How to become a private practice accountant
You can get into this job through:
- a university course
- an apprenticeship
- working towards this role
- training with a professional body
You could do a degree in any subject and then apply to graduate schemes that offer training towards a professional accountancy qualification. Subjects that show you have excellent numeracy and analytical thinking skills may be particularly useful.
If you want to take a more focused route to a graduate scheme, you could take an accountancy related degree, like:
- accounting and finance
- business and management
Some degree courses may give you exemptions from some of the professional accountancy training modules.
You'll usually need:
- 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths
- 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
You could gain your professional qualifications through the apprenticeship route. You could take your first steps to a career as a professional accountant by starting off on:
- a professional accountancy technician higher apprenticeship
- an accountancy and taxation professional higher apprenticeship
You'll usually need:
- 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship
You could start as an accounting assistant with a firm and do professional training while working.
You'll usually need A levels or equivalent level 3 qualifications to apply. Your employer would support you to gain professional qualifications in accountancy alongside doing your job.
You could take training with one of the following professional bodies to become a qualified accountant:
- Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)
- Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW)
- Association of International Accountants (AIA)
They all have different entry requirements and ways to qualify, so it's important to check with them which is the right route for you. If you already have relevant accounting or business-related qualifications, you may be able to qualify in a shorter time.
Professional and industry bodies
If you've qualified with the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), you can offer most accountancy services in private practice but you'll need to register as a 'member in practice' with CIMA.
You can find out more about becoming a private practice accountant from: