charlotte224466 Registered Posts: 22 Dedicated contributor 🦉
So Ive started level 3 and although its a little early to be thinking about what I am going to do after AAT ive been having a look at various options.

I know people who are doing/have done ACCA and CIMA but reading through a thread today someone also mentioned 'CIPFA' had a look on their website to see what they are about but just wondering if anyone else could explain a little more about what the qualification entails and job opportunities afterwards.

All answers will be greatly appreciated


  • stevef
    stevef Registered Posts: 258 Dedicated contributor 🦉
    CIPFA is one of the five CCAB bodies and an AAT sponsor. It is a full blooded Chartered Accountacy body so has similar entry requirements/standards as the others.

    The big difference is that CIPFA dedicates itself to the Public Sector, so much so that it does not offer practising certificates and goes into no great depth on tax. But it is the primary public sector body and actually produces the accounting/reporting standards for local government (the Code and SerCOP for accounts, the Treasury Management Code for borrowing and investing and the Prudential Code for capital financing).

    As a public sector accountant you do not have to be a CIPFA member (for example I am ACCA qualified), but you have to work closely with CIPFA as they are the Regulatory Body (again for example, I sit on the CIPFA Local Authority Accounting Panel and on the CIPFA Sustainability Working Group).

    If you career lies outside the public sector CIPFA will be of no interest to you, but if you want to carve out a public sector career, particularly in local government, CIPFA is so highly regarded it will get you to where ever you want to get to.

    As an aside CIPFA HQ is 2 Robert Street, London (just off the Strand), which was the home of J M Barrie when he wrote Peter Pan. His study was on the top floor and is now a meeting room, it still has that fantastic view along the Thames down to BIg Ben and Westminster Palace, very distracting during long meetings but worth a visit.

    Pleasde let me know if you need more.
  • charlotte224466
    charlotte224466 Registered Posts: 22 Dedicated contributor 🦉
    that's great thanks :)

    Id just never heard of it and I have been looking at all the possibilities
  • Vlee
    Vlee Registered Posts: 136 Beyond epic contributor 🧙‍♂️

    Thanks for the info on this. As an ex civil servant I would be tempted by a public sector career but are there many jobs about and is morale low/workload high at the moment? Would CIPFA be a sensible way forward if you don't have a relevant job yet? And so would ACCA be more sensible and flexible for the current job market?

    I haven't yet decided what to do next as I hope to get employment first, but if that takes a while I may look at studying beforehand.

  • CeeJaySix
    CeeJaySix Registered Posts: 645
    Bit of a hijack but on the same theme:

    Just out of interest, why does no-one mention ACA as the next step? I've seen it discussed briefly once or twice, but commonly everyone seems to go for CIMA or ACCA depending largely on whether you work in industry or practice. As traditionally (I appreciate not true nowadays except in the eyes of some senior partners!) ACA is supposedly the superior qualification, why is it not popular among AATers?

    My firm is ICAEW affiliated and at the moment I'm leaning towards ACA if only to be a bit different! Many of our trainees do opt for ACCA though - from speaking to people it seems the wording of ACA is more academic and better suited to graduates, whereas ACCA is more real-world - but that's hearsay. I'd be interested to hear people's thoughts!
  • stevef
    stevef Registered Posts: 258 Dedicated contributor 🦉
    Hi Vlee,

    CIPFA is probably currently more sought after than ACCA in the public sector, and in Local Government most (but not all) Directors of Finance/Resources tend to be CIPFA qualified, whereas many Department Heads and Group Accountants are ACCA qualified. But this is more to do with the"old boys network" in action which given the relative numbers may well mean that CIPFA's dominance will fall (but they will always hold the prestigious standard setting role). Where I work is typical these days, I am ACCA qualified and those in my Department involved with studying are all linked to ACCA or AAT, but my boss is the only CIPFA person in the Authority.

    If you are not working in the public sector it may be difficult and expensive to find a course. So if you are not working in the public sector not only will ACCA offer you the benefit of flexibility, it will be also easier to find a training provider. Some local Authorities require their students to study ACCA rather than CIPFA bececause of the cost and college locations.
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