2009 graduate requires advice on cima or aat?

ASD09ASD09 Just JoinedPosts: 3Registered
Hi,

Totally new to this so not sure if i have posted in the right area. I have been reading many posts by other users in regards to careers. A little about myself, i graduated in 2009 and was awarded a ordinary pass degree, my final year was a very tough year for myself i suffered a car accident and this affected both my exam sittings including my resits. I was offered to redo the year but really could not afford to, anyway since then i have been working in retail banking, the advice i need is that i am now looking to go back into accounting, i still have the knowledge and still look at univeristy notes and books and have not forgotten the accounting techniques. The advice i require is it worthwhile for me to self study CIMA or AAT, I am looking to fund it myself as i have the savings, I am very comitted to doing well, think through university i was rather imature and not very education focused and now i am very career focused and have the time to study and put things right. All advice and tips are welcome.

Thank you

Comments

  • SashaDellaSashaDella Trusted Regular Posts: 362Registered
    What degree did you do? I think it depends on your knowledge.. You could try the skillscheck on the aat website to see how much of the AAT qualification you know. I'm not sure what the requirements for CIMA are, however you could complete Level 3 and 4 of AAT within a year (if you studied hard enough) and then recalculate your options afterwards.

    Its worth looking for a related role whilst you study however, as this will support your studies and give you work experience which is essential if you want a job afterwards.

    Hope this Helps!
  • ASD09ASD09 Just Joined Posts: 3Registered
    Hi,


    Thank you for the reply, I did accounting with finance. I have checked my skill set, and it shows that i am slightly rusty. I am confused, would i be going backwards if i studied AAT or should i do that, also what kind of jobs would i be presented with if i was to complete AAT?
    The problem is i am and always have struggled to find a related role any ideas what i should do in regards to this?

    Thhanks again!!!!
  • MWAUGH1983MWAUGH1983 Trusted Regular Posts: 420Registered
    I have a similar situation to yourself ASD09.

    I did accounting at uni and my father died so had to change courses to bus admin and graduated in 2008 - this was a top up degree and I used my hnd to get on to bus admin - though I didnt get much support from the uni tbh!

    I opted to do AAT as it give me that finance qualification which I don't have and plus I would rather know if I cant hack it mid AAT than mid acca or cima. I am approaching the end of level 3 so I feel I am doing ok - though self funding and time has meant I have spent longer on aat than was intending.

    What I would do is by pass level 2 all together and go on to level 3 and you should have it done within 2 yrs but a lot of people are doing 2 levels in less than that. If you self fund aat then this would look good to an employer and then once in a position you will get the 1st 3 exempt from acca or cima saving a bit of time.

    If you still have enough knowledge then you may suit going straight onto acca or cima. How much of accounting did you get? e.g. what yeah were you on - did you complete final yr?

    Martin
  • Jo ClarkJo Clark Font Of All Knowledge Posts: 2,526Registered
    ASD09 wrote: »
    I have checked my skill set, and it shows that i am slightly rusty. I am confused, would i be going backwards if i studied AAT or should i do that


    Hello

    The final choice is yours and you could very well study CIMA without having studied AAT. I'm not sure what exemptions you would receive for the degree you hold. You said your skills set showed you were slightly rusty.

    I personally think that the AAT qualification is fantastic and gives a good grounding for future studies. You may like to look at self study to keep costs down for the AAT and then use your savings for CIMA.

    Short and to the point answer and I'm sure other students/members/tutors will also share their views with you.

    Good luck whatever you decided to do.


    JC :o
    ~ An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest ~
    Benjamin Franklin
  • SandyHoodSandyHood Font Of All Knowledge Posts: 2,034Registered, Moderator
    If you want to work in accounts have you applied for jobs?
    Are accountancy salaries comparable to the one you are earning in the bank?

    It strikes me as sensible to work in and study accounts. Often employers will include paying for your studies in you remuneration package.

    There are plenty of ACCA candidates who studied full-time, passed all the exams and now cannot find jobs. If you stick with the retail side of banking and study accounts you could end up in the same boat.

    AAT is very good, CIMA is very good. Employers interview people for jobs, there is a lot more to securing a job than just the qualification. The qualification will help, and that is the point. The qualification won't get you the job, you'll need to do that by demonstrating how you are the person that can best carry out a particular job. One part of that is showing that you've achieved MAAT or ACMA status.
    Sandy
    [email protected]
    www.sandyhood.com
  • ASD09ASD09 Just Joined Posts: 3Registered
    Morning guys,

    Really appreciate all your replys. One of the main issues that i face is being given the opportunity to get my foot in the door. I have spoken to various agencies in regards to accounting work. I am willing to leave my perm position at the bank to temp around and get some accounting experience on my CV also interested in voluntary work. My current salary is £24k but to me the salary is not important my long term career goal is more important. I am willing to take a massive salary cut even if it means down to £14-£15k.

    What would aid my application more a AAT qual or CIMA qual? I know i could if i wanted to complete AAT in a year, i have the determination and drive to do this to achieve my long term goal even if it means 25-30 hours of self study a week.

    I managed to complete my degree, i managed to achieve 310/360 credits and failed only 3 modules but was awarded an ordinary pass in Accounting with Finance.

    Hope this helps, please keep your advice coming as i really appreciate all the help i recieve.

    Thank you
  • SashaDellaSashaDella Trusted Regular Posts: 362Registered
    AAT Level 4 Qualification stands as much ground as a degree i believe, many people go on to do AAT after uni (therefore alot of AAT students don't have a degree because they feel they can learn more just from the AAT)

    You need to find out your exemptions for AAT and CIMA. (call AAT and CIMA)

    It depends really on your skill! If it were myself I think I would stay at the bank study level 3 and 4 (ASAP - within 12 months) because you will be able to fully fund this while employed, and in this time look for perm work for during of after the AAT. And then go on to do a higher study which your company may even pay for!

