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self study aca/acca/cima???

Discussion in 'Accounts & Finance' started by lio, Feb 18, 2008.

  1. lio

    lio UKBF Regular Free Member

    Posts: 1 Likes: 0
    I am a recent mature graduate and am looking to start a career in accountancy. I have little or no direct relevant work or academic experience however I am more than numerically competent. Could anyone advise me if it would be worth my while embarking on self study towards aca/acca/cima and would potential employers look more favourably upon my application, or is it a waste of time starting studying until I have (hopefully!!) secured an accounting position? Any help would be gratefully received!!
  2. James Poulter

    James Poulter UKBF Regular Free Member

    Posts: 28 Likes: 0
    I don't know the exact costs, but studying an ACA is not cheap, right?

    If I was you I would dedicate my time preparing to ace interviews/tests/assessment centres that are the selection criteria for your future employers. There are a lot of accountancy firms out there, you can even afford to practice on a few.
  3. Jenni384

    Jenni384 UKBF Regular Full Member

    Posts: 4,812 Likes: 1,528
    To qualify with one of the Chartered bodies, you will have to demonstrate a length of work experience as well as passing all the exams. With this in mind, it's probably best to get a job in accountancy with a firm who will support you through your training.
    I would have thought some job adverts will say 'study supported' or similar.
    I wouldn't have thought putting yourself through study (which is much harder) would gain you much in the employment stakes, but 'shop around' with local firms and see what's on offer in general before committing to anything.

    Good luck.
  4. KidsBeeHappy

    KidsBeeHappy UKBF Regular Full Member

    Posts: 7,358 Likes: 1,580
    Best way to study for any of these is as part of a graduate intake.

    Now is a really good time to be thinking about this, as the accountancy firms are filling their graduate programmes for start in August 2008.

    Look at the sites for the big companies, and also apply to the larger local companies. These companies routinely take on graduates every year into a proper programe where your study is supported and paid for as part of your remuneration package.

    They will also ensure that you get the right balance of work experience to support your training and qualifications.

    The big 4 (or whatever they are now) are just as keen to take on mature graduates, as they are the younger ones. The smaller firms sometimes more so, as they know you have work experience and an older, more mature, work ethic.

    Go back to your university careers section, as they should have lots of information about firms looking to recruit (they call it the "milk round") into their graduate programmes.

    It is a good way to go. The training and experience and support you get this way will set you up well for any long term career in business, even if you decide after qualifying that you don't want to be an accountant.

    If you want any further help let me know.

    Kind regards
    Sandra
  5. Philip Hoyle

    Philip Hoyle UKBF Regular Free Member

    Posts: 1,936 Likes: 985
    The only thing I would do before getting a job would be to enrol on a book-keeping or accounting course at your local college of FE. That would be fairly cheap and easy to do and you would be more valuable to a potential employer if you knew the basics of book-keeping. In any training position, you will start at the bottom and work up, so any training you undertake on your own needs to be at the lower levels.
  6. Neilh

    Neilh UKBF Regular Free Member

    Posts: 79 Likes: 6
    Hi

    I work in accountancy (AAT qualified and on final stage of CIMA). I did home study for AAT (with a revision course for a retake of a paper) and now attend courses for CIMA (was at BPP today!). Self study is a lot more time consuming as you tend to learn at a faster rate having a lecturer on a presented course. Also, ACA is only available through thaught courses with BPP, Kaplan Financial (used to be FTC) and Reed Business School and you can only take the final papers when you are in the third year of a training contract. ACCA and CIMA are available through home study but I would recommend a taught course (particulalrly for the later papers). With that in mind a job with study support would be ideal.

    Since youve recently graduated you should be in an ideal position to apply for graduate schemes. You should be able to find graduate positions with small, medium and large firms as well as with companies in industry and commerce. I would concentrate efforts on getting a job first then think about training. Recruitment agents (graduate or otherwise) should be able to help but there is a lot you can do for yourself, such as contacting accountancy firms directly.

