Need some Help and Advice.

Dipak Thanki
Dipak Thanki Registered Posts: 135 ? ? ?
Hi i'm currently doing A-Levels and will be going into A2 next year. My goal is to become a Chartered Accountant. (Hopefully) And i had some questions occuring in my mind which i really need help with, from what i've heard from family and friends is that with Accounting doing (AAT) rather then a degree in (Accounting and financial management, is more better in the sense that its quicker, cheaper and you're more likely to get jobs. Is this true? And to accountancy would i need A-Level maths? (because i find A-levels maths difficult).

I'm really unsure and any help/advice would be much appreicated, many thanks;

Dipak
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Comments

  • AK002
    AK002 Registered Posts: 2,492
    To join AAT you need no A-levels or other qualifications, which makes it a great course to get on the ladder towards accountancy!
  • Bookworm55
    Bookworm55 Registered Posts: 479
    And to accountancy would i need A-Level maths?

    Not really, the maths is pretty easy. It's mostly just arithmetic and percentages. There are some exponents, probability and even some differentiation and linear programming hidden in there somewhere towards the end, but very little.
    from what i've heard from family and friends is that with Accounting doing (AAT) rather then a degree in (Accounting and financial management, is more better in the sense that its quicker, cheaper and you're more likely to get jobs. Is this true?

    Cheaper? Almost certainly, especially in the short run. You'll probably be working full-time while doing the AAT part-time, as opposed to studying full time and (maybe) working part-time. Tuition fees for AAT are also significantly less (how significantly varies between colleges) than the £3000+ a year for a degree. Also, your employer will often pay for AAT costs. Conversely there are more scholarships and bursaries available for degrees than professional qualifications. But it would be cheaper to do AAT.

    Quicker is surprisingly interesting. It depends on what flavour of accountant you want to be. (ICAEW, CIMA, ACCA, CIPFA) Some degrees offer greater or lesser exemptions from professional exams. It's down to the individual university and the professional body what you can get. The AAT also offers accelerated progression, but not usually quite as much.

    More likely to get jobs is a whole can of worms. Graduate entry posts are for, well graduates rather than AAT members. But you'll likely be working while doing your AAT, so building up your job prospects that way.

    EDIT: No, I'm not recommending either course of action, just opening up the dialogue a bit.
  • Jan
    Jan Registered Posts: 654
    Hi Dipak, welcome to the Forum.

    First of all you don't need A level Maths, basic arithmetic and a logical mind help!

    As for which is the best way to become a Chartered accountant, that is more difficult to answer. If you go the degree route you will have a degree in three years time, probably very little experience and a student loan to repay. You'll then need to find a job or graduate place, in oder to study for ACCA/ACA etc, which at the moment are quite difficult to get. Then again, who knows what the situation will be in 3 years time.

    The AAT route offers you the chance to learn as you work, so in 2/3 years time you will have the experience and a qualification in accountancy. You could then go on to ACCA/ACA/CIMA etc That would mean finding a practice to take you on after your A2's.

    I'd advice to start looking out now for a practice that is prepared to give you some work experience, with a view to taking you on next year. It is hard at the moment to find such places so you will have to be fairly determined. You could also keep your options open by applying for a university place should you be unable to find a job. Just because you apply doesn't mean you have to go, you never know what will happen between now and next year.

    As ever, good luck in whatever you decide

    Jan
  • Dipak Thanki
    Dipak Thanki Registered Posts: 135 ? ? ?
    So how long will the whole process take? and should i start AAT, straight after my AS or after my A2? And after i've done AAT what do i have to do?

    I also forgot to mention that i do AS Accounting.

    Thanks for you're help!
  • Bookworm55
    Bookworm55 Registered Posts: 479
    and should i start AAT, straight after my AS or after my A2? And after i've done AAT what do i have to do?

    Hmm. I can't tell you what you should do, but I can see two entirely reasonable ways to proceed. But they aren't the only options and they're not mutually exclusive.
    So this is what you could do:

    Academic year 2009/10 Finish your A-levels! Find a job in an accounting firm to start summer 2010.
    Academic year 2010/11 AAT Foundation at college.
    Academic year 2011/12 AAT Intermediate at college
    Academic year 2012/13 AAT Technician at college. If your current employer won't support you with ACCA/CIMA, you need to find someone who will.
    From there, the ACCA/CIMA/ICAEW would take another 2.5-3 years, but it stops being meaningful to count in academic years. Finish in 2015, maybe late 2014 if you're really good and rattle through the professional exams.

