Taking Your Accounting Career to the Next Level: Critical Certifications to Attain

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As the demand for accounting and finance professionals in Australia arises, getting ahead with an accounting certificate (CPA, ACCA, or CMA) is becoming more and more desirable. What are the most creditable certifications up-to-date, and what different advantages do they bring? Keep reading to find out.   

Certified Public Accountant (CPA) 

CPA is a globally recognised certificate granted by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). The CPA program aims to deliver practicality and the essential soft skills to deal with real world challenges. Graduates from this program will develop technical accounting skills, commercial awareness, communicative skills and problem-solving skills.  

To be eligible for the program, candidates must have a tertiary qualification. The CPA certification includes 12 papers which can be completed in any order. As course content can be challenging, candidates are encouraged to take mock tests first before proceeding to take the real test. Graduates from the CPA program can pursue a career as an audit accountant, tax examiner, or a business systems analyst.  

Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)

Certified by one of the largest accountancy organisations ACCA, this qualification can help you stand out when looking for job opportunities or advancement in your career. The ACCA program covers in-depth theory and practice within a variety of areas, such as financial accounting, taxation, audit and financial management.  

Candidates are required to pass all 12 of ACCA’s papers to attain the qualifications, after which they can pursue higher studies or career paths for accountants. The ACCA program accepts a wider range of academic background compared to CPA and CMA, and differs depending on each state. To find out if you are eligible, head to ACCA’s Global website.  

The ACCA qualification also recognises credits from other tertiary programs and allows credited students to be exempt from subjects with overlapping content.  

Certified Management Accountant (CMA)

Issued by the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA), CMA is an internationally recognised credential often held by decision-makers in a company or organisation. Those who successfully attain the certificate demonstrates outstanding critical accounting, financial planning and analysis skills. 

Prerequisites of the CMA program include a tertiary degree and two consecutive years in financial management or management accounting. While the CMA and CPA qualifications overlap in certain exam topics, CMA is considered more practical and applicative with concepts that are tested in the CPA exams. Graduates from the CPA program usually obtain higher manager or executive roles within a business such as financial risk manager, chief financial officer, or management accountant. 

Edvantage Institute of Australia (EIA) offers a Bachelor of Accounting course that is accredited by ACCA and CPA. The completion of the Bachelor of Accounting course at EIA allows graduates to apply for exemptions from the fundamental level courses (F1-F9) of the ACCA program and proceed with the Professional Level papers required for Affiliate membership status. Furthermore, our Bachelor of Accounting program also leverages students to become eligible for CPA Australia membership admissions given they pass required subjects. 

EIA’s Bachelor of Accounting program provides students with the solid foundation required to progress with higher accounting certifications. This spans from understanding of theoretical concepts (such as finance, auditing, business law and taxation), to applying that knowledge to communicate and collaborate effectively in a business setting. To know more about EIA’s Bachelor of Accounting program, enquire directly or via your agent.  

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