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Why become an ICAEW Chartered Accountant?

ICAEW is an international professional body for chartered accountants. We run the globally-recognised ACA qualification, enabling those interested in a career in finance to become an ICAEW Chartered Accountant, and we provide ongoing support to our students and members throughout their careers.

ICAEW at a glance

  1. 158,000 members

    ICAEW has close to 158,000 members working in 147 countries.

  2. 31,600 students

    ICAEW has more than 31,600 students currently training for the ACA and ICAEW CFAB qualifications around the world.

  3. 5,000 employers

    There are over 5,000 organisations that are ICAEW authorised training employers and offer ACA training contracts.

Who we are

ICAEW stands for the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. Founded in 1880, ICAEW has been helping its members pursue successful careers in the finance industry for more than 130 years. 

We are a world leader in accountancy, supporting more than 189,500 ICAEW Chartered Accountants and students in 147 countries around the world.

We are considered a leader in the accountancy and finance profession due to our robust qualification programmes, our expert technical knowledge and the wide ranging senior roles our members hold.

We help talented individuals develop the knowledge, skills and experience they need to perform at the highest level in accountancy, finance and business.

Why a career as an ICAEW Chartered Accountant is more than you’d imagine

We asked our members at Amnesty International about the ACA qualification, why they chose to pursue it and what benefits they thought it would bring to their career.


of FTSE 100 companies have an ICAEW Chartered Accountant on their board

(Source: ICAEW member data and FTSE 350 data at December 2019)

Becoming an ICAEW Chartered Accountant

The title ‘chartered accountant’ can only be used by those who have met the requirements of the ICAEW’s ACA qualification.

To qualify students must undertake a minimum of three years on-the-job training, pass a series of rigorous examinations and commit to continuing professional development. 

This means that ICAEW Chartered Accountants are highly sought after, commanding higher salaries than those with other accountancy qualifications.

We work with more than 5,000 authorised training employers (ATEs) internationally to provide ACA students with the work experience they need to qualify as an ICAEW Chartered Accountant.

Stay up to date

If you're interested in becoming a chartered accountant, ICAEW sends regular newsletters about potential job opportunities, how you can secure a training agreement and news to help you through the recruitment process, as well as highlighting forthcoming events. Sign up here.


What do ICAEW Chartered Accountants earn?


Learn about finance, accounting and business

If you are interested in learning more about how businesses operate and a grounding of finance before you start the full ACA qualification, ICAEW offers its Certificate in Finance, Accounting and Business (ICAEW CFAB).

ICAEW CFAB is a globally-recognised qualification in finance, accounting and business. It is formed of the first six exam modules of the ACA and covers topics including assurance, law and tax.

The exams can be completed in any order and are assessed via computer-based assessment at a local exam-centres.

ICAEW CFAB can be achieved in 12 months and many people then move on to complete the full ACA and qualify as an ICAEW Chartered Accountant.

Find more about ICAEW CFAB

ICAEW CFAB is a qualification on its own, but it’s also a stepping stone to the ICAEW Business and Finance Professional (BFP) designation.

BFP provides you with professional status, recognises your achievements and supports you with your development as you progress in your career.

By gaining the designation, and adding the BFP letters to your name, you demonstrate your ability to stay up to date in your profession, and show a strong understanding of ethics and a commitment to professional development.

You can start your journey to BFP and complete the requirements while studying for ICAEW CFAB, or once you complete it.

Find out more about BFP

What we do

ICAEW does:

  • Deliver world-leading qualifications and professional development programmes to ensure the highest professional standards.
  • Promote, develop and support ICAEW Chartered Accountants throughout their careers.
  • Share expertise to advance the accountancy and finance profession. 
  • Support schools, colleges and universities by sharing knowledge around accountancy, finance and business.

ICAEW is not:

  • An accountancy firm – although we authorise them to train our ACA students.
  • A college – although we work with many around the world to give students and insight into accountancy.
  • A university – although we work with them to support students interested in a career in accountancy.
  • A charity – although our members lead some of the world’s largest charities.


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