Validate your financial English language skills
International Certificate in Financial English
Gain validation of your financial English language skills and contribute towards your continuing professional development
The ability to communicate in English is increasingly becoming a skill expected of today's finance professionals - particularly with the globalisation of the finance and accounting profession and the internationalisation of financial reporting standards.
Holding high-level conversations about financial and accounting matters in an international business environment requires not only a strong grasp of the general English language but also a good knowledge of specialist financial and accounting terminology and vocabulary.
Cambridge International Certificate in Financial English (Cambridge ICFE)
ACCA recognises that it is important for finance professionals to demonstrate to employers that they have the financial English skills they need to succeed in the global business arena. So ACCA has combined its expertise with that of the world-renown Cambridge ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) to develop the Cambridge International Certificate in Financial English (Cambridge ICFE).
Michael Milanovic, Chief Executive of Cambridge ESOL, said: 'People working in an international finance context need high levels of English language and an understanding of the kind of language used in a demanding, fast-moving profession. This unique exam will help the ambitious to demonstrate their skills and suitability for a successful career in international finance.'
This is a message backed up by ACCA's chief executive Allen Blewitt: 'Developments such as the advent of International Financial Reporting Standards together with the ever-increasing globalisation of finance and business means that accountancy is rapidly becoming one global profession.
'We are delighted to be working with a world-renowned institution like Cambridge and giving finance students and other people already working in the profession, whose first language is not English, the chance to improve their career prospects and international mobility by providing a test of their financial English skills - which has become the international language of finance. It will help employers operating in the international finance arena with the hiring and training of their employees, and universities with selection, placements and graduation of students. It will also be highly relevant to accountants and finance professionals around the world who have not qualified through an English-language accounting qualification and who wish to enhance their skills in financial English.'
Cambridge ICFE is designed to assess the ability to understand spoken and written English in a number of realistic contexts that accountancy and finance professionals are likely to encounter in their daily working lives.
Contributing to continuing professional development
Passing Cambridge ICFE will provide validation of ability from two leaders in international assessment whose qualifications are recognised around the world.
If studying towards Cambridge ICFE is relevant to your individual role and career aspirations, then it will contribute towards your verifiable continuing professional development (CPD) units.
A practical approach
Cambridge ICFE consists of four papers - reading, writing, listening and speaking - providing a comprehensive approach to developing financial English language skills.
The Test of Listening assesses the ability to understand spoken language including presentations, lectures, news broadcasts, discussions and interviews on finance-related issues. The Test of Speaking assesses the use of spoken English, including the candidates' ability to respond to questions and express themselves coherently on finance-related topics using appropriate language. These tests are conducted by trained oral examiners.
The Test of Reading and Test of Writing papers assess the ability to understand written texts on international accounting and auditing standards, corporate documentation, financial reports and sets of financial accounts, and to write letters, reports and proposals in an accountancy and finance context.
Like other Cambridge ESOL exams, this qualification tests real English in real contexts, not simply a range of vocabulary and grammatical structures. This means that successful performance in the exam demonstrates the ability to use English effectively, and is not simply a reflection of good exam technique and an ability to pass exams.
Although the exam is a test of English language skills, it is set within the context of finance and accountancy. A number of topic areas will be covered including, financial reporting, banking, auditing, corporate governance, cost and management accounting and acquisitions and mergers. So it will be relevant to your working environment.
Cambridge ICFE will be examined twice a year, in May and November, and the first exam session will be held on 12 May 2007. Unlike ACCA exams, students who are interested in sitting Cambridge ICFE will need to register with an authorised Cambridge ICFE exam centre.
To find out more about Cambridge ICFE and to find your nearest exam centre, visit www.financialEnglish.org or e-mail ESOLhelpdesk@ucles.org.uk for further information.
From accounting & business magazine