AAT Vs ACCA - Benefits & Limitations Starting out as an MIP

Dean89
Dean89 Registered Posts: 9 Regular contributor ⭐ ? ⭐
I am wanting to start my own Bookkeeping/Accountancy practice. I have qualified with the AAT and have almost 6 years experience in practice. I would be happy to become an AAT MIP but I am unsure as to what the limitations are when you are AAT rather than ACCA or any other body. If I was to run my own business is there any services I couldn't provide for clients as I am only AAT. The only reason I am concerned is that on some occasions in the office where I work AAT members are unable to sign off some documents and they have to be past to someone who is more qualified.

I want to try start my own business sooner rather than later as it will most likely take a while to build up a good client base. But if there are too many limitations of only being AAT I may wait and study towards ACCA first as I beleive they do not allow you to practice while study with them??


If anyone can help me I would appreciate it


Thanks :001_smile:

Comments

  • T.C.
    T.C. Registered, Tutor Posts: 1,448
    I am FMAAT and have been running my own accountancy business for over 14 years, with only the occasional requirement for a chartered or certified accountant. However, if you want to go on to ACCA you go for it!
  • ademoore
    ademoore Registered Posts: 146 ? ? ?
    The only thing you definitely not allowed to offer is Audit.

    The rest of it, you can do as long as your MiP practice license allows it, and AAT will add it to your licence once you prove competency in specific areas - i.e VAT, CGT, Payroll, CT etc.

    You're correct in that you can't practice whilst studying ACCA, but if you are keen to progress studies whilst being MiP, look at something like CIMA which you can still become a member after exams, just proving your experience and having 2 people sign it off.

    In terms of knowledge, I felt my taxation knowledge lacked after AAT, but AAT require you to do a fair bit of CPD, and so put an emphasis on those areas you are weaker at and to bring you more up to speed.
  • stevo5678
    stevo5678 Registered Posts: 325
    As an AAT and ACCA I have to say it depends. I only done ACCA as it progressed me more rapidly up the employment ladder (I nearly said down!).

    I think ACCA is good from an employment point of view and is a good recognition of your academic abalilities (being aquivalent to a masters degree).

    However if you want to work for yourself as soon as possible then the AAT would be the best option, plus alot of the ACCA is not relevant for small practice work.

    There is no substitute for experience. You can always increase your tax knowlege later with ATT.
  • Dean89
    Dean89 Registered Posts: 9 Regular contributor ⭐ ? ⭐
    Thanks for the replys, I would ideally like to do ACCA, but with the time it takes to complete the exams then the amount of time people say it takes to get a practicing certificate I don't know if its really worth it if I ultimately want to run my own small practice.

    What are the ATT like with studying and practicing at the same time?
  • Monsoon
    Monsoon FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 4,071 ? ? ?
    Dean89 wrote: »
    Thanks for the replys, I would ideally like to do ACCA, but with the time it takes to complete the exams then the amount of time people say it takes to get a practicing certificate I don't know if its really worth it if I ultimately want to run my own small practice.

    What are the ATT like with studying and practicing at the same time?

    From what you've said, don't bother with ACCA. Do ATT instead.

    I started my own bookkeeping practice before I started studing AAT - as long as you only act within your competence and don't mention the AAT, they are fine with you working for yourself.

    Go for it!
  • PGM
    PGM Registered Posts: 1,954
    Monsoon wrote: »
    From what you've said, don't bother with ACCA. Do ATT instead.

    I started my own bookkeeping practice before I started studing AAT - as long as you only act within your competence and don't mention the AAT, they are fine with you working for yourself.

    Go for it!

    I've done ACCA and its good at what it is.. But I've got to agree with Monsoon, those qualifications make a lot of sense for a member in practice.
  • Monsoon
    Monsoon FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 4,071 ? ? ?
    PGM wrote: »
    I've done ACCA and its good at what it is.. But I've got to agree with Monsoon, those qualifications make a lot of sense for a member in practice.

    Yep, I'm sure ACCA is brilliant - but if you want to set up on your own, and haven't even started ACCA, and have a good grounding and experience, AAT+ATT is the way to go.
  • PGM
    PGM Registered Posts: 1,954
    Monsoon wrote: »
    Yep, I'm sure ACCA is brilliant - but if you want to set up on your own, and haven't even started ACCA, and have a good grounding and experience, AAT+ATT is the way to go.

    I wasn't trying to imply its better, I definitely don't think it is for setting up on your own. There'd be so much you'd never use. You'd get more benefit focusing on a tax qualification.
  • NeilH
    NeilH Registered Posts: 553
    Hi

    Make sure you are aware of the ACCA practice certificate rules - a member without one is very restricted in what they can do. You will need to work for an approved employer to get one, CIMA on the other hand have a more "relaxed" stance.

    Neil
  • Dean89
    Dean89 Registered Posts: 9 Regular contributor ⭐ ? ⭐
    So, as long as I am competent enough, I can provide all service other than an audit to clients? ACCA seems appealing to me but can't decide if it is worth the 5ish years I would have to wait until I start up on my own, is there no way to complete the ACCA and practice at the same time? Do you have to get an AAT practicing certificate before start providing services?

    I already have 5-10 clients lined up, but they are all really small and I don't know how long it would be until I had more clients.
  • Rozzi Rainbow
    Rozzi Rainbow Registered Posts: 465
    Dean89 wrote: »
    ACCA seems appealing to me but can't decide if it is worth the 5ish years I would have to wait until I start up on my own, is there no way to complete the ACCA and practice at the same time?.

    When I joined ACCA as a student member in 2009, the rules then were that if you were self employed and studying ACCA, you could only carry out bookkeeping, VAT and payroll. If these rules are still the same, this would be a way you could study ACCA and practice at the same time but you would be very limited as to what you could practice.

    I'm enjoying ACCA but as has been said already, a lot of what you learn isn't relevant to working in a small practice.
  • villapb
    villapb Registered Posts: 357
    Dean also try approaching accountants to do work freelance ie vat returns etc............ps aat and att is the way for me.
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