ICAEW CFAB: 5 Things to Know About the Leading Global Qualification

icaew cfab malaysia global prize winners
ICAEW CFAB Malaysia Global Prize Winners with top scores in respective module. Source: ICAEW SEA

The working landscape in recent years is becoming more competitive than ever before. Today, we need more than just an undergraduate degree if we intend to distinguish ourselves from our peers when applying for high-quality jobs. Although there are many ways for us to enhance our employability, one of the best ways to get ahead as a young professional is to obtain a global qualification. Enter the ICAEW CFAB.

The ICAEW Certificate in Finance, Accounting and Business (ICAEW CFAB) is a practical business qualification for those interested to work in the field of business. Since its launch, over 8,000 professionals worldwide have signed up and benefitted by using it to empower their career or business. Recognised and respected by employers across the globe, the course is ideal for anyone who is business oriented. Whether you’re kick-starting your career, setting up your own business or simply looking to develop your skills, the ICAEW CFAB will support you every step of the way.

Before you decide if this business qualification is for you, here are five things that you should know about the ICAEW CFAB.

1. Over 148 countries professionally recognise ICAEW qualifications

icaew cfab students in indonesia
ICAEW CFAB Vietnam Graduation Ceremony. Source: ICAEW SEA

ICAEW is a world-leading professional body that supports over 151,500 members and works with more than 5,000 employers across 148 countries. Not only is the ICAEW CFAB internationally recognised—its prestige helps to show employers that you are dedicated, self-motivated, ambitious and serious about your career choice. In the United Kingdom alone, 78 out of the top 100 companies ranked by the Financial Times Stock Exchange have at least one board member who is ICAEW CFAB certified.

In short, it provides fantastic opportunities for your future career. It can help you develop your finance know-how in your current role, open new career doors and maybe even achieve your next promotion.


2. A professional asset that enhances your employability and value

Having a good understanding of business, finance and accounting is highly valued in almost every role in any organisation. The ICAEW CFAB builds practical skills and knowledge that you will need in all relevant areas of business. That is exactly why your skillsets will always be in demand with a CFAB qualification.

Through six modules, you will be exposed to all functional areas of study—including business, technology and finance, management information, law, assurance and the principles of tax and accounting—all of which can enhance your business acumen to empower your career. Additionally, you will gain a certificate of achievement for every module you pass, which will come in handy to help demonstrate the new skills you have acquired as you progress.


3. The course allows you to chart your own path to completion with flexibility

icaew cfab vietnam graduation ceremony
ICAEW CFAB Students in Indonesia. Source: ICAEW SEA

Unlike other professional courses out there, the ICAEW CFAB does not confine you to a rigid academic year to pursue this business qualification. Whether you prefer to do this in a formal classroom, study online or by yourself at home, you can sign up and study for the ICAEW CFAB at any time with the help of ICAEW learning materials.

Given that most of us will either have a day job or perhaps still studying in university, this element of flexibility is particularly useful as it provides autonomy to students to chart their own learning pathway to complete the certification. While most students obtain the ICAEW CFAB within two years, there is not a set timeline, so you can go at your own pace and complete the modules in your own time.


4. A gateway to further expand your career pathway

Once you have completed the certificate, you will have gained a globally recognised qualification that shows you are equipped with the essential skills to succeed in a career in business. From there, you can either use the ICAEW CFAB as a standalone qualification or advance your professional status even further.


Pathway 1: The Business and Finance Professional (BFP)

Through a combination of work experience and the ICAEW Ethics Learning Programme, the ICAEW CFAB entitles you to be designated as an ICAEW Business and Finance Professional (BFP). This provides you with professional recognition, access to management resources and ICAEW’s global network. Additionally, it grants you the right to use the BFP letters after your name, helping you to stand out and let employers know that you possess skills, knowledge and experience that are a cut above many of your peers.


Pathway 2: The ACA Qualification

Alternatively, you can view the ICAEW CFAB as part of your journey to becoming an ICAEW Chartered Accountant, because its programme requires you to pass the same six modules in CFAB. Known as the ACA programme, the certification will equip you with one of the world’s most advanced business and finance qualifications, enabling you to expand your career opportunities in both the business and public sectors.

Whether you’re aiming to advance your career or venture into a new job, becoming an ACA will open up a variety of exciting opportunities and career progression.

Related: ‘ACA’ – Beyond The Letters After Your Name


5. Exclusive access to world-class development resources

ICAEW CFAB students and members are given exclusive access to a wide range of quality resources to support them in both their personal and professional development. From exam resources to Excel know-how and workplace skills, a variety of invaluable support and guidance is available to you while you study.

Each year, these online resources are updated alongside the learning materials. These updates reflect changes in the syllabus, legislation, finance acts and financial reporting standards.


How to obtain your CFAB and learn more about ICAEW?

Ultimately, you can study the ICAEW CFAB regardless of your study discipline or background. In fact, a significant number of the ICAEW CFAB students are from a non-accountancy background, some even from the science or arts stream!

If you’re considering taking the CFAB as your pathway to leadership and to fulfill your career aspirations in business, you can have a chat with the ICAEW team here.

Alternatively, you can reach out directly to ICAEW Malaysia at Andrew.Yew@icaew.com



Note: This article was written in partnership with ICAEW, one of the world’s leading providers of training and professional development for chartered accountants.


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