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  • FIRST POST
    • David Rutherford
    • By David Rutherford 19th Apr 17, 9:12 PM
    • 1Posts
    • 0Thanks
    David Rutherford
    C.I.M.A or ACCA
    • #1
    • 19th Apr 17, 9:12 PM
    C.I.M.A or ACCA 19th Apr 17 at 9:12 PM
    Hey, was wondering if anybody on here could help me.


    I graduated with a degree in Business Management in 2010, I work for the civil service on an accounts team, its not accountancy as its customs based but we deal with processing payments.


    I want to become a Management Accountant and was initially thinking of doing the CIMA qualification, first the Certificate in Business Accounting then the Professional Qualification.
    Does anybody have experience of doing this?
    Does anyone know what jobs can I apply for whilst studying the Certificate? Or straight after?


    I do not want to start a qualification for this and not be able to apply for jobs to get the experience.


    I know I need 3 years experience in order to get Chartered Status on the professional qualification as well. How difficult is this? Is it very difficult to get a trainee position for Management Accountancy?


    I have read that doing an AAT/ACCA qualification can be more beneficial to getting to become a Management Accountant? Does anybody have any information regarding this?


    Many thanks in advance for your help


    David
Page 1
    • xapprenticex
    • By xapprenticex 19th Apr 17, 10:54 PM
    • 1,196 Posts
    • 1,104 Thanks
    xapprenticex
    • #2
    • 19th Apr 17, 10:54 PM
    • #2
    • 19th Apr 17, 10:54 PM
    best advice i can give is to get the job THEN do the qualification. Too many people out there with qualifications, no real experience and wonder why its so difficult to get a job.

    Management accounting best accessed through graduate schemes if you can get on one, lot of competition, no way are you just doing a qualifications then getting a job like that.
    • boliston
    • By boliston 19th Apr 17, 11:02 PM
    • 2,382 Posts
    • 1,960 Thanks
    boliston
    • #3
    • 19th Apr 17, 11:02 PM
    • #3
    • 19th Apr 17, 11:02 PM
    One of my workmates has just done AAT and is now looking at CIMA rather than ACCA as he specifically wants to do management accounting. I think ACCA is good if you want to work for an accountancy firm rather than for a business.
    • Timpu
    • By Timpu 20th Apr 17, 9:16 AM
    • 229 Posts
    • 274 Thanks
    Timpu
    • #4
    • 20th Apr 17, 9:16 AM
    • #4
    • 20th Apr 17, 9:16 AM
    best advice i can give is to get the job THEN do the qualification. Too many people out there with qualifications, no real experience and wonder why its so difficult to get a job.

    Management accounting best accessed through graduate schemes if you can get on one, lot of competition, no way are you just doing a qualifications then getting a job like that.
    Originally posted by xapprenticex
    ^^This. There are also 'Trainee Accountant' positions out there that will also offer training contracts in support of your CIMA studies, while giving you the experience you need.

    There are Public Finance qualifications too but I'm guessing OP wants something broader?

    On the question of comparing qualifications all I can say is I've worked within teams made up of people who have gone the ACA/ACCA/CIMA route and we all pitched in to help make sure the work was done. Having the basic knowledge is important, the rest you learn.
    • asajj
    • By asajj 20th Apr 17, 10:46 PM
    • 4,089 Posts
    • 10,172 Thanks
    asajj
    • #5
    • 20th Apr 17, 10:46 PM
    • #5
    • 20th Apr 17, 10:46 PM
    Agree with xzapprenticex and Timpu. I have worked with people who hold ACA/ACCA/CIMA and Australian CPA, US CPA etc. Very little difference.

    Get the job first and choose the qualification later.
    Also, I saw some CIMA exam questions and they were significantly easier than ACCA/ACA papers. One thing to keep in mind I guess.
    £2015 in 2015 / £2015

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    Clearing out by selling on Ebay, donating to charity etc.
    • Kynthia
    • By Kynthia 21st Apr 17, 9:51 AM
    • 4,963 Posts
    • 6,935 Thanks
    Kynthia
    • #6
    • 21st Apr 17, 9:51 AM
    • #6
    • 21st Apr 17, 9:51 AM
    I did AAT and then CIMA. I chose CIMA rather than ACCA because I looked at both qualifications, the course content, how to gain your full membership after, and whether there were any jobs I'd like to do that required you to have one of them in particular, and picked the one that suited me best. You need to do this as everyone is different.

