Clayy1990 Registered Posts: 35 Dedicated contributor ? ? ?
I'm coming towards the end of my AAT Level 3 and I've obviously got to start looking beyond my Level 4. I just wanted to know a little bit about the various routes and qualifications available afterwards. From a bit of research i understand there is the following ACCA/CIMA/CIPFA/ICAEW.

Which is the best/most recognised?

Does it really matter which one you choose?

Which is most difficult/takes longest?

Which is most cost effective?

Any advice from experiences of these would be greatly appreciated

Kind Regards

Liam :001_smile:


  • jenny3549
    jenny3549 Registered Posts: 472
    Hi Liam,

    There are loads of threads on this debate if you have a search so you can probably find much better answers than mine, but I'll have a go.

    In terms of difficulty I'd say all four are equal. Same with length of time as this is dependent on each student.

    Choice - well, it depends what area you want to work in. Some people say CIMA is geared towards industry and ACCA practice but really, you'll find both qualifications in both industries. CIPFA on the other hand really is geared towards public sector so if that's your field, that would be the one to choose.

    In terms of recognition, ACAs (ICAEW) would say that theirs is the most recognised and there may be some truth in that but it's debatable. The problem with this one is that you need a training contract to do it which means a position with an 'approved' firm - not always easy to find, whereas the others have no such restriction.

    Cost: again, much of a muchness. None are cheap so it depends on whether you are funding yourself or you get study support from your employer. As an example, I chose ACCA and I'm funding myself. I have just bought the books and revision kits so the total cost so far for the two exams I'm sitting in June has been £226 plus the annual membership fee of around £70. Obviously taught courses, online or distance learning packages would cost more.

    Sorry, probably not a great deal of help!
  • crispy
    crispy Registered Posts: 465 Dedicated contributor ? ? ?

    You could also look at the respective websites and syllabus of the accountancy bodies and see which one you find more interesting and geared to what you wanted to do. I don't know about aca/cipfa but you can take a look at acca/cima past exams to get a feel for what the qualification is about, I did cima and found the first few papers naturally fell on from what i did at aat.

    Note to jenny3549 - I thought your answer was excellent and spot-on accurate, exactly what the op was looking for !
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