Just registered with ACCA: Worried in terms of self employed prospects

peace800 Registered Posts: 8 New contributor 🐸
I have always wanted to work on my own and have just sent my forms to register with acca as i am about to study for the acca. I have just realized that you need a praticing certificate i..e 2 years further post qualifcation study to be self employed(otherwise its only bookkeeping)...I have been through this forum and several have already commented on the tight acca guidelines.

The thing is I am 26 years old and have been told to not do the AAT and go or the ACCA as it will save time(I an a graduate), I had intended to work as a self employed accountant and it will take me 3-4 yrs to be a member with acca and then a further 2 years to get that practicing certificate, that's 6 years but I had hoped to open up on my own.

I am worried now. I have already posted in the wrong forum with regards to me going drom acca, resigning membership and then joining maat which have easier self employed guidelines, what is the best way around this?

I would really appreciate it.


  • Bluewednesday
    Bluewednesday Registered Posts: 1,624 Beyond epic contributor πŸ§™β€β™‚οΈ
    ACCA does have a very stringent self employment policy and the post qualification experience has to be in an ACCA approved practice which is really difficult to find.

    I sort of understand where they are coming from, protecting the integrity of the qualification etc although it affects me too. I am not an MIP but I can still do more with my MAAT than I can with my ACCA.

    If you are certain that you want to work on your own then you will find ACCA too restrictive methinks, but if you can get a position in an ACCA approved practice whilst you are training then you won't have a problem.

    I take it you are going to look to gain some practice experience whilst you are studying?
  • teakay25
    teakay25 Registered Posts: 43 Regular contributor ⭐
    This has been bothering me as well! I am a student with ACCA (I did my fourth ACCA exam last week) I am a MIP but only for basic bookkeeping, VAT returns and payroll which is the most ACCA will let you do.

    I am unsure whether to not bother carrying on with ACCA. I work in a part time role doing management accounts and if I wasn't registered with ACCA this is potentially something that I could be licensed in.

    It is so difficult to know what to do for the best I think I am going to see what my exam results are in February and let that be the decider!
  • peace800
    peace800 Registered Posts: 8 New contributor 🐸
    Yes I will be looking for experiece whilst studying.

    Yes it really is annoying.

    At the end of the day it depends on if the self employed activities like bookkeeping,payroll etc can sustain a good income? otherwise it's better to pursue acca and get a very well paid job with security.

    I wish there was an easier way though where you still do the acca and then practice without such harsh stipulations.?
  • NeilH
    NeilH Registered Posts: 553 Epic contributor 🐘

    CIMA don't have as a restrictive rule book as ACCA, so you could work self employed whilst studying CIMA. You may want to check with them on gaining work experience, however. ACCA don't recognise self employed experience for the purposes of membership but if I remember correctly form the presentation I went to, CIMA will recognise self employed experience if it is verified by an apporpriate person - i.e. your business bank manager.

  • deanshepherd
    deanshepherd Registered Posts: 1,809 Beyond epic contributor πŸ§™β€β™‚οΈ
    Am I missing something?

    You want to become self-employed and you have only just registered to commence studying?

    AAT will not give you a licence to become self-employed until you have demonstrated to them that you have the necessary training and experience. Regardless of whether you have passed their exams or not.

    If you think 6 years is too long to gain sufficient experience before setting up an accountancy practice then I suggest you are in the wrong career.

    Please correct me if I have misunderstood.
  • beverly hudson
    beverly hudson Registered Posts: 95 Regular contributor ⭐

    You're not in a position to advise anyone what they should/should not do as a career.

    Are you now a careers adviser as well?
  • Bluewednesday
    Bluewednesday Registered Posts: 1,624 Beyond epic contributor πŸ§™β€β™‚οΈ
    I think what Dean is saying is that just a professional qualification with no hint of how to gain work experience is not a good way to achieve this particular aim.
  • deanshepherd
    deanshepherd Registered Posts: 1,809 Beyond epic contributor πŸ§™β€β™‚οΈ
    Beverley, as someone who has set up their own accountancy practice then I think I am more than qualified to offer my opinion.

    Although I agree I could have worded it better and apologise if it caused offence to the original poster.

    I think that too many students believe passing exams is all you need to start giving advice to the general public. Realistically, for general practice, you need a minimum of 5 years good experience before being let off the leash. Hence why some professional bodies require 2 years post-qualification experience after three years training experience as an absolute minimum.

    The original poster suggested 6 years was too long to wait. I suggest that if they cannot wait 6 years then they should embark on a career that allows them to achieve their aim of self-employment sooner because the AAT should not be viewed as a short cut.
  • peugeot
    peugeot Registered Posts: 624 Epic contributor 🐘
    I would agree with Dean's advice - I did not read it in the context that he was advising against accountancy as a career - I read it in the same way as Bluewednesday above.

    I do not wish to sound patronising, but the problem with a lot of students these days is they want to run before they can walk (it worries myself and other accountants I am in contact with when we see technician level students wanting to ditch their job and set up on their own once past AAT). I deal with trainee accountants and their ultimate aim is to get qualified in the fastest time possible because then they can "earn loads of dosh". No thought is put into the fact that a qualification is essentially useless without experience and that experience only comes in time.

    I would agree with Dean that 5 years minimum accountancy experience (certainly post qualified) is required before embarking on your own. That way you get experience of dealing with clients first hand and dealing with the (very many) problems that they bring! Jumping in at the deep end with no experience of this will be extremely daunting to say the least.

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