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help please with next steps after AAT

elizaeliza Just JoinedRegistered Posts: 2
Hi I hope someone with experience will be able to help with my questions..

I am a mature student - have just passed technician level in August and am keen to carrying on studying either ACCA or CIMA. Currently working as a part-time finance administrator my employer will not fund study so I will need to pay myself and studying in my own time, so cost of the course is an issue. I know that I will do best in a classroom environment.

I am based in East Anglia and the only local course provider I have been able to find for ACCA is Kaplan - does anyone else know of any other? They seem to be very expensive and the course is not on a weekly basis but for several days at a time which is not ideal for me.

There is a CIMA course at the local college - but I am not sure that CIMA is the right choice for someone in my position. Is there really much of a differnece between CIMA and ACCA. Will employers be put off if you have the 'wrong' qualification?

Any help in choosing a course and a training supplier would be great.


  • Thomasl1Thomasl1 Feels At Home Registered Posts: 43
    I was having the same problems deciding what and how to study after AAT.
    All i can tell you is my exeperience and that is I have now enrolled with CIMA as a student member, and I have decided to persue home study with a company called Premier Training. They seem to be a very reputable company and I look forward to beginning studies shortly.

    I think ACCA is more aimed towards a career in an accounting practise with no empthasis on management. I think an employer would only be put off if they put more of an empthasis on management in a job position and then I feel they would choose CIMA over ACCA.

    I look forward to seeing other peoples inputs on this tho.
  • A-VicA-Vic Expertise Guaranteed Registered Posts: 6,970
    Hi Eliza congratulations on passing AAT :001_smile:

    Our college ACCA Fundermentals although our college dont do the full course they do offer that does yours not?
  • stevefstevef Well-Known CarmarthenRegistered Posts: 258
    I have read in a number of threads now the opinion that ACCA is aimed at private practice and not industry/management.

    ACCA is the "all rounder" of the accountancy bodies in terms of both career emphasis and international standing. ACCA roots do noy lie in practice but in commerce. Originally the letters stood for the Association of Certified and Corporate Accountants and ACCA was aimed at company financial accountants and Treasurers. Over the years it has expanded its syllabus to include management accounting, auditing, personal tax etc etc to make it an appropriate qualification for commerce, industry, the public sector and private practice. It allows members to specialise to become management accountants, registered auditors, company secretaries, hold practising certificates or corporate financial accountants. The size of membership and number of registered students means that it has to be a broad church.

    Remember all six of the CCAB body follow the same accounting standards, the same auditing standards, the same tax regime and the same legislation. As they are all CCAB members they all have similar ethical codes and academic standards. Some of the bodies emphasise certain parts of the syllabus more than others, and greatly reducing others eg CIPFA has reduced taxation to such an extent that it can not offer practising certificates.

    To summarise, being a member of any CCAB body is an acheivement and will push your career on, but don't be mislead into thinking that ACCA is mainly for private practice, it is for corporate accountants and therefore makes highly appropriate for any sector.
  • Thomasl1Thomasl1 Feels At Home Registered Posts: 43
    Thanks stevef, thats really cleared it up in my eyes. I was always under the previous impression but now that you have explained things a lil better, it makes a lot more sense.
  • EsmeEsme Experienced Mentor Registered Posts: 711
    You could do ACCA via long distance learning with Premier Training, they are probably one of the cheapest options but are also only a phone call away if you need help and are very supportive.
  • elizaeliza Just Joined Registered Posts: 2
    Thank you for the replies.

    I will look at the premier training website - the cost is certainly a lot lower . I notice that they do both CIMA and ACCA. The CIMA course at the local college is £500 per unit, compared with £115 per unit for distance learning. That is a huge difference. But how easy is it really to do this by distance learning?

    Given that ACCA covers everything and CIMA is a subsection why would people go for CIMA in preference to ACCA?

    While studying the AAT the parts I enjoyed the most were the PCR and PEV units. I come from a science/maths background and like analsying data, etc Does this mean that I would do better with CIMA?
  • troytroy Trusted Regular Registered Posts: 275
    The main reason (other that I do not like manaement accounts) i did not choose CIMA is that after you finish you will not be able to sign off final accounts.

    This may be a limiting factor depending upon where you do/want to work?
  • BluewednesdayBluewednesday Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 1,624
    troy wrote: »
    The main reason (other that I do not like manaement accounts) i did not choose CIMA is that after you finish you will not be able to sign off final accounts.

    This may be a limiting factor depending upon where you do/want to work?

    Then you picked the wrong reason not to study CIMA.

    Directors are the only ones that sign off accounts, CIMA qualifieds can prepare them as any other CCAB qualified does, in fact it's easier for CIMA as the practicing certificate requirements are not as stringent as ACCA or ICAEW.
  • AndypandyAndypandy Experienced Mentor Registered Posts: 526
    Why does everybody forget about ACA?
  • EsmeEsme Experienced Mentor Registered Posts: 711
    Eliza, I've studied AAT by long distance learning with Premier Training and have found it fine, I have worked much harder than I did for A Levels and my non-accountancy degree at Uni.

    I personally find that as I do the work when I want rather than having to attend at a set time I become more disciplined and have handed all work in much sooner than the requried date.

    I am planning to carry on doing ACCA this way, but as I haven't started yet I'm not sure how much harder it will be.
  • Thomasl1Thomasl1 Feels At Home Registered Posts: 43
    I studied AAT in college and at times I found myself to be 'waiting around' for the rest of the class to finish a question before moving on. That's why Im looking forward to studying CIMA on a home study course so I can move at my own pace. However, a lot of people have said that discipline is needed in order to ensure you study on your own.
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