This is going to be a relatively short post to give my opinion on a question that was raised in a recent debate I had with some of my professional colleagues in a small business gathering that we had last week in Lagos.
It is always advisable start a discussion like this by making your understanding of the subject matter clear so that your argument will be have some sorts of contextual basis. To this end, I will give some working definitions here before I go on to share my view on this.
Who is a Street Wise Accountant?
A street wise accountant is someone with a balanced mix of academic qualification and street smartness. This person does not have any professional accounting qualification but is well experienced in practical accounting skills and knowledge. He or she can prepare financial statements as per the relevant accounting standards. Some call these set of people the ‘qualified by experience’ qualified accountants.
Who is a Chartered Accountant?
A chartered accountant on the other hand is someone who has high level expertise in accounting and this expertise are back up by professional vouching by an authorized independent professional accounting body like ACCA, CIMA, ICAN or CPA. This person has proven work experience otherwise the professional accounting body will not consent to the claim he or she is making. Read what it takes to become a qualified accountant for more insight on this topic.
Street wise accountant vs Chartered Accountant | which is better?
Now that we have established a working definition for street accountant and chartered accountant, here are now my verdict on the matter.
I personally think that being a chartered accountant is better as this gives more opportunity to the holder of the qualification especially when combined with trending technological happenings in the field of accounting while at the same time building some street savviness.
I didn’t stop acquiring useful relevant knowledge when I qualified as an accountant this drive for relevant skills led me to learning to program as an accountant and becoming CISA certified as an accountant. This is to say that I will at all-time chose a hybrid accountant over someone who is just one. I will rather entrust my investments in the hands of someone with the skills and is also regulated by a professional accountancy body.
This regulation is an additional leverage that also acts as a risk management tool. Remember that for the importance of accounting to the society to be fully realized, these critical next generation accountants’ skills must be sought and acquired.