Accounting Institutes & The Job Search (Part I)

Accounting Institutes & The Job Search (Part I)

It is striking when I speak and meet up with job-seekers in the Accounting & Finance sector that hardly any use the websites of the relevant Accounting bodies to help with their job search. In fact, I can honestly say no one has ever told me they have used the resources of their association to help them.

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As we have discussed a lot over the last year on Approachthemarket.com, there are other places you can look for jobs and career support beyond specialised finance recruiters or internet job boards. Some of the most under-utilised places like a professional association website can also be the most valuable, as many are free for employers to advertise, there are career guides available on some of them, and all the jobs posted are going to be relevant to you – they only have accounting jobs.  For anyone in the Accounting field who is a member of ACA, CIMA, ACCA, AAT, AIA, CIPFA and others, this post will hopefully help in some way.

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As in most professions, there is more than one body to which you can become a member and Finance is no different. Below I list some of the most recognisable institutes which people may be members of, and where possible, links to the resources they offer to job seekers. Some of the larger ones have their own career pages which contain roles specific to the members they represent, whilst others take links from accountancy job boards and recruiters so you can access jobs in one place.  If you know of any other sites I have missed here, please let me know as I think this is an untapped resource that not many are aware of, or indeed use to their full benefit:

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Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) – To some, this is the crème de la crème professional body, and many employed in the Top4 Accounting Firms are members of this Institute. Founded in 1880, it has a membership approaching 137,000 and the website offers a wide range of special reports for the job seeker including how to manage your career in business, and personal development articles to help your career succeed. They have their own comprehensive careers page where you can browse jobs by category, location and salary

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Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) One of the largest and fastest growing Accountancy bodies, which currently has 147,000 members across 170 countries.  Achieving full membership allows you to use ACCA after your name, and if a Fellow of the Association, FCCA.  For UK job seekers, the ACCA website does have useful tools including a salary/benefits guide, career development programmes and a member’s area to view current vacancies with employers.

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The Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland (ICAI) and Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS) target those studying Chartered Accountancy, and whilst not as large as the UK Institute, do offer a range of benefits to those who are job hunting.  Ireland has a current membership of 20,000 and has a vacancy list page on its own website, and a worthwhile careers support service for members. The ICAS has a more comprehensive website for its members, and they also have a separate job website www.carecruitment.com.  Members of these Institutes should also check the ICAEW website for other job opportunities, as there are many more roles available to which they could also apply.

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Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) is the body for UK Public Service accountants, and you will find CIPFA members in National Audit offices or in major governmental departments where public money needs to be effectively managed. Whilst there are only 14,000 members and much smaller than some of the others, I was very impressed with their website as it is not only very informative with articles around what drives public policy, advice for public sector employers, but they also have their own job site www.pfjobs.co.uk which allows members to search by sector (eg Police, NHS, Education), location, salary and even the type of role (ie perm, contract)

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Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) is the professional body for management accountants and very prominent online, the best in my opinion of all the others. The largest in terms of membership (183,000 across 168 countries), over the last few years they have really moved ahead with their website and it is full of accounting articles, research, video clips, employer information, online polls etc.  Alongside their magazine which has its own career section, CIMA also has a wide section on career support including a careers advice section, featured employers and a separate jobs portal www.myjobs.cimaglobal.com. They currently list over 1,100 jobs and you can also receive jobs by email or set up an RSS feed.

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Association of International Accountants – not as prominent as many of the others, but founded over 80 years ago, it is recognised as a qualifying body for statutory audit purposes. I only know of a handful of people with this qualification, as most seem to take the ACA, ACCA or CIMA route and I cannot find how many members they actually have. Their website is quite basic compared to others, and AIA members are not supported very much with regards to jobs and careers unfortunately.

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Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) is the junior of the main Accounting bodies, where once qualified, you are eligible for exemptions if you go on to study CIMA or ACCA.  Set up in 1980, membership currently stands around 120,000 and whilst not as prominent as the ACA, CIMA or ACCA sites, they do have an interactive job site at www.aat-jobs.co.uk with informative job-related articles and searchable fields to find your next role.

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Next week I will be discussing some of the more specialised Accounting bodies and what they offer their members in relation to job support, including the Association of Corporate Treasurers (ACT), Institute of Credit Management (ICM), Chartered Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) and the Association of Tax Technicians (ATT).

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Best wishes

Leslie Fearn

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Leslie has over 15 years Recruitment experience helping blue-chip corporates to SME businesses recruit for their Finance teams.  As one of the founding Directors of McGinnis Loy, a Specialist HR and Finance Recruiter across the Thames Valley and London, he is still actively recruiting in the marketplace today.  Follow his helpful tweets on Twitter: @McGinnisLoy

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