There are a wide variety of accountancy courses available, so how should you go about choosing the right one for you? Take into account the factors outlined below and you shouldn’t go far wrong.
Firstly, you should choose an accountancy course that is well known and respected by those working in the accountancy and finance profession. This means that once you’ve finished your accountancy course, employers will know you have the right skills to get the job done.
One way of getting a sense of how well-known an accountancy course is is to find out how many students are currently studying for that qualification. You could also find out how many members belong to the associated professional body.
You should also choose an accountancy course that is internationally recognised. Then, on qualifying, you can choose to work anywhere you like around the world. Visit the websites of accountancy bodies to get a sense of how well recognised their qualifications are globally.
The best kind of accountancy course provides you with the skills and knowledge relevant to any organisation. This means that, once you’ve passed your exams, you will be free to choose the type of accountancy role and organisation you work for – whether this is general or specialised, and in the private sector, public sector or public practice.
It goes without saying that a good accountancy course should include work or practical experience. You should find an accountancy course provider that can help you choose the right employer to do your work experience with.
Choose an accountancy course with a proven reputation for quality and excellence. You could also find out if the tuition provider or college you have chosen to study with have been approved by the body offering the accountancy qualification.
As the accountancy profession is moving towards strengthened codes of conduct, regulation and legislation, it’s a good idea to choose an accountancy course with a strong focus on professional ethics. Read and compare different accountancy course syllabuses to see which does best in this area.
You will want to enrol on an accountancy course that fits in with your lifestyle. Full time face-to-face tuition does not suit everyone, particularly if you are working or a parent. Find out if the accountancy course you are thinking of taking allows you to study via distance learning or self study and if you can study part time.
You should also find out if the accountancy body and college offering the accountancy course provide good support for its students. For example, does the accountancy body have a large network of offices so you can contact someone in your local area with queries? And does it have a network of exam centres so you can sit your exams locally? How much support is available from the college you have chosen to study with? Do you have a dedicated tutor, for example?
Your accountancy course provider should not only give you support during your studies but also during your career through CPD (continuing professional development) opportunities.
For further help in choosing an accountancy course, visit your local careers centre or get in touch with qualified accountants and current accountancy students to ask for their advice.