Overview
Professional Membership Organization

Accountants Institute® is the Professional Membership and Qualification Awarding Organization devoted to Specialist Accountants world-wide.
Over the past ten years Accountants Institute has seen a growing trend towards specializations within the Profession, and a demand from our own Members to offer greater coverage of specialist accountancy skills beyond Project and Corporate Accountancy. We are an organization of Accountants run by Accountants, and we are committed to supporting the professional needs of our Members.
Accountants around the world are required to deliver consistently successful results within organizations that are becoming exponentially more complex. Globalization, technology, government regulations, and economic changes put the profession under enormous pressure, yet Accountants are still expected to perform to a very high degree of professionalism, and clients and employers demand positive results as a minimum requirement from them.
Professional Accountants need solid support throughout their career, and Accountants Institute is committed to delivering a support infrastructure to all our Members whatever their area of specialization may be.
Our vision is to be globally the most influential Accountants Institute, providing our members with a primary resource for high-value qualifications, training, events, peer integration, and career progression.
We provide high-quality support and service to Specialist Accountants enabling them to add value to their organizations. We achieve this through technology and by engaging smart management of our resources.

Our Approach to Professional Membership & Qualification

Accountants Institute® has taken a scientific approach towards qualifications and how they relate to the professional status of modern Accountants. We have taken our existing "Recognition of Prior Learning" (RPL) policy and further developed it to include the latest andragogical advances concerning the correlation between Academic Learning and Professional Experience. Our advanced "Recognition of Prior Learning & Experience" (RPLE) policy fully accounts for all aspects of the skill set required by Professional Accountants to perform effectively within a highly demanding environment. The Accountants Institute® RPLE policy has defined a new assessment model called the "Learning and Experience Spectrum". We now use this to consider the combination of Learning and Experience achieved by Accountants applying to become a "Registered Qualified Accountant with Accountants Institute™". In addition, we apply this new policy when considering applications for all of the professional grades, which include:

  • FQA – Fellow Qualified Accountant
  • RQA – Registered Qualified Accountant
  • QAT – Qualified Accounting Technician
  • GAT – Graduate Accounting Technician

 

Each grade reflects the professional status achieved by the member, and demonstrates to employers and clients that – beyond any doubt – he or she has deservedly earned the grade through; dedicated learning, experience, hard work and achievement.

Grades of Membership
Grades of Membership

In addition to the four professional grades listed above, there is the entry grade of Affiliate Member. The five grades of membership within Accountants Institute® are explained below:

Affiliate Member (AMAI)

Professional Accountants and students considering a career as a Specialist Accountant can join Accountants Institute as an Affiliate Member. Affiliate membership is open to any adult who can be regarded as a "fit and proper person". Affiliate members are entitled to use the designation "AMAI" and describe themselves as an "Affiliate Member of Accountants Institute®". Upon completion of the registration process Affiliate members will then have access to all the facilities offered to members, which includes gaining Accountants Institute® qualifications and applying for other professional membership grades.


Graduate Accounting Technician (GAT)

The Graduate Accounting Technician is the first grade of professional membership, and the criteria for awarding this grade is significantly more involved than that for Affiliates. Graduate Accounting Technicians will typically be regarded as competently qualified to manage a set of accounting books up to and including Trial Balance. They may well be employed in various sized organisations as junior accountants, and find themselves in charge of small sections of accounting clerks in medium to large companies, or they may be self-employed book-keepers preparing the basic accounts for very small businesses and other self-employed persons. Achievement at this level reflects the ability to identify and use relevant understanding, methods and skills to address problems that are well defined but complex and non-routine. It includes taking responsibility for overall courses of action as well as exercising autonomy and judgement within fairly broad parameters. It also reflects understanding of different perspectives or approaches within an area of study or work. Graduate Accounting Technicians must have achieved a minimum combination of Learning & Experience totalling at least 3,200 Spectrum Hours before they can be awarded the "GAT Graduate Accounting Technician with Accountants Institute" Professional Membership Qualification.


Qualified Accounting Technician (QAT)

Qualified Accounting Technicians are regarded as more senior than Graduate Accounting Technicians and will be further qualified in their Learning & Experience. They may typically find themselves employed in various sized organisations as more experienced junior accountants, perhaps in charge of small departments, or specialising in particular reporting roles. Again, they may be self-employed book-keepers, perhaps employing other book-keepers within their business, and preparing the basic accounts for small businesses and other self-employed persons. Achievement at this level reflects the ability to identify and use relevant understanding, methods and skills to address broadly-defined, complex problems. It includes taking responsibility for planning and developing courses of action as well as exercising autonomy and judgement within broad parameters. It also reflects understanding of different perspectives, approaches or schools of thought and the reasoning behind them. Qualified Accounting Technicians must have achieved a minimum combination of Learning & Experience totalling at least 6,400 Spectrum Hours before they can be awarded the "QAT Qualified Accounting Technician with Accountants Institute" Professional Membership Qualification.


