ACCA - The advantage of global recognition
The size of the global family and network of ACCA is astounding – 198,000 members across 181 countries. Moreover, with about 486,000 additional students currently at various stages of pursuing a certification, this number is expected to increase significantly in the coming years.
The reason for the ever-increasing popularity of ACCA and other such accounting certifications is that they provide holders global access to employers. This comes in handy not only when someone is looking to move abroad, but also when choosing to work for an international employer in a third country. What makes ACCA even more valuable is their focus on becoming a truly global standard and their considerable efforts in that direction.
Here is a brief sampling of what an ACCA holder can expect when working in just a few of the main economic regions of the world.
The EU’s Recognition of Professional Qualifications directives cover mutual recognition of professional qualifications which require a University degree or equivalent. This allows ACCA certified accountants to work in all 28 EU nation states as well as other countries which have adopted these directives – Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. Therefore, a holder of the ACCA certification can practice as an accountant in these countries and describe themselves under the legally protected term “Chartered Certified Accountant”.
The local CPA (Certified Public Accountant) designation is unsurprisingly most popular in the United States. However, this does not mean that candidates with a CMA or ACCA certification cannot find jobs in North America. In fact, these certifications rank as the second and third most frequent accounting qualifications found in finance focused resumes in the US. There are individuals with ACCA designations working in many sectors in North America – accounting/ finance, consulting, investment/ corporate banking, M&A, asset management and even IT and operations.
The US does have a lot of specialised qualifications like Certified Treasury Professional or Certificate in Loan Review or a Certified Information Systems Auditor and dozens of others like these. Such certifications may be used to augment any skill or knowledge gap, but your base ACCA certification would still serve you well.
Almost all European accreditations would find wide acceptance in most Middle Eastern Countries. In fact, it is one of the fastest growing regions for ACCA membership and a key focus area. Many of the local qualifications, like the rather new United Arab Emirates Chartered Accountant, have been built in close partnership with ACCA.
Gulf Cooperation Council countries like the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Bahrain are focusing on increasing the economic contribution from the finance sector and this has resulted in a rather large demand for trained finance and accounting professions.
The ACCA is different from most other qualifications because it seeks to become a globally recognised standard in the profession. Its membership base is geographically diversified and its focus on certain key values like ethics and corporate governance, in addition to the technical courses, makes it even more valuable in today’s risk-averse world.
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