    There are too many people out there with qualifications and no experience. It sounds like you might have some entry level experience where you are so once you are part way through your studies you should concentrate on getting a job suitable for part-qualified people.
    Don't listen to me, I'm no expert!
    • Tiggy Wiggy
    • By Tiggy Wiggy 21st Apr 17, 12:56 PM
    • 162 Posts
    • 125 Thanks
    Tiggy Wiggy
    • #7
    • 21st Apr 17, 12:56 PM
    • #7
    • 21st Apr 17, 12:56 PM
    I have been qualified ACCA for years and have never worked in practice always in industry.
    • xapprenticex
    • By xapprenticex 21st Apr 17, 6:29 PM
    • 1,196 Posts
    • 1,104 Thanks
    xapprenticex
    • #8
    • 21st Apr 17, 6:29 PM
    • #8
    • 21st Apr 17, 6:29 PM
    I dont see why not, it may not be best suited for industry but it can still work.
    • Pennywise
    • By Pennywise 21st Apr 17, 7:36 PM
    • 9,102 Posts
    • 16,502 Thanks
    Pennywise
    • #9
    • 21st Apr 17, 7:36 PM
    • #9
    • 21st Apr 17, 7:36 PM
    Really, get a trainee accountant job now. Most employers will provide a study assistance package, including provision of training materials, course fees, time off for revision, etc.

    As said above, it's very common for people to do the qualifications, often in their own time and at their own expense, and be unable to get a suitable job simply because of lack of relevant experience.

    Being a qualified accountant needs two aspects. The relevant experience is just as important as the qualifications. One without the other doesn't really cut it when there are more candidates than jobs.

    You may think it hard to give up your job and take a trainee accountant position, probably on a lower pay package, but it will pay dividends and be far better than having to take an entry level job in a few years' time when you have a piece of paper saying you've passed the exams, but you still aren't a qualified accountant due to lack of experience and can't get a qualified level job for the same reason.
    • Makkusu
    • By Makkusu 21st Apr 17, 8:27 PM
    • 86 Posts
    • 13 Thanks
    Makkusu
    It's all well and good saying get a job before a qualification but (in my opinion) accountancy is quite a competitive field at the moment for trainee positions, and industry work is harder to get into than practice, again in my opinion.

    There will be candidates stamping ACCA/CIMA students all over their CV so having chosen a path, signed up, started studying gives you an edge above others, and also shows you're serious about it. It is hard graft studying and working and employers know it, they will worry you start and don't like the lifestyle...

    The cost of doing so, very minimal, so you're better off signing up now and then any trainee position will hopefully cover the remaining costs under a study budget of sorts.

    Keep in mind that both paths are a good 3-5+ studying years alongside a full-time job, CIMA is purely industry orientated, ACCA gives you scope and flexibility... Perhaps you might meet some like-minded individuals and start your own practice with them one day, who knows, ACCA gives that flexibility.

    Hope that helps, any questions on either let me know. I've worked my way up in practice.

    Whatever route, skip AAT because you have a degree and you'll cover the essentials in either route.
    • skintpaul
    • By skintpaul 22nd Apr 17, 3:49 PM
    • 1,431 Posts
    • 12,913 Thanks
    skintpaul
    AAT is industry standard, afaik, for accounting..

    level 1 is dead easy.

    For 2 and up you would really need to be in accounts role full time, for it to be useful (and make any sense!)
    breathe in, breathe out- You're alive! Everything else is a bonus, right? RIGHT??
    • xapprenticex
    • By xapprenticex 22nd Apr 17, 4:40 PM
    • 1,196 Posts
    • 1,104 Thanks
    xapprenticex
    imo lv2 is too easy if you know how to do double entry bookkeeping.

    i started at level 3

    never met a person who did lv1
    • voodoojimi
    • By voodoojimi 25th Apr 17, 9:29 AM
    • 10 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    voodoojimi
    I started studying ACCA and applied for accountancy/finance jobs for months and months without even getting interviews - even roles that asked for NO experience! So breaking into the profession is very hard. Any Trainee Accountant roles had well over 100 applicants, I even reapplied for the same Accounts Assistant role 3 times that was never filled but never got an interview even though I met all of their Essential/Desirable criteria.

