‘Qualification not necessary’

Accountancy institutes have defended the qualification process after a survey showed one in four FDs believed they didn’t need such certification to do their jobs.

This week’s Accountancy Age/ Reed Accountancy Personnel Big Question cast doubt over the relevance of UK accounting qualifications, with 26% of respondents of believing that they could do their job just as well without an accountancy qualification. The results come at a time when the institutes are suffering from a large drop in the number of student entrants.

Many FDs felt the qualification was only necessary to ‘get the job in the first place’, but had little to do with their day-to-day roles. Others felt it wasn’t necessary at all and that alternative qualifications, including MBAs, would be just as relevant.

David Ralph, FD at Parexel, a consultancy firm for the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device industries, said he is ACCA-qualified but in a US-owned business the subjects studied weren’t necessarily relevant to day-to-day business.

One FD commented: ‘Common sense is the biggest asset you can have. It has nothing to do with qualifications.’ Another responded: ‘My 1974 O-level in book keeping covers the technical demands of my job.’

Defending the survey results, Colin Davis, ACCA spokesman, said: ‘Those one in four already have the confidence to do their job as a result of completing their qualifications. It gives them a good technical background but also teaches soft skills such as people management.’

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