Big Four Accounting

Applying for an accounting job? Set your sights on the big four accounting firms.

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Accounting qualifications

Accounting qualifications vary from each different professional organization, but the most common qualifications for being a professional accountant are shared by most of the professional organizations, such as ACCA, or Chartered Certified Accountant. To qualify for acceptance into one of these professional organizations, one must first go through the professional scheme. The professional scheme is the primary qualification and entails up to fourteen professional examinations over three years of supervised accountancy experience. Anyone is open to take the examinations. To qualify, there must be a Bachelor of Science degree completed during the professional scheme timeframe. The subjects of the examinations include:

  • financial accounting,
  • management accounting,
  • taxation,
  • financial audit,
  • company law,
  • strategic management, and
  • information systems.

Other qualifications offered by these professional organizations include: an MBA and diplomas in international financial reporting, financial management, and international auditing.

Once a part of the organization, there are different levels of membership. The first level is an associateship. This is where an individual starts as a student and begins to complete the qualifying examinations. Then there is a fellowship where an individual is given this title by having three years of continuous membership and having documented continuing professional education. Continuing professional education is required for all accountants who are part of a professional organization. Continuing professional education is important to keep accountants sharp and to renew professional certificates and licenses. It used to only be mandatory for people who held certain licenses, but now have been extended to be mandatory for all members of a particular professional organization.

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