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Advice about ACCA

ScottBScottB Registered Posts: 21
Hello, Just turned 21 and I achieved a distinction grade in AAT Level 4 in August and have the MAAT status, after looking for a new role to use my AAT qualification I am indeed struggling to find something that will make use of my AAT qualifications and something that pays well enough for my efforts so far (having way for growth of course) I personally can't believe what little opportunitied there are if you just have AAT from what I have seen (Norwich based) I have 2 years experience in purchase ledger and somehow after my dedication that seems to be one of the only things I'm apparently qualified for which I'm a bit upset about, seems as though if I would have left school and didn't go into further education I would be on the same money? Anyway can anyone please advise on going forward to going into practice and doing ACCA at the same time. I have basically left school and done exams and revised (heavily for level 3 and 4 AAT) and was initially put off doing another 3 years of study, but if I want to use my qualifications I may have no choice. Not sure when you are supposed to live your life in all this, as I certainly didn't have one in Level 4 especially.
With ACCA can you purely learn from a book or will you seriously need to start using Excel and Sage etc. People keep saying how difficult ACCA is, but are never specific of why it is harder, audit sounds a pretty boring and hard unit and takes me back to the synoptic assessment for level 4 which was very hard and frustrating given the circumstances. But any advice would be amazing. Thanks in advance and sorry if this sounds as if I'm being a bit on edge!

Comments

  • mergenmergen Just Joined Registered Posts: 105
    There are so many variables/factors, but I have never heard anyone say that AAT helped them find a job. Experience, experience and experience again with AAT on the side is a bonus!
    You need to start selling yourself now, if you really want to go into ACCA or work in practice and etc, then be willing to shadow, volunteer or work weekends or whatever that will land you in that position. Basically start hassling :)
  • ScottBScottB Registered Posts: 21
    @mergen have you done ACCA yourself, and how would you describe the revision part of the exams, can you literally just study from a book, and is it really that much harder than AAT. sorry for the questions but I just want to be sure that ACCA is something that i need and want as it is a big commitment. Thanks again
  • mergenmergen Just Joined Registered Posts: 105
    Haven't done ACCA, still on AAT Level 4 and will probably do CIMA after. If you got distinction in AAT, you will be fine doing ACCA, yes it will be harder but its expected. Look at it this way, by "25" you could be qualified.
    My advice to you, start looking or land yourself an accounts job eg finance assistant, accounts assistant or assistant accountant (if you are lucky, hope you are!). What kind of outgoings do you have? you might have to take a pay cut to get that valuable experience.
  • mergenmergen Just Joined Registered Posts: 105
    Register yourself with recruitment agencies that specialize in finance/accounting and sell yourself. Apply directly as well.
  • ScottBScottB Registered Posts: 21
    Already in finance assistant role and by looks of it will be a good idea to go into practice and get sponsored for ACCA, just if someone who done ACCA exams could tell me a little more about them. Thanks
  • Clintm15Clintm15 Well-Known FarehamRegistered Posts: 247
    Hello Scott,

    I'm part-qualified ACCA and I work in practice, I may be able to help.

    When you say "can anyone please advise on going forward to going into practice and doing ACCA at the same time." can you clarify what you mean exactly?

    "With ACCA can you purely learn from a book "

    Yes, that's the way I have done it. I purchase books from BPP.

    "but are never specific of why it is harder"

    It's harder purely because there is a substantial increase in the information you have to digest for each unit.

    "audit sounds a pretty boring and hard unit "

    I thought it would be too, but it actually wasn't too bad. No calculations, you just had to remember the procedures used to check different items. It's all very logical, not like law.
    AAT
    Level 2 - 2011
    Level 3 - 2012
    Level 4 - 2013

    ACCA
    F4 - Corporate Law - Dec 2015 (passed)
    F5 - Performance Management - Dec 2014 (passed)
    F6 - Taxation - Dec 2013 (passed)
    F7 - Financial Reporting - Jun 2014 (passed)
    F8 - Audit & Assurance - Dec 2015 (passed)
    F9 - Financial Management - Jun 2015 (passed)
  • ScottBScottB Registered Posts: 21
    @Clintm15 sorry for my unspecified comments when I said acca and Practice together I meant how do they go hand in hand, like with AAT, I literally had no on the work experience as just done everything at home, it was frustrating when you work hard at work then come home to revise for hours for something that is completely different. (as said I only work in purchase ledger) so AAT was demanding for me to revise for, also how demanding it was to work in a job in practice then come home to revise and do exams.

    Furthermore when it comes to revising I work best from a book, I spend all day on a pc so nice not to look at a screen so constantly revising and using Sage and excel for revision would be a nightmare haha.

    Also when I was saying about number crunching etc, I'm personally good to learn techniques and processes rather than look at something and say right I gotta remember this paragraph off my heart, sorry that's hard to explain, just that with AAT I loved doing profit and loss/tax returns/balance sheets and them kinda things which had number crunching and methods.
    Hope I have explained, thanks again
  • Clintm15Clintm15 Well-Known FarehamRegistered Posts: 247
    " it was frustrating when you work hard at work then come home to revise for hours for something that is completely different"

    I understand that frustration. Working in practice generally means tax, so only one unit I have done so far has related, and that was F6 Taxation. The grind of working and studying continues to take its toll, it doesn't really get easier. I decided to take a one year study break and that has almost merged into 2 years now :#

    On the plus side, you can obtain a degree with ACCA at the half way point and I can't think of a cheaper way to get one.