    I am a Facilities Manager so do a lot of work with budgets, procurement and invoicing so have many transferable skills; in fact, I saw in a career change article that a recommended career change for an Accountant who wanted to leave the profession was to become a Facilities Manager! Found that very ironic......
    • skintpaul
    • By skintpaul 29th Apr 17, 12:08 PM
    • 1,431 Posts
    • 12,913 Thanks
    skintpaul
    i did level 1 (free? or paid for by college), started level 2(paid for by jobcentre), but had to quit as got new job shortly after..

    getting from work to class took longer than i thought, and running from bus to class not best way to start a lesson!
    breathe in, breathe out- You're alive! Everything else is a bonus, right? RIGHT??
    • Carl31
    • By Carl31 29th Apr 17, 7:02 PM
    • 1,968 Posts
    • 4,393 Thanks
    Carl31
    Im ACCA, i work as a Financial controller in industry. I find that ACCA helps in that sort of role a lot. I tend to find my skills best suited to SME type organisatons. the ACCA qual is industry focussed, I would say IAECW/ACA is more for public practice accountants

    Although a lot of places have no preference over ACCA/CIMA a lot of the time, and often it doesnt matter, its usually the experience that goes with it that counts more, but I find CIMA is probably more found in larger multinationals with bigger and more specific FP+A teams and resources

    As someone said though, its the experience that counts, whenever i am given a CV, its the experience i look at
    • xapprenticex
    • By xapprenticex 1st May 17, 5:17 PM
    • 1,196 Posts
    • 1,104 Thanks
    xapprenticex
    I started studying ACCA and applied for accountancy/finance jobs for months and months without even getting interviews - even roles that asked for NO experience! So breaking into the profession is very hard. Any Trainee Accountant roles had well over 100 applicants, I even reapplied for the same Accounts Assistant role 3 times that was never filled but never got an interview even though I met all of their Essential/Desirable criteria.

    I am a Facilities Manager so do a lot of work with budgets, procurement and invoicing so have many transferable skills; in fact, I saw in a career change article that a recommended career change for an Accountant who wanted to leave the profession was to become a Facilities Manager! Found that very ironic......
    Originally posted by voodoojimi
    I try to stress this whenever I can, 95% of the time, some person will come here and say "I want a career change, what can I do to make lots of money please", and the first response is always, "Do [ENTER COURSE] and become a bookkeeper or accountant innit!!".

    I'm sure they mean well but its really not that simple and not that easy, so much competition to get in but typically should you beat your competition and get on the ladder then you're good for the rest of your career (providing you progress beyond entry level) because you are no longer competing with the masses of people with that qualification they were told to get for that guaranteed job.
    • asajj
    • By asajj 1st May 17, 6:48 PM
    • 4,089 Posts
    • 10,172 Thanks
    asajj
    Im ACCA, i work as a Financial controller in industry. I find that ACCA helps in that sort of role a lot. I tend to find my skills best suited to SME type organisatons. the ACCA qual is industry focussed, I would say IAECW/ACA is more for public practice accountants

    Although a lot of places have no preference over ACCA/CIMA a lot of the time, and often it doesnt matter, its usually the experience that goes with it that counts more, but I find CIMA is probably more found in larger multinationals with bigger and more specific FP+A teams and resources

    As someone said though, its the experience that counts, whenever i am given a CV, its the experience i look at
    Originally posted by Carl31
    I must say, I always worked for large corporations and all had plenty of ACCA members working for them. People also move away from practice to industry and will bring their ACA/ACCA qualifications with them anyway.

    Xapprenticex has a good point by the way
    £2015 in 2015 / £2015

    No buying unnecessary stuff.
    Clearing out by selling on Ebay, donating to charity etc.
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