ACCA, CIMA or Foundation degree????

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Potts
Potts Registered Posts: 3 New contributor 🐸
I am currently waiting for my AAT Technician exam results and cant decide where to go next.

I work in the accounts department for a company and they have offered to support in what ever i decide to do. Could someone please explain the difference (in simple terms) between ACCA and CIMA.

Also the college i attended for AAT are now starting a foundation degree in Accountancy and Management. This i a 1year course with no exams at the end, it is assessed on assignments only. Its says that you can progress onto a Honers Degree after but does not offer exemptions of Professional Accountance Bodies.

Any advice on where to go next would be appreciated. I am happy working where i am and hope to move up the career ladder there.

Thanks

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  • cs_1988
    cs_1988 Registered Posts: 231 Dedicated contributor 🦉
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    Hi Potts,

    Going through exactly the same dilemma at the moment. My employer is going to back my decision as well. Obviously everyone is differant, but for me i am leaning towards the ACCA. Mainly because you can get a full honours degree after F9, which is 6 exams with your AAT Examptions. I can then get the degree (with oxford brookes - they require a dissertation) while completing the proffessional stage of the ACCA.

    Personally, i prefer the content of CIMA, but would like the degree status in order to get into fund management!

    Chris
  • lessci
    lessci Registered Posts: 180 Dedicated contributor 🦉
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    I'm leaning the same way, purely because of the option to gain a degree, whilst completing the professional qualification. CIMA are also updating all their exam/standards as well and I'm not sure how that will affect people already studying the course, where as ACCA have already done theirs.
  • PGM
    PGM Registered Posts: 1,954 Beyond epic contributor 🧙‍♂️
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    cs_1988 wrote: »
    Hi Potts,

    Going through exactly the same dilemma at the moment. My employer is going to back my decision as well. Obviously everyone is differant, but for me i am leaning towards the ACCA. Mainly because you can get a full honours degree after F9, which is 6 exams with your AAT Examptions. I can then get the degree (with oxford brookes - they require a dissertation) while completing the proffessional stage of the ACCA.

    Personally, i prefer the content of CIMA, but would like the degree status in order to get into fund management!

    Chris

    That's interesting! I've just done F9 and wouldn't mind a degree. Can you do the dissertation by distance learning? And any idea of cost?
  • Bluewednesday
    Bluewednesday Registered Posts: 1,624 Beyond epic contributor 🧙‍♂️
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    PGM, I can't believe you've got that far in your studies and not heard of it!

    It's not after F9 however it's after completion of the whole of the fundamentals stage and it is done via Oxford Brookes uni.

    Do a search on the ACCA site and there's loads of information about it there.
  • Bookworm55
    Bookworm55 Registered Posts: 479 Dedicated contributor 🦉
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    Also the college i attended for AAT are now starting a foundation degree in Accountancy and Management. This i a 1year course with no exams at the end, it is assessed on assignments only. Its says that you can progress onto a Honers Degree after but does not offer exemptions of Professional Accountance Bodies.

    I wouldn't bother doing a foundation degree after the AAT. If you want to do an honours degree (notably something like BA(hons) Accounting and Finance) then you can do so straight from the AAT, even entering into the second (of three) years if you like.
    CIMA are also updating all their exam/standards as well and I'm not sure how that will affect people already studying the course, where as ACCA have already done theirs.

    According to a conversation I had recently with one of the CIMA past presidents, who has also been responsible for a lot of the syllabus over the years, the difference between old and new syllabus is minimal. It's largely a renaming exercise.
    That's interesting! I've just done F9 and wouldn't mind a degree. Can you do the dissertation by distance learning? And any idea of cost?

    Assuming the poster above you is referring to the Oxford Brookes BSc in Applied Accounting scheme, you would have already had to enter into the scheme before reaching that point. See here for details.
  • PGM
    PGM Registered Posts: 1,954 Beyond epic contributor 🧙‍♂️
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    PGM, I can't believe you've got that far in your studies and not heard of it!

    It's not after F9 however it's after completion of the whole of the fundamentals stage and it is done via Oxford Brookes uni.

    Do a search on the ACCA site and there's loads of information about it there.

    It takes some skill to avoid whats going on, the utility companies appreciate it especially.

    Not sure it'd be worth me pursuing this as I have a business degree already. The MBA would be quite valuable though, but a lot more work.
  • Bluewednesday
    Bluewednesday Registered Posts: 1,624 Beyond epic contributor 🧙‍♂️
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    PGM wrote: »
    It takes some skill to avoid whats going on, the utility companies appreciate it especially.

    That had me laughing out loud, are you sure you aren't one of my clients!!!

    If you already have a business degree it definitely isn't worth the bother, I am a degree less thicko so will get round to it one day!
  • Luflux
    Luflux Registered Posts: 52 Regular contributor ⭐
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    I wish CIMA did something similar to ACCA in getting a degree. Does Acca give you good grounding for being a management Accountant?
  • joantuba
    joantuba Registered Posts: 12 New contributor 🐸
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    I agree with Bookworm and wouldnt bother doing the foundation course (unless you just like studying). With the exemptions available for AAT qualified people I would be looking at going on and doing the professional exams and if you get the degree with Oxford Brookes along the way - great. I got my degree before the AAT and it cost me a small fortune (OU) but was well worth it!