    Hope things go well
    Neil
  7. Stephen Berry

    Stephen Berry UKBF Regular Free Member

    Posts: 1,755 Likes: 282
    I declare a bias - I'm an FCMA - but would suggest CIMA as a good route. ACA is very audit based and you don't want to end up working for an audit firm unless you want personality transplant operation (phase I - personality 'out' - then never get around to phase II). ACCA is marketing heavily, but I dont see the long term relevance of a public sector body (all the institutes should merge anyway - egos just prevent what is a common sense merger).Grads will get exemptions.
    key question - what do you see ourself doing in the future?
    Auditor? - do ACA
    Public sector? Do CIPFA or ACCA
    In industry? - do CIMA
  8. Nick_rama

    Nick_rama UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 10 Likes: 0
    Hi...I would really appreciate any advice anyone can give me with regards to my situation.

    I am currently in my 3rd year of university and studying Accounting and Finance. I love the course, however i have struggled in a few exams have calculated realistically that I am in danger of getting a 2.2 (around 57%) which is short of 3% for a 2.1 classification. I really do not want to leave uni with a 2.2. I am thinking of doing my degree again because i know i could get atleast a 2.1 or a 1st. Is this a wise decision or are their still prospects out there with a 2.2 degree? I would appreciate any advise before i make any rash decisions. Thank you.
  9. KidsBeeHappy

    KidsBeeHappy UKBF Regular Full Member

    Posts: 7,358 Likes: 1,580
    What do you want to do when you leave?

    The big 4 firms will take a 2.2 if its in an unrelated discipline, however, for people studying relevant subjects they always require a 2.1. So if you are thinking big firm training, then i would say that you are unlikely to get in with a 2.2.

    How much of your qualification have you gathered already, and how much is dependent upon the final exams?

    (p.s. I did accountancy studies, and failed statistics 3 times, so I know your problems :))
  10. David Griffiths

    David Griffiths UKBF Regular Moderator

    Posts: 9,952 Likes: 3,159
    I don't think that's true these days. The syllabus for ACA and ACCA is probably very similar. Unless the training is with a large firm, and in the "audit and assurance" department, it probably won't be a large part of the work.

    Not to say that the first few months won't be as cannon fodder in the audit deparment, of course! :p
  11. elainec100@cheapaccounting

    elainec100@cheapaccounting UKBF Regular Full Member

    Posts: 13,271 Likes: 2,870
    ACA needs relevant experience with professional firm.

    When I was a 'lass' you could only get a training contract and study for this within practice.

    Also the big 4 (or 6 as it was then - a coupe have disappeared) demanded at least a 2:1 - just because they could.

    Oh those where the days ... (and she bursts into song) oh yes those were the days :D:D
  12. JD2009

    JD2009 UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 2 Likes: 1
    You can do an OU course that gives exemption for the whole of the CIMA certificate:
    open.ac.uk/oubs/programmes/accounting/accounting-certificate2/

    they also do a basic book keeping course which you get the Sage software with:
    open.ac.uk/oubs/programmes/accounting/introduction-to-bookkeeping-and-accounting/introduction-to-bookkeeping-and-accounting.php

    If you want face to face lectures your local Uni might do night classes, eg: .dmu.ac.uk/faculties/business_and_law/business/courses/pg/af_cima.jsp


    Also you dont have to become 'an accountant' doing this course, it will also give you the skills you need and an edge when applying for jobs as IT Analysts, Business Analyst, Project Manager, Manager etc.
    JD.:)
  13. Monika1111

    Monika1111 UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 1 Likes: 0
    I'm a qualified ACCA accountant. I did my ACCA studies with INSAF Business school and would recommend you to find a job and continue studies with ACCA. Because basically the broad term "accountancy" is known by employers as an skill set enabling you to work across all the accounting & finance related matters. If you went for CIMA (its syllabus more reflects like an MBA), you will not learn auditing and taxation in detail. In this way, you may not be able to perform external reporting. But, with ACCA, you can work both as an accountant reporting to external financial authorities as well as a management accountant. As simple as 123 :) With CIMA, though it's termed as "industrial", there is NO RESTRICTION one should not work in industry (in contrast to audit practice) with ACCA. Good luck to you :)
  14. mauahmed

    mauahmed UKBF Regular Full Member

    Posts: 142 Likes: 14
    ACCA (with optional Advanced Auditing) or ACA would both cover you to become an External Auditor. CIMA is good for Industry Sector. But all of these qualifications need a suitable level of work experiences for obtaining full memberships or practicing licence. By the time you achieve this you become a silver fox. :p
  15. David Griffiths

    David Griffiths UKBF Regular Moderator

    Posts: 9,952 Likes: 3,159
    Is "you" the original poster who hasn't been on this site for nearly four years? :rolleyes: