If you are looking for accounting practice jobs, then you need hold a strong set of qualifications that are industry-recognised and up to date. These will range from anything to foundation qualifications to continuing professional development (CPD) qualifications, depending on the number of years you have spent in practice (although bear in mind that even the most senior practitioners are bound to fulfil a certain number of CPD hours a year).
Many entrants to the profession hold a degree in accounting. This is not a prerequisite, but it can be helpful. If not, a related degree such as business studies or maths can also provide a good foundation for further studies in accounting.
There are two main professional bodies offering accounting qualifications. These are he Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA). In order to become a member of ACCA (i.e. a chartered accountant) then you need to complete the ACCA Qualification, which involves completing 14 exams. There may be some exemptions from these depending on your previous qualifications. You will also need to have obtained three years of work as an accountant.
CIMA qualifications are for those wishing to become chartered management accountants. Its exams work in a similar way to those of ACCA: the number you take depends on your previous qualifications.
Both CIMA and ACCA offer CPD courses for qualified accountants. Any CPD courses you take will cast you in a very favourable light when applying for jobs or promotion.