Home Student & Career Tips 10 Steps on How To Become a Chartered Accountant in 2023

10 Steps on How To Become a Chartered Accountant in 2023


This article contains exclusive information on the 10 Steps on How To Become a Chartered Accountant in the year 2023. 

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Accounting, one of the noble professions and fields of study in the world today is one worth getting involved in. Individuals with distinguishable skills in business, counting, recording and bookkeeping of financial statements should consider this interesting profession. A gold mine that helps you harness full potential and capacity. However, becoming an accountant isn’t the end of the road; there’s a need to further and make advancements. Just like most professions, advanced courses and training are available to help the individual attain greater levels and improve his career. In Accounting, a good instance is striving to become a Chartered Accountant.

Who then is a Chartered Accountant (CA)?

A Chartered Accountant (CA) [1] is one who is trained with the Institute of Chartered Accountants to attain the highest level of professionalism in Accountancy upon completion of intense training, tuitions and examinations in business and Accountancy, with a commitment to a series of processes and courses aimed at achieving professional development.

Minimum Requirements to Become a Chartered Accountant

The journey to becoming a Chartered accountant doesn’t have to be a stiff and rigorous one, however, it is required of you to have a basic accounting foundation in order to be successful. You need either an accounting degree or a Professional Diploma in Accounting.

How Long Does It Take To Become A Chartered Accountant?

Most people ask this question in their bid to start off a career in Accounting. The length of time it takes to become a Chartered Accountant is dependent on what level you are in your career as an accountant. This could take about three to seven years (average). It is important for one to know the implications of this career path and the right requirements and qualifications needed to reach the status of Chartered Accountant.

Attaining the status of Chartered Accountant is a dream come true for most accountants. It not only demonstrates professional consignment and ethical obligations, it goes further to proffer more options for you in your career.

To become a Chartered Accountant or management accountant, the choice of which to go for is yours to make. This is because your choice determines the qualification or course you need to study.

The decision to become a Chartered Accountant can be a challenging decision, but it is worthwhile and indeed rewarding. The CA designation portrays you as a master in the field of accounting. This profession also exposes you to splendid job prospects, not only at the ground scale but globally, with an enticing startup salary and flexibility on the job. Chartered Accountants can also work in a wide variety of industries and organizations, ranging from the private sector to the public sector and financial businesses as well. The path to becoming a Chartered Accountant requires obtaining sound education and professional training courses from you, as well as passing the qualifying examinations excellently.

Some of the Steps to Becoming a Chartered Accountant include:

1. Acquire an Education in Chartered Accountancy

The first step to becoming a chartered accountant is choosing a path. Different paths are available for you to choose from under the umbrella of chartered accountancy. Some of which include: Chartered Certified Accountant, Chartered Public and Finance Accountant and Chartered Accountant (Audit). Depending on the emphasis on training received, the type of organization you work for, the decision to work in management or not, and so on. Give this a thought and ask yourself what kind of professional career you’d like to venture into. For instance, where will you want to work? Do you prefer private practice? Will you like to work for a profit or non-profit organization?

As you gain more experience and training, you’ll get a clearer picture of what you truly want.

2.  Get an Undergraduate degree

Enrol yourself in an accredited program that’ll run for four years. Set your mind on a degree in accounting, business, or economics. If you have one already, you shouldn’t get worried if your degree isn’t in any of these areas. However, you ought to take extra courses and classes in counting and other related courses.

Alternatively, some professional institutions may accept an accounting associate degree undergone for two years to serve as a basis for education for an intending Chartered Accountant.

3.  Take Courses in Accounting Related Subjects

If you already have an undergraduate degree in a field that isn’t related to accounting or even business, you must enrol in any of the accounting or economics classes at a college near you. These courses will include finance, accounting, taxation, auditing, and statistics.

Get enrolled in a chartered accountant preparatory and training program Most accounting programs prepare you for your career as a chartered accountant through some of the courses offered. By this program, you get educated in various areas that help you build your skills in numeracy and other aspects. Classes will be given to you on making your capabilities in skills such as financial accounting, taxation, etc. They can be offered online or in person. The curriculum for some of these courses describes the outcome of learning and how the exam courses are weighted.

4.  Get Professional Experience

This is done by applying for placement for professional experience. It is a core requirement for every Chartered Accountant to acquire a minimum of three years in professional experience with a certified employer. Usually, these employers have registered accounting or financial firms with the Chartered Accountant professional association in your area. Search for placements within you and apply them in any industry of your choice.

5.  Work for three years in your professional placement

Once you’re hired at your internship, you’ll work for about three years in this organization to gain experience. In some deployments, you are rotated through the various sections and divisions of the organization to get exposed to multiple lines of business.

6.  Submit a report stating your capabilities

As you go on in your professional training, ensure to keep track and record of your achievements. This will be submitted at the end of the three-year program, with an evaluation of your abilities.

7.  Gain extra professional experience

If you reside in a foreign country where you are not a citizen, you should get more experience in that country to qualify as a chartered accountant, using your expertise in the local environment as an added advantage.

8.  Take online practice tests

Many chartered accountancy practice tests are available for you online, although they vary from region to region. Check for those within your area and give it a try.

9.  Prepare for the qualifying exams.

Fix a schedule for your exams. At the end of each phase in your studies, a test will be conducted for you, with a final comprehensive analysis, usually done within three days.

9.1. Study effectively for the exams

Be prepared, avoid cramming, and overworking yourself. Ensure to establish a study plan, giving you plenty of study time, about a month before your review. You can also find yourself a study partner, probably someone taking the same exam with you or one who is already a chartered accountant. You may be granted education leave in some establishments to give you ample study time.

9.2. Confirm time and location for the exam

Ensure to arrive at your examination venue prepared and on time to give you time to settle and beat anxiety. Get enough rest the night before your examination. Give your body time to relax and calm down. Eat quality breakfast and fuel yourself up to help you concentrate

10.  Take the qualifying exam

The format for this exam is unique to different countries. However, you are required to attain a minimum score of 50%.

Now you’re qualified to join the professional field and register as a chartered accountant, having met the requirements.


[1] Green, N. (n.d.). What’s the difference between an accountant and a chartered accountant? Unbiased.co.uk. Retrieved November 29, 2023, from https://www.unbiased.co.uk/discover/tax-business/running-a-business/what-s-the-difference-between-an-accountant-and-a-chartered-accountant

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