    From the job point of view, I would stay in your permanent job for the time being... and leave only if you find a better opportunity (a training job - perm or a job where you have lots of opp for promotion to job etc)

    Because its better than you have a job, and study than become unemployed!

    Let us know what you decide!
  • GibbyGibby Posts: 9Registered
    Jo Clark said:



    ASD09 wrote: »

    I have checked my skill set, and it shows that i am slightly rusty. I am confused, would i be going backwards if i studied AAT or should i do that




    Hello



    The final choice is yours and you could very well study CIMA without having studied AAT. I'm not sure what exemptions you would receive for the degree you hold. You said your skills set showed you were slightly rusty.



    I personally think that the AAT qualification is fantastic and gives a good grounding for future studies. You may like to look at self study to keep costs down for the AAT and then use your savings for CIMA.



    Short and to the point answer and I'm sure other students/members/tutors will also share their views with you.



    Good luck whatever you decided to do.





    JC :o


    I am an ACMA and I completely agree with you. I am on recently getting back into the financial accounts side of things rather than pivot and analyse data and I have to say even qualified I am rusty as anything and find myself asking is that vatable? I was exempted all this due to my degree and up until now it did not matter but I need those missing skills now. I do not think it is worth me taking the AAT exams but I do have the books and I am using them for research purposes.


  • GibbyGibby Posts: 9Registered
    ASD09 said:

    Hi,



    Totally new to this so not sure if i have posted in the right area. I have been reading many posts by other users in regards to careers. A little about myself, i graduated in 2009 and was awarded a ordinary pass degree, my final year was a very tough year for myself i suffered a car accident and this affected both my exam sittings including my resits. I was offered to redo the year but really could not afford to, anyway since then i have been working in retail banking, the advice i need is that i am now looking to go back into accounting, i still have the knowledge and still look at univeristy notes and books and have not forgotten the accounting techniques. The advice i require is it worthwhile for me to self study CIMA or AAT, I am looking to fund it myself as i have the savings, I am very comitted to doing well, think through university i was rather imature and not very education focused and now i am very career focused and have the time to study and put things right. All advice and tips are welcome.



    Thank you

    I went down the CIMA route and I am an ACMA but I have found with exemptions you miss out on some of the basics now this does not matter if you always have staff on hold to do this for you as I have for most of my career but in my last role I was flying solo and that good grounding JC mentions below was lacking in certain areas which is why I have AAT and I am using them for research. I do not think it is worth me passing the exams as unsure it would benefit me but I have found reading them very beneficial. In my last role I had to put into place methods for tracking invoices, delivery note, GRN and POs. I had ledger staff and a whole ops department previously but when I was on my own I found it was not as easy as I had first anticipated. Maybe if I had those basics I would not have found this such a challenge. There were people around me thinking I was the wrong person for the job until I was asked to undertake some analysis work and then I could open up my former skills which always impress but it was not what I was being paid for that was the tracking documents and putting processes in place.

    I was very lucky as my background in forecasting and budgeting allowed me to bring in another employee to take on the document tracking and processing but I know I will not be that lucky again so I am swotting up on the basics in my spare time because if you work for a smaller company you will need them. I was middle management in an SME for a long time so all of this was going on underneath my grade so I never noticed it happening but when I came to do it myself I struggled. I do not plan on being in that situation again.

    All I can say is where you work will dictate the skills you need. In one of my former roles at a large ish SME most of my time was spent forecasting and meeting senior managers and asking them for reasons on variances compared to previous meeting and reconciling 13 week forecasts. The skills I needed in that role were completely different to the skills I need now. My excellent spreadsheet skills have saved me because as a bookkeeper I am probably weaker than most in here but I am improving.
  • GibbyGibby Posts: 9Registered
    ASD09 said:

    Hi,



    Totally new to this so not sure if i have posted in the right area. I have been reading many posts by other users in regards to careers. A little about myself, i graduated in 2009 and was awarded a ordinary pass degree, my final year was a very tough year for myself i suffered a car accident and this affected both my exam sittings including my resits. I was offered to redo the year but really could not afford to, anyway since then i have been working in retail banking, the advice i need is that i am now looking to go back into accounting, i still have the knowledge and still look at univeristy notes and books and have not forgotten the accounting techniques. The advice i require is it worthwhile for me to self study CIMA or AAT, I am looking to fund it myself as i have the savings, I am very comitted to doing well, think through university i was rather imature and not very education focused and now i am very career focused and have the time to study and put things right. All advice and tips are welcome.



    Thank you

    I funded myself through all my qualifications as it was the only way I could keep my results secret from my managers. I have worked at companies where the wrong grade can get you sacked. I never wanted any of that nonsense. I was heavily in debt for a while doing it this way but that was a long time ago and for me it was well worth it. Some of my friends said I should do a course on how to go from £30K in debt to free and clear in 6 years. I bought a car as well so it wasn't all exams. I think one round of 4 CIMA exams were £3K with BPP and I did not pass first time hence the bank loans.

    With regards to maturity I gave up my examinations years ago and went on the road with a band and only came back it later. No one was more immature than me but I think that constant financial pressure definitely helped me in financing my studies. Also I say immature but one of the chaps doing it at the same time as me was more fortuitous and he played Isle of Wight a few weeks ago so it was worthwhile taking the risk.
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