As the commercial world becomes more complex, accountants often need more than a university degree to climb the career ladder.
Here is a look at the top five accounting certifications for Chinese accountants.
Why invest in accounting certifications?
Recent years have seen the nature of accounting grow in complexity. The globalisation of trade, greater compliance requirements and increasing stakeholder demands for high quality financial information, have made it critical for accountants to demonstrate an understanding of complex transactions and ever-changing legal and compliance standards, while producing financial reports that are accurate and timely.
This has underpinned demand for professionals who hold accounting certifications. Plenty of industry bodies deliver formal designations, however the courses involved can demand a significant investment of your time and money. So it pays to know which accounting certifications are best-suited to your career path.
CICPA – Chinese Institute of Certified Public Accountants
The CICPA is one of China’s best-known accounting certifications, with around a quarter of a million accountants in China holding the designation.
The benefit of becoming a CICPA is that it is widely acknowledged in China. But if you plan to work internationally, or if you hope to work for a multinational company, the CICPA may not be as broadly accepted as some of the more global accounting certifications.
ACCA – Association of Chartered Certified Accountants
Becoming a Chartered Accountant can call for a major investment of your time as the coursework and exams involved are challenging. The reward is an accounting certification that is respected globally, and holders of the ACCA designation are often highly sought-after across a range of industries and sectors.
AICPA – Association of International Certified Professional Accountants
The CPA accounting certification is recognized and understood worldwide and as an AICPA, you not only gain a valuable credential, you enjoy access to a wide range of technical resources, training and networking opportunities. All of these benefits can be extremely valuable to your career as an accountant both in China and internationally.
CMA - Certified Management Accountant
The CMA accounting certification offered by the Institute of Management Accountant, confers strong professional credentials across both management accounting and financial management. It demonstrates to employers that you have proven and up-to-date skills in financial planning, analysis, decision-making and importantly, professional ethics. As with other accounting certifications, becoming a CMA does mean passing a rigorous exam and committing to ongoing continuing professional development.
CFA – Chartered Financial Analyst
The CFA accounting certification is internationally acknowledged by investment professionals. It is achieved through a program of self-study combined with work experience, and on completion, the designation demonstrates you are able to make complex investment decisions backed by access to continuing education.
To decide the accounting certification that will advance your career prospects, consider the path you would like your career to take. It also helps to look at job ads to see which certifications are preferred by different organisations. Speaking to professional recruitment specialists can also help you narrow down the choice.