I have group of friends from University who've gone into a variety of "professions" such as chartered accountant, solicitors, doctors, IT consultants, engineers and vets.
Talking to a solicitor friend recently I asked "knowing then what you know now would you still go into law". The answer was emphatically no! Because the rewards do not match the risks and efforts required.
A friend who is an IT consultant (albeit a very good one) earns £1,500 a day does not pay membership fees, does not pay PII, has no governing body, did not have to study professional qualifications, does not need to do CPD.
As a Chartered Accountant the reward is simply not commensurate to the responsibilities and the associated risks. The term Chartered has been diluted to mean any old cra*. At Christmas I returned to the village where I grew to visit family. I bumped into the mother of an old friend, when I asked what her daughter was doing she said she was a Chartered Accountant. Who did she train with? I asked. South Hampton Council was the answer. Really, I wasn't aware you can train with a council?On no she's a CIPFA. Says it all.
Despite only ICAEW and ICAS being entitled to use the Chartered designation it seems everybody uses the term now. The problem is not limited to dubious accountancy bodies fraudulently using the Chartered term but the general over use of the term Chartered. The Chartered institute of marketing? the Chartered institute of environemental health? What next the chartered institute of toilet cleaners? Add to this the fact "accountant" in the UK is an unprotected term makes an absolute nonsense of the profession.
The profession (and I use the term very loosely) is not in a good place and needs a major overhaul to protect itself and to move forward into a global era.