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After ICAEW CFAB - what's next?


Published: 27 Jan 2011 Updated: 10 Nov 2022 Update History

Employers in all sectors are increasingly asking for candidates at all levels to demonstrate that they have a good understanding of how a business really works. This is where ICAEW CFAB can help as it teaches practical skills and essential knowledge across finance, accounting and business.

A variety of career options

The ICAEW Certificate in Finance, Accounting and Business (ICAEW CFAB) can therefore help you:

  • get a new job,
  • get a promotion,
  • boost your credibility with clients or colleagues,
  • get into a variety of new career options in any area of business, and
  • understand what’s involved if you want to start your own business or take over the running of the family business.

Many students have also found that having completed ICAEW CFAB, it has given them:

  • more confidence when speaking with banks, mortgage companies etc, and
  • greater confidence in dealing with their own finances including an understanding of how to approach self-assessment tax forms, budgeting and more.

As an entry route to chartered accountancy

ICAEW CFAB consists of the same modules as the first level of our world-leading chartered accountancy qualification, the ACA.

So, you could study ICAEW CFAB as part of your journey towards a stable, varied and lucrative career in chartered accountancy or any area of business. Many of the largest and most successful companies in the world are led and managed by chartered accountants. They can work anywhere across the globe and those who hold the ACA qualification from ICAEW are among some of the most respected professionals in the world.

The chartered accountancy profession is strong and ACA qualified chartered accountants earn good salaries and play key roles in every sector of the economy – from retail to travel, from sports to fashion and from manufacturing to advising governments around the world.

ICAEW CFAB and ACA – what’s the difference

ICAEW CFAB: The ICAEW Certificate in Finance, Accounting and Business (ICAEW CFAB) consists of six exams which cover the essentials in finance, accounting and business. There are no compulsory work experience requirements linked to gaining ICAEW CFAB. Completion of this certificate-level qualification does not entitle the student to call themselves an ICAEW member and it does not provide the student with any designatory letters after their name. ICAEW CFAB can serve as a stand-alone qualification or as an entry route into the ACA qualification because it is the same exam modules as the first level of the ACA.

ACA: The ACA consists of four integrated components:

  • 450 days of practical work experience
  • 15 exams – providing an in-depth understanding of business, finance and accounting
  • Professional scepticism and ethics
  • Professional skills development requirements – gained through on-the-job training

All of these elements must be completed while the student is working in an ACA training agreement within an organisation that is approved by ICAEW to train ACA students. It is essential to complete all these four components to gain the ACA qualification.

Once a student has completed all of these elements, they are able to gain membership and qualify as an ICAEW Chartered Accountant. They are then entitled to use the ACA designatory letters after their name.

ICAEW Certificate in Insolvency

Recognised in the UK as the most flexible learning programme of its kind, the ICAEW Certificate in Insolvency provides a broad understanding of key insolvency principles, covering four key areas

  • Legal and Regulatory Framework for Insolvency - English Law
  • Concepts and Principles of Insolvency
  • Corporate Insolvency
  • Personal Insolvency

With effect since 2016, the certificate is delivered online – through live interactive classes with our learning partner BPP.

Current ICAEW CFAB students do not have to pay the registration fee to study the ICAEW Certificate in Insolvency.

Business and Finance Professional (BFP) designation

Once you have completed the ICAEW CFAB qualification, you are eligible to apply for our Business and Finance Professional (BFP) designation.

The designation acts as a recognition that you have gained the essential knowledge, skills and experience necessary for a successful career in business and finance. As a Business and Finance Professional you will benefit from ongoing support and advice from ICAEW, as well as from a variety of resources that will support you in the journey of your professional and personal development.

ICAEW CFAB has given me a boost. With this qualification I have more credibility when talking to clients.


After a year of studying CFAB, I can actually see the bigger picture of the business world. I believe CFAB is my next ticket for my journey into the competitive business world.