UK Accountant Salary

The pandemic has given many of us the opportunity to reflect on our lives and consider how we can enhance our careers. Pursuing a top certification for accountants in London could be your key to a more successful and financially rewarding professional journey. If you find yourself with extra time, especially if you’re not commuting to the office, why not invest it in studying for one of these top Certifications for accountants?

Whether you opt for the gold standard in accounting, the CPA (Certified Public Accountant), or choose a more specialized path like auditing, financial services, information technology, fraud examination, or forensic accounting, obtaining a certification in finance and accounting is often a crucial step towards achieving greater career heights in top accounting firms in London.

Gaining advanced knowledge in your specific field not only makes you more proficient but also showcases your dedication, motivation, and commitment to your current and potential future employers. Additionally, earning a certification significantly enhances your chances of securing promotions, salary increases, and bonuses.

However, it’s essential to approach the certification process with careful consideration. The investment of both time and money required for certification is substantial. Depending on the certification you pursue, it can entail costs amounting to thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours of dedicated preparation.

What are Accounting Certifications? Top Certifications for Accountants

Accounting certifications serve as badges of expertise in particular niches within the accounting field or as acknowledgments of specific skills. These certifications hold varying degrees of importance for top accounting firms and are valuable for different purposes. In some accounting positions, having a specific certification is mandatory. 

For instance, only professionals holding the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) credential are authorized to sign audit reports. On the other hand, some top Certifications for accountants offer opportunities to acquire new skills, transition into specialized roles, and make a strong impression during the hiring process.

These certifications can be granted by industry regulatory bodies, overseen by the IRS (Internal Revenue Service), or administered by specific educational institutions. They not only enhance your knowledge but also open up doors for career advancement. 

Whether you’re looking to specialize or stand out in your accounting career, pursuing the right certification can be a strategic move.

What Benefits Do Certifications Give Accountants

When it comes to top Certifications for accountants, the advantages extend far beyond a boost in your paycheck. While higher earning potential is undoubtedly appealing, there are numerous other perks to consider. Let’s delve into why earning accounting certifications can be a game-changer for your career and professional growth.

  1. Increased Pay: It’s no secret that certified accountants often command higher salaries. Employers recognize the value of these credentials and are willing to compensate accordingly. For instance, certified public accountants (CPAs) tend to earn significantly more than their non-certified peers, with average annual salaries of around $77,000 compared to $50,646 for accountants without certifications, as reported by PayScale.
  1. More Career Mobility: Certain positions, especially those at higher levels or in management, require candidates to hold specific certifications. Whether it’s the certified management accountant (CMA) credential or others, certifications open doors to specialized roles in areas like fraud examination, financial forensics, or auditing without the need for additional degrees, they expand your career horizons.
  2. Enhanced Work Performance: Earning a certification involves completing rigorous courses and exams. These programs not only build on your existing knowledge but also introduce new financial strategies, professional techniques, and concepts. Continuing education coursework sharpens your existing skills, empowering you to excel in your current job and take on more complex tasks.
  1. Embrace Lifelong Learning: The journey of a certified professional doesn’t end with certification; it’s a lifelong commitment to learning. Maintaining your certification often requires ongoing education and staying up-to-date with industry regulations. This commitment not only keeps you professionally relevant but also provides personal fulfillment through continuous learning.
  2. Join a Professional Community: Many professional organizations require accountants to become members as a prerequisite for pursuing certifications. These associations offer invaluable resources, including networking opportunities, educational materials, access to industry publications, and exclusive job boards. Being part of such a community can significantly enhance your career prospects and keep you well-connected within your field.

Types of Accounting Certifications

In the world of accounting, certifications can be your ticket to a more successful and financially rewarding career. They demonstrate your expertise in specialized areas and open doors to various opportunities. Let’s explore some of the top accounting certifications and how they can enhance your career.

1. Certified Public Accountant (CPA)

Median advertised salary: $86,400

A CPA is often considered the gold standard in accounting. It’s a highly respected professional license that covers a wide range of accounting functions, including tax preparation, financial statements, financial planning, forensic accounting, and internal auditing. 

Only CPAs can perform certain functions, such as auditing publicly traded companies. This certification is particularly valuable in public accounting, finance, government, and compliance.

2. Certified Internal Auditor (CIA)

Median advertised salary: $100,200

CIA certification is globally recognized and focuses on internal auditing within organizations. CIAs ensure financial records are accurate, compliant, and uncover any errors or fraud. While it covers some similar functions to CPA certification, it is more specialized in audit processes within organizations.

3. Certified Management Accountant (CMA)

Median advertised salary: $74,600

The CMA designation signifies proficiency in accounting and expertise in strategic financial management topics like reporting, budgeting, and risk management. It’s an excellent choice if you aim to move into management or leadership roles.

4. Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE)

Median advertised salary: $86,400

CFE certification prepares professionals to detect and investigate financial crimes and fraudulent activities. Fraud examiners conduct forensic audits, analyze financial records, and may work with law enforcement agencies. This certification is valuable in both the private sector and government positions.

5. Enrolled Agent (EA)

Median advertised salary: $89,000

Enrolled Agents are certified to prepare tax returns and represent taxpayers before the IRS, helping resolve tax-related issues. EAs work with individuals, businesses, and organizations that file taxes.

6. Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)

Median advertised salary: $116,100

CISA certification qualifies professionals to audit, control, and assess IT and business systems. It’s ideal for those interested in working in a more technical context.

7. Certified Government Financial Manager (CGFM)

Median advertised salary: $70,400

The CGFM certificate demonstrates expertise in government-specific accounting, auditing, financial reporting, internal controls, and budgeting practices. It’s tailored for roles in local, state, and federal government agencies.

Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA)

Median salary: $69,900

CGMA is a globally recognized designation that showcases management accounting skills needed for high-level positions in business or government. It encompasses financial accounting, operations, strategy, and management best practices. Each of these certifications has its unique requirements and benefits. 

Pursuing the right one can significantly boost your career prospects and earning potential. However, keep in mind that certification requires dedication and effort, both in terms of time and preparation.

Additional Top Certifications for Accountants

In addition to the well-known accounting certifications, there is a diverse array of specialized credentials that recognize specific skills and expertise in various facets of the accounting industry. These certifications can help you stand out and excel in specific niches. 

Let’s take a closer look:

  • Accredited Payables Manager (APM): Offered by the Institute of Finance & Management (IOFM), the APM credential covers accounts payable fundamentals, best practices, compliance, and management.
  • Accredited Payables Specialist (APS): Also provided by IOFM, the APS certification demonstrates competency in accounts payable fundamentals, best practices, and compliance.
  • Accredited Receivables Specialist (ARS): This credential, offered by IOFM, showcases proficiency in accounts receivable fundamentals, best practices, and compliance.
  • Certification of Competency in Business Analysis (CCB): Awarded by the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA), this certification reflects a business analysis practitioner’s expertise in handling large, complex projects.
  • Certified Accounts Payable Professional (CAPP): Recognizing skills required for a supervisory role in accounts payable, this certification is granted by the Institute of Financial Operations.
  • Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP): The CBAP credential acknowledges professionals with extensive business analysis experience and is awarded by the IIBA.
  • Certified Compliance and Ethics Professional (CCEP): Sponsored by the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics, this certification recognizes expertise in compliance processes, legal obligations, and organizational ethics.
  • Certified Government Auditing Professional (CGAP): Sponsored by the IIA, this certification acknowledges expertise in government auditing requirements.
  • Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA): Awarded by ISACA, the CISA credential demonstrates proficiency in information systems control, security, and auditing.
  • Certified Information Technology Professional (CITP): Recognizing professionals who specialize in information security, cyber risks, IT governance, and more, this certification is awarded by the AICPA.
  • Certified Payroll Professional (CPP): Sponsored by the American Payroll Association (APA), this credential recognizes expertise among payroll professionals.
  • Certified Quality Auditor (CQA): Accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), the CQA credential acknowledges skills in analyzing quality systems and ensuring compliance.
  • Certified Regulatory and Compliance Professional (CRCP): Recognizing expertise in the practical application of securities laws and regulations, this program is administered by the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University.
  • Investment Adviser Compliance Certification Professional (IACCP): Sponsored by the NRS and Investment Adviser Association (IAA), this credential recognizes expertise in investment compliance.
  • Personal Financial Specialist (PFS): Sponsored by the AICPA, this certification acknowledges a CPA’s proficiency in personal financial planning.

Certified Accountant vs Accountant

An accountant usually possesses a bachelor’s degree in accounting, while a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) is an individual who has obtained their CPA license through a comprehensive process involving education, practical experience, and a rigorous examination.

A Certified Public Accountant (CPA) is distinct from an accountant, despite both roles being closely related in the field of finance. Here’s how they differ:


  • Typically holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting.
  • May or may not be licensed.
  • Generally does not have strict continuing education requirements.
  • Operates within a broader professional landscape.
  • Adheres to standard industry practices but may not have a specific code of ethics.
  • May or may not prioritize clients’ interests above all else.

CPA (Certified Public Accountant)

  • Earns a CPA license through a combination of education, experience, and a rigorous examination.
  • Is licensed by a professional governing body.
  • Must engage in ongoing continuing education to maintain their license.
  • Adheres to specific professional standards and a code of ethics.
  • Is held to a fiduciary standard, necessitating that clients’ interests always come first.


In the world of corporate finance and accounting, competition is fierce. For many Chartered Certified Accountants in London employed by the prominent Big Four accounting firms, achieving a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) designation becomes crucial to avoid hitting a career plateau early on.

An accounting firm is bidding on a consulting or client project, and they are charging a significant fee, often exceeding $200 per hour, even for relatively junior associates. 

Now, why would a potential client be willing to invest this substantial sum in that particular firm if the project is staffed with external professionals who lack the CPA credential?

Here’s the challenge: Number-crunching services are frequently viewed as a commodity. Unless you possess extraordinary insights and industry-specific relationships, you’ll find that obtaining top Certifications for accountants can significantly enhance your position in this competitive landscape.

In essence, having Accountants Preston, Accountants In Romford, Accountants MiddlesbroughAccountants Canary Wharf, Accountants In Ilford on board can be a game-changer. 

Competing Accounting Firms In Liverpool Street may swoop in and secure the contract by promising to assemble a team of several CPAs, which instills confidence in clients regarding the depth of expertise and commitment to excellence. Therefore, pursuing top Certifications for accountants not only improves your career prospects but also positions you and your firm as more attractive and trustworthy to potential clients.

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