Getting into Accountancy from Financial Services advice ?

coolhandflex Registered Posts: 20 Regular contributor ⭐ ? ⭐

I have been working in Financial Services for 20 years in a variety of roles ranging from pension admin
to paraplanning to regulated complaints. I have also passed my FPC exams.

I have reached a stage where I need a new challenge and I am very keen to get into accountancy as I think I would really enjoy it and be good at it. I have done the Skilltest Check on this site and as I
thought, it suggested that if I did my AAT I should start at Level 2.

I have looked on the jobsites and I appreciate that I will have start at low end of the ladder as maybe a trainee which will mean a large drop in salary but I am still committed. I have also looked at the
various study options for the AAT and I think distance learning would suit me best.

I was wondering whether anyone could give me some advice on the following:

1. Has anyone actually just bought the study books and studied all on their own before sitting the exam or is it help that the distance learning firms give invaluable ?

2. Should I pay for and start studying/study and pass the AAT before I even look for a job ? Alternatively, what is the likelihood that a company would put me through the exams when I started ?

3. What sort of role and salary would I be expecting ? Would 20 years financial services/office experience be to my benefit or would I be treated the same as a school leaver/graduate with no experience ?

I would really appreciate anyone that can help or can share their experiences :001_smile:



  • coolhandflex
    coolhandflex Registered Posts: 20 Regular contributor ⭐ ? ⭐
    Anyone ?:001_smile:
  • SashaDella
    SashaDella Registered Posts: 362
    1. Depends on your learning ability and knowledge, I have no accounts experience and started at level 2 through a provider however I haven't used the tutoring at all I have used the practice assessments. Level 2 is defiantly do-able without the training provider and without any accounts knowledge.

    2. Alot of people are looking for work and they may think you are over qualified! Its worth applying and studying at the same time, as the fact that you have started the AAT shows you are determinded.

    3. I'm not sure! Without any accounting knowledge you would be useless in the accounts department... You could look for a job that combines parts of what you already know that dabs into accounting (if this exists?) most people try and just switch departments at their place of work.

    Happy to answer anymore questions, however I only just passed level 2, so can only go by advice from others regarding levels 3-4

  • SashaDella
    SashaDella Registered Posts: 362
    I would start looking into training roles... or if the thought of going from good salary to literally no salary is to great you could always:

    1. apply for part time work experience (could be unpaid)
    2. study whilst in your current job (level 3-4 I would suggest an accounts role though because the qualification is worthless without this)
    3. See how you get on with Level 2 and make decisions after whether to continue?

  • coolhandflex
    coolhandflex Registered Posts: 20 Regular contributor ⭐ ? ⭐
    Thanks very much for the reply Sasha.

    Do you mind if I ask what your background is and how easy/hard you found the study ? Do you not work in accounts at the moment ?
    Did you pay the £700 to study with a training provider which includes the study material, help from them and the cost of the exam ? But you think that you could have just bought the books and paid for the exam without any help ?
    I noticed that you are selling your Level 2 books in the other forum. I would be interested in reading one or two to get a flavour of what is involved. How much are you willing to let the books go for ?
  • SashaDella
    SashaDella Registered Posts: 362
    Well I started work as an apprentice in accounts in March. My employers paid the money for the training provider for the books and tutor help. However you still have to fork out the bills for the exam (my employer pays this) but this means that it costs £700 + (at least) £33 for each exam plus the inviligator fee £15-25 for each exam!

    Yes I could have 100% done it alone, except that with Premier they gave me 3 assignments and 1-2 mocks which was a good resource... the osbourne books would be sufficient.

    You're best off getting the tutorial for level 2 from Osbourne (I only have the workbook) or I have the premier tutorial one?

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