Advice please - what next (quals & exp) to reach goals

MattW FMAAT Posts: 41 💫 🐯 💫
Hi all,

Hopefully in the right section, I'm just waiting for the result of my last simulation and will hopefully be AAT qualified shortly. Like many I have an aspiration to become a MiP in future but I also feel I should do another qualification (employer will fund, so I'll snap their hands off!) and get more experience under my belt.

At the moment I work for a large charity and have worked up from the ledgers to a fairly senior non management role consisting of:
- Management accounting: main specialty of the role, I look after a couple of divisions of the organisation + associated project work/analysis work usually lands on my desk!
- Treasury: organisational cashflow, decision/scenario planning on investing cash
- Charity specific accounting: mainly interpreting the SORP i.e. advising on fund accounting & restricted income/exp to rest of organisation
- Subsidiary Trading Companies - full end to end responsibility to final accounts and advising organisation when to use them and dealing the auditors (& management accounts + overseeing the bookkeeper)
- Currently on a project to implement a new finance package into the organisation, I've been on it from the beginning when we were mapping out how each finance function should operate on process maps and we're now choosing a system. I'm hoping to be seconded F/T for 6 months when we implement next year.
- I also assist the Financial Accountant in producing the statutory accounts at year end (I work on the notes, but see/use the full consolidation exercise - manual with us - and have to explain my areas in conjunction with to the auditors).

I feel this is fairly good experience and I'm confident with the areas I deal with but i don't think it really helps me become a competent MiP -> I don't touch tax (aside from a quarterly VAT return for the subsidiaries) and I'm guessing most clients will be after Tax efficiency advice! In fact all of my organisations tax advice is subcontracted out.

I'm now in a dilemma, my boss wants me to do CIMA (again no tax!), but it doesn't have to be CIMA and I'm thinking:

-ATT - good for tax knowledge, would give me the confidence to possibly subcontract for local accounting firms to get the tax experience.
-CIMA - easy to get a practicing cert in future, but no tax. Chartered so better in the employment market while I'm in it.
-ACCA -is there any point, doubt I'll work in an ACCA practice to get a practicing cert from them. Syllabus is probably better for practice and also the plus points of being chartered in the employment market.

I also feel I should switch sector and move into Practice for the right sort of experience for my future goals (I'm 28, would like to switch to MiP 35+), but I fear that would mean a pay cut and with a large mortgage to serve and wedding to pay for next year I don't think it's financially possible at the moment!

So, to conclude I guess my questions are, given my situation and where I want to end up; what are your views on the qualification I should pursue and should I be looking to work in Practice for the experience*?

*I have worked in practice but in a non senior role, I mainly did the payrolls for approx 60 clients and some very basic sole trader accounts to TB, bookkeeping basically!

Thanks for any help - this is driving me mad!

EDIT: Arrgghh - sorry about the length, that was meant to be short!
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