Cass Business School and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales have developed a diploma designed to give charity accountants a clearer understanding of top-level financial management in the voluntary and community sector.
The year-long course will be based at Cass. For a limited period after the launch, senior finance professionals will be allowed to take a shorter, "experience-based" version of the qualification as a recognition of their achievements.
Those who successfully complete the course will be offered the opportunity to study for Cass's MSc in Charity Accounting and Financial Management.
"Accountancy professionals in all areas of business are closely scrutinised, but none more so than those working in the charity sector," said Dr Raymond Madden, director of learning and professional development at the ICAEW.
"Chartered accountants trained by the ICAEW are challenged to develop their skills and understanding of diverse sectors throughout the ACA training programme, but additional specialised training is required at different points of each person's career," he added.
Peter Gotham, chair of the ICAEW's Charity and Voluntary Sector Group, said he hoped the diploma would become a "gold standard".
He added: "The qualification recognises the skills and experience required to address a complex set of problems and enables us to provide the financial leadership needed in this sector."