Six key differences

When you’re researching which accountancy qualification is best for you, we know it can be difficult to get your head around the different options. Chartered Accountancy is distinctly different. So we’ve put together some of those differences in one place, to show how the Chartered qualification gives you the edge – in the short-term as a student, and in the longer-term for your whole career.

Short term differences – as a student

1. You study directly with us

Here’s the first difference: we don’t outsource our education – we provide everything directly to you. We design the syllabus, run lectures, host revision courses and mock exams, provide support, and prepare you for your exams. We are the single biggest educator of professional accountancy students in Ireland, with over 6,000 students and we draw on a pool of 100 of the best lecturers from Ireland and the UK.

Our lectures are uniquely classroom based, meaning that you have direct access to lecturers, can ask questions, and join study groups with other students. While our Distance Programme is mostly taken online, an integral part of this programme are the classroom based workshops, which support your learning and are there to help you progress. Having these classroom-based supports ensure our students are better prepared for their exams than students of other bodies.

Our centralized approach ensures the highest levels of academic quality are maintained. This is reflected in the pass rates. Year in, year out, our students have the highest pass of all – 87% in the final year in 2017 – making sure you get qualified quickly. It also means our costs are very clear – one payment, no add-ons.

2. We’ve got training options to suit your needs

To qualify as a professional accountant, you also need to acquire professional experience. Whatever your situation, we have flexible options for you.

Flexible – If you are working in business or the public sector, our Flexible Route is for you. This allows you to stay in your job and study without a training contract. There is flexibility around courses and exams, and the opportunity to pace your studies and work experience in a way that suits you.

Contracts – Chartered Accountants Ireland is the only accountancy body that gives students a supportive framework in which to train, via the unique 3.5-year Training Contract. This training contract, offered by firms and companies, gives you everything they need to qualify – a full time role as a trainee, a competitive salary, paid study leave and course fees, and access to a mentor to support their training and sign off their work experience every six months. Training contracts lead our students to qualify quicker: 78% of Chartered Accountancy students are fully qualified in four years or less, which is faster than students of other accountancy bodies.

3. We’ve got student supports at every step

Being a larger organisation means we are able to offer more support on the ground. We have a dedicated Student Service department in Dublin that handles all kinds of queries for our students around the island of Ireland. We’re only a phone call away – even if you just need some friendly advice!

We also have a Training Support Unit. This is your one-stop-shop for queries around training, work experience, and admission to membership. And if you’re looking for that all important training role, we have a Training Vacancies list, dedicated to trainee Chartered Accountancy roles from some of Ireland’s top firms and companies.

Long term differences – membership

4. Support throughout your career

We provide career supports, lifelong learning and recruitment consultancy at every career stage. We offer networking and other supports through our district and member societies in Ireland and overseas. As Ireland’s leading membership organisation, we also provide technical, representation, and information supports at every step of your journey.

5. Recognition – part of a strong network

We’re the biggest professional accountancy body in Ireland, with 26,500 members. And we’re the longest established – since 1888 we’ve been at the forefront of Irish business. Chartered Accountants are seen as leaders in the financial world and go further and faster in their careers than any other finance professional. Chartered Accountants work at the highest levels of Irish business – 6 out of 10 Chartered Accountants are in the role of Finance Director or more senior, and the top 10 accountancy firms in Ireland are all Chartered. You'll be joining a large and influential network of highly skilled professionals and business leaders.

6. Global opportunities

Chartered Accountancy is a truly global passport. We’re an all-island body with members in more than 90 countries. We are also founder members of Chartered Accountants Worldwide, which brings together hundreds of thousands of Chartered members and students across the globe. Through our exclusive Mutual Reciprocal Agreements, our members can travel the world and in fact we’re the only UK & Ireland body recognised in the USA (AICPA). So you’ll have great prospects wherever your career takes you.

If you’ve got more questions about becoming a Chartered Accountant, contact us today.

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