    The university option looks more like this:
    Academic year 2009/10 Finish your A-levels! Apply to university Autumn 2009 to start Autumn 2010.
    Academic year 2010/11 First year at uni.
    Academic year 2011/12 Second year at uni.
    Academic year 2012/13 Third and final year at uni. Find a graduate scheme you like and get onto it! Start applying Autumn 2012 for Summer 2013 starts.
    From there, the ACCA/CIMA/ICAEW would take another 2-3 years, but it stops being meaningful to count in academic years. Finish in 2015, probably.
  • Gem7321
    Gem7321 MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,438
    If you're sure it's what you want to do I would be looking to start AAT with a practice after your AS. And if you have AS in Accountancy you should be pretty comfortable starting AAT at the Intermediate stage, so you should be AAT qualified in 2 years. Then generally ACA/ACCA takes 2-3 years complete.

    Potentially you could be 22 and qualified, have 5 years experience and no student loan to repay!

    It's certainly the route I would recommend.
  • shawn michaels
    shawn michaels Registered Posts: 52 ? ? ?
    Dipak, I'm sure you will be ok with this but make sure your A-levels are really good and I mean 22 UCAS points or above. It's such a crucial point if you want to get a chance to go on to graduate schemes or get a AAT trainee scheme with a respectable chartered accountancy firm. I've done a degree, AAT and A-levels and I can tell you A-levels are by far the most important aspect of your education. I wish I had done better as I only got away with a BCC (20 UCAS points) which stopped me from applying to many graduate schemes. Just thought I'd warn you now but I'm sure your well prepared. Best of luck with your A-level results.
  • AK002
    AK002 Registered Posts: 2,492
    I echo what Bookworm has said above but..

    What A levels are you doing? Any accountancy related ones?

    If so you may be able to skip Foundation level of AAT if you feel competant doing the foundation past papers.
  • Bookworm55
    Bookworm55 Registered Posts: 479
    I agree with Shawn. A-levels results are weirdly important eight years (in my case) after doing them! I've also done both AAT and a Degree since, and my mediocre UCAS points still hold me back.

    Shawn says "22 points" so I suspect he did his in 2001 or earlier (like me). The old scheme had 10 points for an A, 8 for a B etc. The new one is 120 for an A, 100 for a B, and half that for an A2 subject. And you do need 300 or more points (BBB), not counting general studies, for most graduate programs. Universities are more forgiving than most companies towards those with slightly fewer points.
  • A-Vic
    A-Vic Registered Posts: 6,970
    Bookworm55 wrote: »
    I agree with Shawn. A-levels results are weirdly important eight years (in my case) after doing them! I've also done both AAT and a Degree since, and my mediocre UCAS points still hold me back.

    Shawn says "22 points" so I suspect he did his in 2001 or earlier (like me). The old scheme had 10 points for an A, 8 for a B etc. The new one is 120 for an A, 100 for a B, and half that for an A2 subject. And you do need 300 or more points (BBB), not counting general studies, for most graduate programs. Universities are more forgiving than most companies towards those with slightly fewer points.

    ?? i did mine 5 years ago and only awarded 23 points (kitemarked if that helps) but definatley completed
  • Gem7321
    Gem7321 MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,438
    Whereas I didn't even go to college, am AAT qualified and will be chartered in 3 years. A-levels can't be that important!
  • Sonny_L
    Sonny_L Registered Posts: 201 ? ? ?
    Make sure your grades are strong, in good subjects. It's paramount.

    The big accountancy firms offer AAT-ACA fast track to school leavers with good grades. Check some of their sites for details, sounds like a great package.

    The timing and money saving benefits of the AAT route combined with the more prestigious and valuable big firm experience and chartered training that has been graduate territory in the past.
  • Bookworm55
    Bookworm55 Registered Posts: 479
    Whereas I didn't even go to college, am AAT qualified and will be chartered in 3 years. A-levels can't be that important!

    You must be lucky. I've been rejected on the basis of my A-levels more times than I can count. Especially for graduate recruitment schemes; I get rejected for inadequeate A-levels regardless of my degree result.
    ?? i did mine 5 years ago and only awarded 23 points (kitemarked if that helps)

    What do you mean Kitemarked? Maybe you and I did different things. How did you get an odd number of points? Maybe you've translated it into the 'older' style of A-level points. When I did my UCAS application three years ago, my older-style points were translated across.
  • Dipak Thanki
    Dipak Thanki Registered Posts: 135 ? ? ?
    For my AS-Levels i do

    Maths (Stats)
    Accounting
    Economics
    Psychology

    I really struggle with maths AS level and want to drop it.
  • Sonny_L
    Sonny_L Registered Posts: 201 ? ? ?
    What grades are you predicted?
  • A-Vic
    A-Vic Registered Posts: 6,970
    Bookworm55 wrote: »

    What do you mean Kitemarked? Maybe you and I did different things. How did you get an odd number of points? Maybe you've translated it into the 'older' style of A-level points. When I did my UCAS application three years ago, my older-style points were translated across.

