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'Qualified by experience' is not enough for a Finance leadership career

By Andy Burrows

When people ask me about careers in Finance, one of the questions that comes up regularly is whether you have to be a qualified accountant to get a good Finance role.

So, I thought I’d share the advice I normally give.

Of course, these are my own personal opinions based on over 25 years in the Finance and Accounting profession, having been on both sides of the recruitment equation many times.

I’d love to hear your own perspective, so please comment wherever there is opportunity.

Every country is different

And I’d better start with a caveat up front.

I’m based in the UK, and therefore my experience is mainly drawn from the UK, where there are three main accounting professional bodies – the ICAEW, ACCA and CIMA. The most common route into Finance and Accounting here starts with passing exams set by one of those three bodies. When you pass them all, you are ‘qualified’ and you are allowed to use letters after your name...

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