- Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand’s CA Program can open doors you only ever dreamed about.
- Holding a CA qualification will empower you to work anywhere in the world.
- A valued qualification and hard work can see you progress through the ranks in your career.
It could well be said there is no other profession that opens as many doors, creates such a wide variety of career options, or provides a larger range of international posting opportunities, as chartered accounting. The chartered accountant (CA) qualification can be a ticket to see the world.
In 2015, Forbes Magazine reported that just over half of the Fortune 100 chief executive officers (CEOs) had a degree in business, economics, or accounting. In 2014 a study covered by Business Insider reveals that the most popular subject studied by CEOs of the ASX top 200 companies was business.
Many directors and CEOs in Australia and New Zealand hold the CA qualification. Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand's (CA ANZ) 2016 annual report states that around 12%, or 14,040 of its 117,000 members, work overseas, with approximately 4.5% in the United Kingdom, and almost 3.3% in Asia.
Start with a clear vision
The heights to which CAs climb, the variety of their roles, and the places they find themselves is no accident. It starts with a clear vision. CA ANZ's vision is to empower its members to become leaders and shapers of finance and business in Australia, New Zealand and wherever they may work around the world.
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With 22,087 CA Program enrolments in 2016, the qualification is seen by many as highly attractive. The CA Program consists of five modules, in conjunction with three years of mentored practical experience.
Those programs include taxation, audit and assurance, financial accounting and reporting, management accounting and applied finance, and capstone. AcuityMagazine regularly features profiles of accountants in locations in every corner of the globe in its "Where in the world" section. These people all started as CAs in Australia and New Zealand.
Imagine where you could work in the world
In their interviews with Acuity Magazine most CAs said that they initially did not realise just how far the qualification would take them or how exactly they would get there, but there are some similarities to all of their stories. They all cite a strong recognition of the CA qualification worldwide and great pride in the CA qualification and their status as CAs.
They also mention a passion for business, and in particular numbers, a commitment to professionalism and a sense of obligation and commitment to community service. The interviewees also demonstrate an enquiring mind and love of new things such as companies, other cultures and job roles. Also, through hard work and dedication they progress through the ranks in their careers and get offered new and exciting roles, often by invitation rather than application.
The heights to which CAs climb, the variety of their roles, and the places they find themselves is no accident. It starts with a clear vision.
Anthony J Hanrahan CA, a director with PwC in Moscow sums it up well. "I would not have this job without a CA qualification. It was the foot in the door which enabled me to seek out such an opportunity.
"The knowledge acquired during the qualification provided an invaluable foundation to build upon during my career…The CA qualification is known and respected, even as 'far flung' as in Eastern Europe, and the former Soviet Union," says Hanrahan.
Advice for CAs to climb high
- Put yourself in an environment where there are real opportunities for career development, for both roles and locations.
- Never stop investing in your learning, on the job and technically.
- Learn as much as you can about other aspects of the business, outside accounting.
- Do what you do well.
- Maintain the passion in what you are doing.
- Always act and conduct yourself in a professional manner.
- Be a shining light for the CA profession.
- Be prepared to put in the hard yards and work hard.
- Have the confidence that if you add real value, you will surely become both indispensable and promotable.
This article is part of an ongoing Careers column offering tips and advice for provisional members of CA ANZ and younger full members. For more information on the Chartered Accountants Program, as well as inspiring stories of young chartered accountants visit www.youunlimitedanz.com now.