    "I'm personally good to learn techniques and processes rather than look at something and say right I gotta remember this paragraph off my heart"

    Likewise, I prefer conceptual learning to rote learning. Certainly more beneficial in the long run.

    " just that with AAT I loved doing profit and loss/tax returns/balance sheets"

    That means you have natural accountancy instincts, a systematic thought process.
    AAT
    Level 2 - 2011
    Level 3 - 2012
    Level 4 - 2013

    ACCA
    F4 - Corporate Law - Dec 2015 (passed)
    F5 - Performance Management - Dec 2014 (passed)
    F6 - Taxation - Dec 2013 (passed)
    F7 - Financial Reporting - Jun 2014 (passed)
    F8 - Audit & Assurance - Dec 2015 (passed)
    F9 - Financial Management - Jun 2015 (passed)
  • ScottBScottB Registered Posts: 21
    @Clintm15 Thank you very much for your input, it is appreciated.

    Thanks

  • ScottBScottB Registered Posts: 21
    @Clintm15 Oh by the way, if i am going into practice and getting sponsored by ACCA, what kind of work will i be doing to begin with and what relevance will it actually have on ACCA,Sorry for the questions.

    Thanks
  • gr2egor2gr2egor2 Registered Posts: 6
    I'm ACCA part qualified and work in big international company. i found it very useful for my ACCA studies (and that was the reason why I quit my last job in a small company)
    I'm involved in P&L, Bal sheet recons (incl consolidations), vat returns, budget and many other.
    If you enjoy doing these, maybe this is the solution for you.
    Fair enough, I don't deal with tax as much as people working in practices.
    in my case AAT was very helpful but it's only a start. ACCA is a beast but it's worth the hassle. :)
  • thesaucethesauce Registered Posts: 2
    Advice please so gained the MAAT Level 4 etc. Now work is prepared to pay for ACCA. I work for a law firm not an accountancy firm.

    Now how many modules did people study at the same time? 1, 2, 3.

    Also the optional modules?

    P6 Advanced taxation would be the one work
    P4 or P5 ?

    BPP any good? personally prefer going to class than over internet.

    Work wants to know a rough time frame in gaining the Qualifications. I know dependent on me passing.

    Thanks in advance.
  • KoopaCooperKoopaCooper London, UKMAAT, AATQB Posts: 225
    @thesauce Rough time frame for ACCA - probably around 3 to 4 years, assuming first-time passes on most exams.

    With regards to which options to choose - that's not important right now, get through your F papers first then worry about it. The type of work you do/want to do should inform your decision on which options to take anyway. :)

    I'm looking at learning providers too - was thinking of finding a local college/uni with evening classes, but this is dependent on where you live and where's available for classes.
    Accounts Executive, ғɪᴀʙ ᴍᴀᴀᴛ
    QBO & Xero certified advisor

    AAT
    Level 2 Certificate in Accounting - 17 Jun 2015
    Level 3 Diploma in Accounting - 22 Jan 2016
    Level 4 Diploma in Accounting - 19 Dec 2017
    MAAT - 27 Mar 2018

    ACCA
    Advanced Diploma in Accounting and Business...
    F4 Corporate and Business Law - 4 Jun 2019
    F5 Performance Management - 15 July 2019
    F6 Taxation (United Kingdom) - 3 Dec 2019
    F8 Audit and Assurance - 2 Mar 2020
  • gr2egor2gr2egor2 Registered Posts: 6
    All depends on your time availability.
    If you have other commitments (full time job, family, etc.) you will be lucky to sit 2 exams a year (like me). If you pass them first time and have exemptions from F1 to F3 it would be 5-6 years. It's a long journey and most people who start this will probably give up at some point. It's really huge amount of work and much more difficult than AAT.
  • thesaucethesauce Registered Posts: 2
    @gr2egor2 Thankfully none of those commitments.

    So what is the logical route on the F papers then? i.e. What order should they be sat in?

    Koopacooper 3/4 years then that is 2 papers per year. Based in London so BPP was logical since on the way home from work.

    Yes I am exempt from F1 to F3.

    Thanks in advance for advice.
  • Clintm15Clintm15 Well-Known FarehamRegistered Posts: 247
    edited December 2017
    @thesauce

    I would suggest take one exam to start with and see how you get on, then go from there. There is an exam session every quarter now so I see no need to double up on sessions anymore.

    Exam order?
    There isn't much of a logical route other then if you finished AAT with Tax or Audit, then start ACCA with Tax or Audit.

    AAT
    Level 2 - 2011
    Level 3 - 2012
    Level 4 - 2013

    ACCA
    F4 - Corporate Law - Dec 2015 (passed)
    F5 - Performance Management - Dec 2014 (passed)
    F6 - Taxation - Dec 2013 (passed)
    F7 - Financial Reporting - Jun 2014 (passed)
    F8 - Audit & Assurance - Dec 2015 (passed)
    F9 - Financial Management - Jun 2015 (passed)
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