accounting program in Australia.You can do so by filling out a membership application or by submitting academic transcripts or certificates. The most common criteria are a bachelor's degree and enrollment in a chartered accountant program.
A bachelor's degree and registration for a chartered accountant program are often the main requirements.
3. Get job experience
After you've obtained your membership, you can hunt for a job or an internship with an accounting firm to learn on the job. An internship with a reputable company can be a fantastic opportunity to gain valuable experience and meet the experience requirements for your CA or CPA certification. Both certifications usually necessitate three years of accounting job experience.
During your internship, you may be assigned to a long-serving accountant who may demonstrate the day-to-day job of an accountant, as well as the common accounting software they use for their operations.
You can improve your decision-making, problem-solving, and communication skills. You may also be able to enlarge your professional circle and improve your résumé.
4. Apply for full chartered accountant membership
After completing your degree and gaining practical experience, you can join professional accounting bodies such as Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ), CPA Australia, or the Institute of Public Accountants. A bachelor's degree in accounting is usually required for membership in various regulating and accrediting bodies. Joining professional accounting bodies might open doors for you both locally and internationally. You will be expected to pay admission and annual subscription fees.
5. Apply for chartered accounting jobs
Start looking for CA and CPA employment on job boards to work as a chartered accountant. By using keywords, you can focus your search on chartered accounting roles in corporate accounting.
You can also contact your university or internship network and inform them that you are actively looking for work. It's a good idea to study job descriptions thoroughly before applying, and then modify your resume accordingly.
Chartered accountant skills
In order to thrive in their jobs, chartered accountants typically need a mix of professional and interpersonal skills. The following are some of the important skills that might help accountants in their work:
1. Data analysis
Accountants analyze financial data from a variety of sources. Strong analytical skills help accountants to extract information from raw data or financial records, as well as generate accurate financial reports.
The job of an accountant can constantly change due to new protocols, technology improvements and workplace dynamics. Accounting professionals that can swiftly adjust to changing work settings may be able to stay up-to-date and operate at a high level.
3. Strategic decision-making
Accounting and administrative activities can be automated, giving accountants more time to focus on the decision-making portion of their job. People with good decision-making skills can assist their organization in developing effective long-term plans and achieving short-term objectives.
4. Critical thinking
If a difficult scenario emerges, the accountant may do a thorough analysis of the factors and risks involved before taking action. Critical thinking skills can help an accountant spot and correct mistakes before they have a negative impact on the company's financial health.
5. Computer literacy
Accountants frequently use computers and accounting software that include capabilities such as budgeting, payroll, tax filing, invoicing, payment processing, accounts receivable, and more. The accountant's ability to use office computers, a financial management suite, or existing accounting tools can help in tracking a company's financial health.
For prospective chartered accountants, teamwork is another important accounting skill. This ability will allow them to collaborate with coworkers on team tasks, discover new ideas, and contribute to the company's growth.
Accountants contact and communicate with a variety of people in person as well as over the phone, email, and video conferencing. Solid oral and written communication skills can help an accountant express information clearly and concisely while also fostering strong working connections.
8. Time management
Chartered accountants frequently perform many duties at once. Prioritizing activities allows the accountant to make timely payments, fulfill deadlines during the tax season, and provide periodic reports to the finance management.
9. Creative problem-solving
Accountants that can fix problems are highly valued by businesses. The accountant's ability to predict issues within the organization can help in the development of contingency plans to overcome potential roadblocks.
10. Accounting standards
The Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and the International Financial Reporting Standards are two common accounting standards followed by accounting departments of companies. A proper understanding of accounting standards and principles can help the accountant in preparing uniform financial accounts and reports for the company.
What Do Chartered Accountants Do?
Within an organization, chartered accountants are responsible for preparing, maintaining, and interpreting various financial records and reports. Daily responsibilities vary based on the role and size of the company. A chartered accountant's normal duties and responsibilities may include:
- budget preparation and presentation
- tax returns, financial statements, and proposals
- advising clients and people on financial matters
- create, review and adjust departmental budgets
- giving advice to management and preparing financial audit reports
- negotiating pricing and terms with suppliers or subcontractors
- financial statement and period accounts preparation
- working with colleagues on tax planning and unique initiatives
- investigating and resolving the company's accounting or tax issues
- establishing and maintaining solid client-business ties through continuous communication
Benefits Of Becoming A Chartered Accountant
A chartered accountant's job usually comes with a number of perks. The following are some of the benefits of becoming a chartered accountant:
- You can get a competitive advantage over other accountants.
- Your qualifications may be recognized internationally, allowing you to work anywhere on the globe.
- You can opt to specialize in a certain field of accounting after becoming a chartered accountant.
- You can even advance to positions such as chief financial officer or financial controller later on.
- You can also develop skills like decision-making, problem-solving, and critical thinking.
- Make yourself more visible to potential employers, increasing your chances of being hired.
- By Becoming a chartered accountant in Australia, you can start your own accounting firm or work for some of top accounting firms in Australia.
- Some chartered accountants work full-time, while others work as self-employed professionals, sometimes known as freelancers. Job flexibility allows you to choose a professional path that fits your lifestyle.
Tips For Finding A Chartered Accountant Job
To identify accounting job opportunities, consider the following strategies:
1. Attend industry events
Attend accounting seminars and finance conferences to network with other accountants and finance professionals. It can be a great way to extend your knowledge and skill set while looking for a new job.
2. Practise before interviews
Spend some time practicing mental math and answering some financial questions. Some accounting job interviews include practical tasks that include evaluating mock financial records.
3. Apply for jobs at various locations
Consider applying to a variety of businesses, such as accounting departments, financial institutions, and huge companies with diverse responsibilities. Exploring various job opportunities might assist you in locating an employer who values your skills and qualifications.