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confused!! ACCA or ACA? have I wasted 3 years on AAT!

Portsmouth_AATPortsmouth_AAT Feels At HomeRegistered Posts: 96
I know this has been discussed previously on here but this is my first post and I have the following situation that I need help with....

I work as an assistant management accountant, I have done so for 2 years, I had just completed my first year on AAT when I started in this role, but have worked for the company for 5 odd years.

I always showed my intention to study after the AAT, now I am on the final year with one exam to sit in December 09 I am looking at my options, I want an open qualification so CIMA is not an option. My employer has sugested ACCA, I however prefer ACA.

On comparing the 2 (my uderstanding only)
ACCA i am only exempt from the first year F1-F3 and could have started at level one 3 years ago!! so I feel hard done by and that I have wasted 3 years of my life and would have to study for at least another 4 years!!

ACA I am exempt from the first 3 years (depending on exams taken) and would need to study for a further 2 years but MUST have the employers support.

My employers are a little in the "its not been done before" frame of mind, they have always used ACCA. I am aware that for ACA I would need to put in a lot of personal time but I am willing to do this but I need to convince my employer that this is a NEW route and would be of benefit to them.

any advice help?

Comments

  • NeilHNeilH Trusted Regular Registered Posts: 547
    Hi

    It's probably best not to think in terms of firm "years" for ACCA/ACA/CIMA as its more a case of doing a number of exams per sitting rather than academic years. Generally ACCA and ACA (with no exemptions for either) would take around 3 to 3 1/2 years to study from scratch. ICAEW will give upto 5 years to study and ACCA give 10, but most trainees working full time usually take around the 3 to 3 1/2 year mark for study depending on exemptions - if any.

    Under the new/current ACA I believe you are exempt from 4 of the early papers, depending on the AAT technician options taken, leaving 11 exams to take - check the exemptions on the ICAEW website. ACCA will grant you 3 exemptions and this would leave 11 exams to take.

    ACCA don't require you to work for an approved employer but ICAEW/ACA does - the majority of these are currently accountancy firms. An approved ACA training organisation must have a qualified accountant to oversee the training and must also have access to an ICAEW member for advice - it would seem that this member does not necessarily need to work for the organisation.

    ACA can also be considerably more expensive to study, depending on what ACCA study routes you compare it to.

    Neil
  • ajamesajames Settling In Nicely Registered Posts: 17
    Neil has pretty much summed it up.

    Both qualifications need 3 years work experience and I believe both can be fussy on how it was obtained, i.e. the employer had to be an accredited employer for previous work experience to count. So what might look like 2 years of ACA exams, it might be another year before you become a member. Might be worth contacting ICAEW regarding it. Also it is possible to do ACCA exams as quickly as 24 months, although 30/36 is more realistic. Although, that may mean doing it via distance learning, as my local college only offer the course over 4 years.

    So I wouldn't let the timeframe of qualifying chose your qualification/membership with an accty body. Think more along what you want to achieve longer term.

    For me, ACCA tipped in the favour of ACA as it should make it easier to find an employer who will support me with my studies, the oxford brookes degree (more of a personal thing) and will allow further studies for an MBA.

    And even then, its usually possible to join another accty body after qualifing.
  • AndypandyAndypandy Experienced Mentor Registered Posts: 526
    From what I can tell so far, ACCA can't take you around the world. (Also, one of my bosses is quite upset at the prospect of being given the title of a 'FACCA' later this year).
  • NeilHNeilH Trusted Regular Registered Posts: 547
    Andypandy wrote: »
    From what I can tell so far, ACCA can't take you around the world. (Also, one of my bosses is quite upset at the prospect of being given the title of a 'FACCA' later this year).

    Isn't it actually FCCA...?

    In terms of global recognition, an accountancy qualification is only as good as it's recognition you are in. ACCA is very much pushed as being global, but I have read that there are some countries where despite ACCA having at least a fair number of members, its recognition is somewhat less than that afforded to the countries own body.

    Neil
  • AK002AK002 Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 2,492
    Andypandy wrote: »
    From what I can tell so far, ACCA can't take you around the world. (Also, one of my bosses is quite upset at the prospect of being given the title of a 'FACCA' later this year).
    NeilH wrote: »
    Isn't it actually FCCA...?

    Neil is correct, it's FCCA..
  • ajamesajames Settling In Nicely Registered Posts: 17
    Andypandy wrote: »
    From what I can tell so far, ACCA can't take you around the world. (Also, one of my bosses is quite upset at the prospect of being given the title of a 'FACCA' later this year).

    haha, if only it was FACCA :laugh:
  • AndypandyAndypandy Experienced Mentor Registered Posts: 526
    The poor thing's new nickname of 'the mat facker' ( as we pronounce it) seems to have stuck now. It's a good job she has a sense of humour.
  • Portsmouth_AATPortsmouth_AAT Feels At Home Registered Posts: 96
    Thanks for the replies they are helpful.

    I am still open to both options and am in the process of speaking with our training team about ACA route and if its acceptable.

    I am still slightly confused as to how it will work for either ACA or ACCA:

    Are they both through distance learning only? from what I have looked at they seem to be? Im in Hampshire area
    When can I start studying? ie is it only sept? as I should complete AAT in Decembers sitting.

    Is anyone else studying either route and have any helpful advise? how you chose your route?

    Thanks Again :confused1:
  • NeilHNeilH Trusted Regular Registered Posts: 547
    Hi

    ACCA and CIMA can be done through distance learning or attendance. Many colleges and universities run part-time courses and BPP and FTC have centres across the country. ICAEW/ACA is attendance only at either BPP, FTC or Reed Business School.

    BPP, FTC and Reed structure their ACCA and CIMA courses around a tuition phase, revision phase and a final practice day. Often students on attend a part, i.e. just the tuition phase or perhaps a distance learning course follwed by the revision phase. ACCA and CIMA exams are November/December and May/June and the course usually start August/September and February/March, dates for BPP, FTC and Reed are on their websites. You of course need to register as a student with the relevant body.

    ICAEW/ACA courses usually combine the tuition, revision and practice phases into one, which can mean more time out of the workplace in one go and less flexibilty on cost. Again, dates and prices are on BPP, FTC and Reed Business School websites.

    Neil
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