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Chartered Accountancy training routes explained

Bryan Rankin, Marketing Manager, Chartred Accountants Irelan. Pic Iain WhiteWriting recently in the Business Plus Accountancy Training Report, Chartered Accountants Ireland Marketing Manager Bryan Rankin describes new developments in the Chartered Accountancy training routes that make it more flexible and accessible than ever.

With almost 24,000 members, Chartered Accountants Ireland is the largest accountancy body in the country and the single biggest educator of professional accountancy students on the island of Ireland. Our new, flexible training model offers routes to the ACA qualification for people working in business and non-business graduates and accounting technicians.

First off, why Chartered Accountancy? Chartered accountants work across an array of business activities and sectors. They provide professional financial services to businesses, such as auditing, taxation, accounting, consulting, financial analysis, recovery and risk management advice, and work in diverse roles in every sector.

As a result of the structured model and support provided in our education model, Chartered Accountancy students benefit from the highest pass rates in accountancy in Ireland, and qualify in a far shorter period than those studying with other accountancy bodies.

For those interested in pursuing the Chartered route you should first decide whether to opt for the Chartered Practice Route (usually by securing a training contract with an accountancy practice) or our new Chartered Business Route. The latter is a direct route for students with no requirement for a training contract.

This flexible option is popular with people who are attracted to the Chartered qualification but want to stay in their current jobs while studying.  Business Route students sit the same exams and are required to meet the same experience requirements as other students.

“You decide how to split out your exams and at what stage you generate practical experience,” said Bryan Rankin, the Institute’s marketing manager. “We make it suitable for candidates who are approaching it from as many perspectives as possible.”

In order to provide greater flexibility, in 2014 the Institute launched a new Distance Learning option comprising a blend of online study and classroom-based contact.

The distance learning programme relies on self-directed learning and consequently requires fewer face-to-face lectures, with majority of course content delivered online in 45 minute segments. Online discussion fora will be available for each student as well as interactive Q&A sessions with lecturers and the student services team.

“There are currently over 1,000 Chartered Accountant Ireland students working in business and the public sector. And four out of ten Chartered Accountants hold senior executive roles such as finance director,” Rankin explained.

Despite the growth in Business Route trainees, the majority of students still train in practice having secured a training contract in practice. There is always a competitive element in gaining these training places.

“A good starting point is to visit the Institute’s Training Vacancies page, www.charteredaccountants.ie/vacancies, where there’s also information on how to secure a contract and a list of all our registered training organisations in case you want to send on a CV on spec.”

This article first appeared in Business Plus magazine, August 2014.

If you are interested in joining this exciting career path and would like to begin your studies this October, you can check you exemptions online.

Please contact us directly if you need any assistance via email info@charteredaccountants.ie or by phone on ROI  1890 28 29 28/ NI  02890 435840 (9-5 Mon – Fri)


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