Whether you’re studying ICAEW CFAB as a standalone qualification or the first step towards the ACA, it’s a valuable addition to your CV. Here’s a reminder of why you should see it through to the end.
1 It’s a great introduction to the world of business and finance
The ICAEW Certificate in Finance, Accounting and Business (or ICAEW CFAB for short) is designed to be a flexible and practical ‘big picture’ introduction to all aspects of accounting, business and finance. Made up of six varied study modules – Accounting; Assurance; Business, Technology and Finance; Law; Management Information; and Principles of Taxation – it teaches fundamental business skills that are highly valued by employers of all kinds. As well as an understanding of all the essential aspects, you’ll gain commercial awareness of wider business issues, the factors that impact success and failure, and how to evaluate performance and monitor risk.
After a year of studying ICAEW CFAB, I can actually see the bigger picture of the business world. I believe ICAEW CFAB is my next ticket for my journey into the competitive business world.
2 It keeps your options open
As well as forming the Certificate Level of the ACA, ICAEW CFAB is a worthwhile standalone qualification. If you haven’t decided yet whether a long-term career in finance is right for you, it’s a great way to find out. If you’re thinking of applying for an ACA training agreement, completing ICAEW CFAB first can help you stand out from the crowd. It will show prospective employers that you’ve already started to gain the skills they’re looking for, and that you’re self-motivated, ambitious and committed to your career choice. You’ll be in a great position to secure a training agreement and continue your studies. If you decide not to pursue the ACA, you’ll have a valuable professional qualification to show for all your hard work, and may be eligible to apply for the internationally recognised ICAEW Business and Finance Professional (BFP) designation – all with the backing of a highly respected and world-leading professional body.
For those who haven’t decided whether they want a long-term career in finance, it gives them a flavour of what it is all about.
3 It’s valued by employers of all kinds
Almost any job in any industry these days requires an understanding of how a business works – ICAEW CFAB gives you this solid foundation and much more. Having it on your CV demonstrates that you have the essential knowledge and skills employers are looking for, and can increase the range of jobs open to you. A huge variety of people study ICAEW CFAB – journalists, HR and marketing specialists, even professional sportspeople. For each exam you pass, you’ll get a certificate that demonstrates your achievement to potential employers. And once you’ve completed all six, you’ll be awarded your ICAEW CFAB qualification certificate. Top tip: if you’re adding ICAEW CFAB to a CV or job application, list out each module and your exam score so that potential employers can clearly see your range of skills and knowledge.
I decided to study for ICAEW CFAB because I intended to apply for accounting jobs instead of going to university. I believe having ICAEW CFAB improved my job applications.
4 It might be quicker than you think
One of the main advantages of ICAEW CFAB is its flexibility. If you’re studying independently, you can choose an order and a pace that fits around your life and other commitments – particularly useful if you’re working or taking another course at the same time. The exams are delivered online on demand, which means you can sit them at any time of the week or year, and at a location that suits you, whether that’s in an exam centre or at your kitchen table. If you already have a degree or professional qualification with relevant elements of accounting, finance, business or law in it, you may even be able to apply for exemptions for some of the modules.
The modular structure of ICAEW CFAB is a sensible option for me because of the flexibility it offers in terms of planning study time for my team.
5 It’s worth the hard work
It can be hard to fit studying around your daily life, especially if you’re working full-time. However motivated you might feel at the start, it takes perseverance and an eye on the long-term gain to maintain momentum and get to the finish line. One way to stay on track is to book your exam dates in, then you’ll have deadlines to work towards. Try to spend some time each day learning the content from the learning materials, then increase your question practice the closer you get to exam day. When it comes to the exams themselves, you won’t find any new or trick questions – everything is taken from the learning materials. You’ll be given up to four attempts at each exam, so there’s time to fine-tune your skills as you go, and if things don’t go well, you can access guides to support your retake within the exam resources. On the dedicated ICAEW CFAB exam resources website, you’ll find lots of great free resources to support your studies, from sample questions and practice software to top tips from tutors and examiners. As well as demonstrating your technical proficiency, having ICAEW CFAB on your CV or job applications shows potential employers that you’re dedicated, hard-working and resilient, so keep going!
ICAEW CFAB considerably enhanced my knowledge of business and accounting and has given me an edge in my work.