Registered Qualified Accountant (RQA)

The Registered Qualified Accountant is a Fully Qualified Professional Accountant operating at the professional level. They are more senior than Qualified Accounting Technicians and are competently qualified to manage the financial and management aspects of organisations of all sizes. They may typically find themselves employed in large organisations in business critical positions of great importance or working as consultants specialising in all aspects of accounting matters. Achievement at this level reflects the ability to refine and use relevant understanding, methods and skills to address complex problems that have limited definition. It includes taking responsibility for planning and developing courses of action that are able to underpin substantial change or development, as well as exercising broad autonomy and judgement. It also reflects an understanding of different perspectives, approaches or schools of thought and the theories that underpin them. Registered Qualified Accountants must have achieved a minimum combination of Learning & Experience totalling at least 9,600 Spectrum Hours before they can be awarded the "RQA Qualified Accountant with Accountants Institute®" Professional Membership Qualification.


Fellow Qualified Accountant (FQA)

The Fellow Qualified Accountant is a Fully Qualified Professional Accountant operating at the Strategic level. They are more senior Registered Qualified Accountants and are competently qualified to manage the financial, management, and strategic aspects of organisations of any size. They may typically find themselves employed in large organisations in business critical positions normally at board level or working as partners and senior consultants specialising in all aspects of accounting and business matters. Achievement at this level reflects the ability to reformulate and use relevant understanding, methodologies and approaches to address problematic situations that involve many interacting factors. It includes taking responsibility for planning and developing courses of action that initiate or underpin substantial change or development, as well as exercising broad autonomy and judgement. It also reflects an understanding of relevant theoretical and methodological perspectives, and how they affect their area of study or work. Fellow Qualified Accountants must have achieved a minimum combination of Learning & Experience totalling at least 15,600 Spectrum Hours before they can be awarded the "FQA Qualified Accountant with Accountants Institute®" Professional Membership Qualification.


How to Become a Qualified Accountant

Becoming a Registered Qualified Accountant with Accountants Institute® is relatively straight forward, and providing that you can demonstrate the required combination of learning & experience you will have confirmation of your successful acceptance within a few days. The process is the same for all Professional Membership Grades.

Step 1 – Register

The first step is to register as an Affiliate Member. You can do this on-line and it only takes a few minutes. As an Affiliate Member you will then have access to the Accountants Institute® Members Access Portal (MAP), which you will use to build up your RPLE profile – prior to making your application to be registered as a Qualified Accountant.

Step 2 – Assemble Your Evidence

Building your RPLE profile on MAP is straight forward, and you can take as long as you need to do so. You will need to have scanned copies of any documents you wish to use as supporting evidence for your application. The documents must include your CV, and should include evidence that supports any relevant academic qualifications that you have gained. In addition, if you have evidence that can support your work experience as an accountant then you should include that also. You will need to provide legitimate referees that can directly attest to the validity of your Experience.

Step 3 – Complete the Application

The application process on MAP is easy to follow and there is plenty of help and assistance. The process is split up into a number of sections that allow you to; upload evidence, construct your Learning Profile, and construct your Experience Profile. When you are ready to make your submission you can run a validation, which will help you to identify any problems before you make a committed application. You can run the validation as often as you wish to ensure that you are ready to submit.

Step 4 – Submit the Application for Assessment

When you are confident that your application is complete – and contains all the relevant evidence and information concerning your career to date – you should submit it for assessment. Selecting the submit button will run a final validation, and if all is ok you will be taken to the payment screen where you can pay the assessment fee. As soon as the payment process is completed a receipt will be sent to you with a confirmed submission report. At the same time validation requests will be sent to the references that you have listed to support your application.

What Happens Next?

When we receive your application it will be immediately allocated to a Membership Assessor – within our Membership Assessment Team – who will run a preliminary validation and "sanity check" on your application. The application will then be scheduled for assessment. Ordinarily assessments are commenced within a few days after the application is received, and the majority are completed within a day or two. After we receive the validation confirmations from your listed references the assessment will be Quality Assured by our Membership Director, and the award of membership or refusal will be compiled. In the vast majority of cases, applicants are awarded the Professional Membership Qualification that they are seeking, and they will receive the Award Offer, a copy of the Assessment Report, and an invoice for the first year membership fee. After you pay your membership fees your secure membership documents will be dispatched to you – by Recorded Airmail – within a few days.

Professional Membership Standards: IFAC®
Although not a member, Accountants Institute® Supports the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC®) ethos and is committed to its broad objective of developing and enhancing a coordinated worldwide accountancy profession with harmonised standards.
Accountants Institute® has defined standards of professional conduct and competence for all Members. We have adopted IFAC´s Code of Ethics in its entirety in order to provide our Members with a clear set of guiding principles to abide by. The Code of Ethics provides a set of objectives and fundamental principles that Members can work by and should adhere to. Members can apply them to their own situations and circumstances to ensure that they maintain their competence as Qualified Accountants.

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