Five myths about Chartered Accountancy

5 myths about Chartered Accountancy. Become a Chartered Accounting

Number crunchers. Dabblers in double entry. Keepers of the beans. We could go on…

Here at ICAS, the home of the Chartered Accountancy (CA) qualification, we know that a lot of what is said or written about chartered accountants is untrue. 

More often than not, there is a perception of accountancy as a boring role, but talk to any CA and you’ll discover that their role is anything but! As a CA you could find yourself setting up your own business, advising big name clients in professional practice or making your mark in the public or not-for-profit sector.

When it comes to careers, CAs can, and do have it all. To help you separate fact from fiction, here are the top five CA myths – well and truly busted!

1. Myth: You need to be a spreadsheet wizard

Panic not. To train as an ICAS CA, we don’t require you to know your PV from your PMT in Excel. We’ll teach you everything you need to know, starting with the basics in accountancy and finance and building on your knowledge throughout the duration of your course. 

2. Myth: You need to have been to University

You can come to ICAS fresh from finishing school, as long as you’ve got some good A-level or Higher results to show us. This route takes around five years to complete, and you’ll train with us at the same time as getting hands-on experience with an ICAS authorised employer. There are lots of options to choose from, which makes this is an ideal opportunity for ambitious school leavers who want to dive into the world of business.

3. Myth: All you do is work with numbers

Numbers are clearly an important aspect of being a Chartered Accountant. However, they are not the be all and end all! 

We train our CAs to have a broad skill set. In addition to developing an impeccable set of technical skills, you could find yourself running your own business, leading and motivating a team of people, working on exciting projects with big brands or sharpening your negotiation skills for multi-million-pound deals. Having a head for figures is just the start – as a CA you’ll have a world of career opportunities to choose from.

4. Myth: Accountancy is a man’s world

This might have been true in the past, but 45% of our current students are female, and women make up 35% of our current membership. Women are also the fastest growing segment of our membership. Career prospects are also looking good, with around 60% of female finance executives saying that there are now more opportunities for women to progress in accountancy than ever before. 

Our female members have achieved extraordinary things – Laila Giwa CA is Head of Finance (EMEA and India) at Skullcandy, entrepreneur Kirsty Dingwall CA runs her own business Angelic Gluten Free, and Becky Woodhouse CA is CEO of PURE Spa and Beauty. When it comes to chartered accountancy, hard work and ambition pays dividends.

Now, we do have another myth that we'd like to bust, and it is chartered accountancy related...

5. Myth: ICAS is just for Scotland

Although our history is Scottish, we are not just an institute for Scottish CAs. We were the first ever professional accountancy body, established in 1854. From there we’ve grown into a professional community with ties across the world. 

ICAS trains CAs in 11 locations across the UK. Around 50% of the student intake each year is based in England, and around 30% of our members live within commuter distance of London.

Start your CA journey

As an ICAS CA you’ll instantly be recognised and respected as a world-class business professional. No matter where you go in the world, employers and peers will appreciate who you are: a dynamic, capable, forward-thinking and versatile business professional.

If you’re ready to take the first step towards a challenging, rewarding and exciting career as a chartered accountant, then visiting our dedicated website is your next stop. You can find out more about the CA qualification, read extraordinary CA stories and search for job vacancies that are relevant to you.

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