    The course i attended was called access to HE not sure if youve heard of it covered 3 A-Levels in 8 Months in full-time college heres a link that can offer a better idea:-

    http://www.accesstohe.ac.uk/home/explanation.asp

    And this

    http://www.ucas.ac.uk/students/beforeyouapply/access_programmes/
  • Dipak Thanki
    Dipak Thanki Registered Posts: 135 ? ? ?
    I'm not really sure, some of the papers were tough but around CCC and no idea in maths
  • AK002
    AK002 Registered Posts: 2,492
    For my AS-Levels i do

    Maths (Stats)
    Accounting
    Economics
    Psychology

    I really struggle with maths AS level and want to drop it.

    Because you are doing an accounting a level, i'd say you could probably skip foundation level and go straight into intermediate!
  • messedup89
    messedup89 Registered Posts: 1,281
    For my AS-Levels i do

    Maths (Stats)
    Accounting
    Economics
    Psychology

    I really struggle with maths AS level and want to drop it.

    Drop your maths if your struggling. You dont really need it. As long as you can get decent grades with the remaining 3 you will be fine. I originally did AS accounting, applied business and further maths. But i dropped further maths after 2months! Too hard. So i left college with A2 accounts grade D, and A2 applied business grades BC. I got a job as a waitress for 6 months after college, then managed to find an accounts assistant job which offeres AAT study support and ACCA, CIMA etc. been here 1.5yrs now. Sould finish AAT Lv4 after dec exams. Will start ACCA next year. Assuming all goes well will be fully qualified by around 23. I deffinately prefer AAT then degree. Easier to get a job without top grades (as long as your enthusiastic), no loans, good money whilst getting your education and adter you qualify you will have several years experience. The best option i say :thumbup:
  • messedup89
    messedup89 Registered Posts: 1,281
    AK002 wrote: »
    Because you are doing an accounting a level, i'd say you could probably skip foundation level and go straight into intermediate!

    after completeing my A2 in accounts and business i was able to skip foundation and start at intermediate
  • Gem7321
    Gem7321 MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,438
    I had no qualifications in accountancy before I started AAT and wish I hadn't done foundation. All you need to start at Intermediate is a sound knowledge of double entry which you can get from a very basic bookkeeping course. Don't waste 6-12 months on foundation!
  • AK002
    AK002 Registered Posts: 2,492
    Gem7321 wrote: »
    I had no qualifications in accountancy before I started AAT and wish I hadn't done foundation. All you need to start at Intermediate is a sound knowledge of double entry which you can get from a very basic bookkeeping course. Don't waste 6-12 months on foundation!

    I echo this tbh..

    They seem to teach most of what I learned in foundation again in intermediate due to people only joining at intermediate lol..
  • LeeS2009
    LeeS2009 Registered Posts: 1,515
    AK002 wrote: »
    I echo this tbh..

    They seem to teach most of what I learned in foundation again in intermediate due to people only joining at intermediate lol..

    dont say that now :crying:
  • AK002
    AK002 Registered Posts: 2,492
    LeeS2009 wrote: »
    dont say that now :crying:

    lol, it's true matey.

    May just have been my college..!
  • LeeS2009
    LeeS2009 Registered Posts: 1,515
    AK002 wrote: »
    lol, it's true matey.

    May just have been my college..!

    Great. At least i know i will pass the 2nd year easy enough then :lol:
  • Gem7321
    Gem7321 MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,438
    'fraid not, we learnt everything again at intermediate. It was so boring for those of us that had already done foundation
  • messedup89
    messedup89 Registered Posts: 1,281
    LeeS2009 wrote: »
    Great. At least i know i will pass the 2nd year easy enough then :lol:

    are you on foundation then?

    so glad i got to go in at intermediate
  • LeeS2009
    LeeS2009 Registered Posts: 1,515
    messedup89 wrote: »
    are you on foundation then?

    so glad i got to go in at intermediate

    Yep, whenever you take on a long term challenge...always start at the beginning!! it will be a bit frustrating if they repeat it in intermediate though :mad2:
  • messedup89
    messedup89 Registered Posts: 1,281
    wish i could say if they do or not but i dont know.
    In all fairness i did do my A levels, thats how i skipped foundation.
    And a lot of my A levels are repeated in intermediate and technician
  • LeeS2009
    LeeS2009 Registered Posts: 1,515
    messedup89 wrote: »
    wish i could say if they do or not but i dont know.
    In all fairness i did do my A levels, thats how i skipped foundation.
    And a lot of my A levels are repeated in intermediate and technician

    You should be flying through it all then :thumbup1:
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