    Good luck
  • joantuba
    joantuba Registered Posts: 12 New contributor 🐸
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    Hi Luflux

    My boss is doing the third tier of ACCA at the moment. There are areas you can study for management accounting but I would have thought CIMA was the way to go - although being in Local Authority I dont have much need for management accounting - pity really as I am better at that than financial accounting any day!
  • stevef
    stevef Registered Posts: 258 Dedicated contributor 🦉
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    I work in Local Govt also (well in a Fire and Rescue Service) and I am ACCA qualified. My Accountancy team spend about one third of their time doing management accounting and most Officer meetings I attend circulate around budgetary performance and project planning. Meetings with Councillors tend to be around statutory accounts and reports.

    Both ACCA and CIMA (and CIPFA) are all good for Management Accounting.

    Our preferred route for students is AAT followed by ACCA (In rural Wales it is hard to find a CIPFA course). When appointing staff we are not too concerned whether applicants have a degree or not, having the necessary AAT or ACCA/CIPFA entry qualifications, appititude and enthusiasm is what is important to us.

    Studying for an Accountancy qualification is hard work and a long haul, requiring determination and stamina, but it is worth it all in the end.
  • PGM
    PGM Registered Posts: 1,954 Beyond epic contributor 🧙‍♂️
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    If you already have a business degree it definitely isn't worth the bother, I am a degree less thicko so will get round to it one day!

    Yeah, probably not worth getting two, just like the idea of an Oxford one :laugh: And really not sure if i could go through the MBA after ACCA :crying:
  • NeilH
    NeilH Registered Posts: 553 Epic contributor 🐘
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    PGM wrote: »
    ...just like the idea of an Oxford one...:

    Unfortunatly it's not an Oxford Uni one though :001_unsure:
  • Esme
    Esme Registered Posts: 711 Epic contributor 🐘
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    I work in industry at the moment and am in my last year of AAT, considering progressing onto ACCA next year.

    By doing ACCA and not CIMA, is there a high possibility that I'm ruling out working in a practice in the future?
  • NeilH
    NeilH Registered Posts: 553 Epic contributor 🐘
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    Esme wrote: »
    I work in industry at the moment and am in my last year of AAT, considering progressing onto ACCA next year.

    By doing ACCA and not CIMA, is there a high possibility that I'm ruling out working in a practice in the future?

    Hi

    CIMA isn't practice orientated, so ACCA would seem like the option for you. However, moving from industry to practice is quite difficult as practices prefer trainees or those from a practice background - some don't even like accountants with a practice background who have have made the move into industry and want to reverse the move. I have heard of accountants who hae moved from industry to practice (but usually early in their careers) but they have had to virtually "start over again" from the beggining.

    Neil
  • Bookworm55
    Bookworm55 Registered Posts: 479 Dedicated contributor 🦉
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    By doing ACCA and not CIMA, is there a high possibility that I'm ruling out working in a practice in the future?

    Not at all. If you asked it the other way around (CIMA ruling out practice) then the answer would be "maybe". It is certainly true that CIMA is not a Recognised Supervisory Body for audit purposes, but ACCA is.

    I don't really know how practices see CIMA, but I have had a lot of rejection from private practices who disapprove of my commerce/industry background and I'm only AAT qualified.
  • Esme
    Esme Registered Posts: 711 Epic contributor 🐘
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    Thanks,

    I did have a feeling that it would be hard for me to move into practice from industry, and if possible it would probably been a big pay cut to start with!

    I think I'm going to give it a go after AAT and see if a practice would put me through ACCA.
  • Sonny_L
    Sonny_L Registered Posts: 201 Dedicated contributor 🦉
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    PGM wrote: »
    Yeah, probably not worth getting two, just like the idea of an Oxford one :laugh: And really not sure if i could go through the MBA after ACCA :crying:


    Oxford Brookes I'm afraid :laugh:


    Though I vaguely recall Oxford university offers a financial strategy diploma for successful ICAEW members.
  • SandyHood
    SandyHood Registered, Moderator Posts: 2,034 mod
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    I have read thread after thread about should I do this or should I do that after I finish my AAT.
    I advise you to talk to a qualified accountant at your work. My experience as a lecturer is that it doesn't make much difference.
    Typically, you qualify with CIMA one year, then a couple of years later a letter arrives from ACCA offering the qualification with no further exams.
    As far as I know it is exactly the the same if you pass ACCA by exam.

    My advice is to study the syllabus that appeals to you.

    Whether you work in practice or in industry/commerce eventually your training will stand you in good stead. The details of the course will almost certainly be out-of-date by the time you put them to use at a high level. This is almost inevitable, but not unexpected and should not worry you.

    Accountancy training is rigourous and the fundamentals are the basis for all sorts of activities. As far as degrees, I don't have such a clear view. I do like the Oxford Brookes University rigour, but I am not sure that a BA or BSc (Hons) describes the same level of achievement at each university. I think the radio 4 programme this evening will explore this issue.
    Sandy
    sandy@sandyhood.com
    www.sandyhood.com
  • Luflux
    Luflux Registered Posts: 52 Regular contributor ⭐
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    Thanks Joan,

    I guess this is the question all AAT qualified members ask themselves. I think CIMA is the right route for me as this is my job anyway but just liked the idea of the degree. In our management accounts dept most people are CIMA but teh odd few chose the ACCA route. Guess it depends where you want to take it and your preference.

    Thanks
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