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Confusion over ACA.

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    Hi guys,

    Been researching the difference between ACA and ACCA over the past few weeks. I think I've decided that the ACA is more suited to my current situation and future goals.

    My question is the following: as I've only recently accepted that Investment Banking isn't really option right now, I will qualify as a Chartered Accountant and go from there.

    Is it possible to self-study the ACA (E.g. start the qualification by sitting a few exams) while I look for training contracts?

    Thank you,

    WokSz.
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    Yes it is possible to start ACA training before you find a contract but you need 450 days work before you qualify.
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    Hi there

    You could study CFAB from ICAEW if you are interested in the ACA - this is a standalone qualification of six modules which give you the essential underpinning for chartered accountancy and it is also the first six modules of the ACA, and does help give you a head start if you are looking for a training agreement with an employer.

    Louise
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    (Original post by ICAEWAdvisorLouise)
    Hi there

    You could study CFAB from ICAEW if you are interested in the ACA - this is a standalone qualification of six modules which give you the essential underpinning for chartered accountancy and it is also the first six modules of the ACA, and does help give you a head start if you are looking for a training agreement with an employer.

    Louise
    Will this qualification help me get exemptions from the ACA when I do get a training contract?
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    (Original post by Jack McGill)
    Yes it is possible to start ACA training before you find a contract but you need 450 days work before you qualify.
    Thank you Jack.
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    (Original post by WokSz)
    Will this qualification help me get exemptions from the ACA when I do get a training contract?
    You'll get 6 exemptions out of the 15 exams.

    Some employers may want you to sit the papers again or at least go to college to learn the material again. You might also want to consider that doing the CFAB will also act as a decent signal to employers that you are committed to the career path.
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    If you were good enough to comprehend IB, then you should be able to get a Training Contract somewhere, without starting the ACA yourself.
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    (Original post by Regent)
    If you were good enough to comprehend IB, then you should be able to get a Training Contract somewhere, without starting the ACA yourself.
    This.

    Employers value practical experience equally as much as a qualification. To be fair, ACA is just "windowdressing" for your CV i.e. a signalling mechanism; it usually is about the soft skills which you gain through actual work.
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    Thank you for your help.
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    Could someone tell me the difference between ACA - full chartered - and ACCA - certified chartered? Are they both chartered accountancy quals?
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    (Original post by ilovecatsforlife)
    Could someone tell me the difference between ACA - full chartered - and ACCA - certified chartered? Are they both chartered accountancy quals?
    There are many differences between ACCA and ACA. Ultimately, one of the main things you need to consider is what you want to do in your future career. Research shows that ACAs can usually command higher salaries and as Mervin stated above - there are far more ACAs in senior positions in UK FTSE companies and major organisations than other qualifications. You may also want to look at some of the senior job vacancies that are advertised in publications such as the Financial Times (or similar) as some of the key vacancies ask specifically for ACA qualified.

    Here are just some of the other differences between ACA and ACCA:

    Optional vs compulsory: With ACA there are no optional exam papers (which is the case with ACCA). Every ACA exam module is compulsory (unless you qualify for exemption on a particular module). Students cannot opt out of areas in which they feel less confident. Employers love this as it means they get individuals who have consistent levels of academic and professional achievement across multiple areas. It's good for you as you get a broad, in-depth level of expertise in many disciplines, so you can add value to any number of areas of that business.

    Time taken to qualify: 80% of ACA students qualify in three years or less, while for ACCA this figure drops to 59%. For you, this could mean you gain an internationally recognised professional qualification more quickly which may then impact on your salary and job prospects.

    Four compulsory elements: The ACA is more than just exams. It requires ongoing study and development of ethics training, professional skills development and technical work experience. While the ACCA requires some development in these areas too, there is less regulation/monitoring around the way in which some of this exeperience can be gained. This is not the case with ACA where you would need to gain these skills with an employer that is authorised by ICAEW to train ACA students. This benefits you as it helps ensures that all students receive high levels of support from their organisations.

    Training agreement: This is a two-way formal agreement between employer and students relating to your ACA studies. Employers outline the support they will offer you, while you agree to study hard, pass your exams and complete all te components of the qualification. ACCA does not require anything similar to this. Research shows that students taking qualifications with accountancy bodies that require some form of formal agreement have higher pass marks.

    Exam sittings: ACA offers more exam sittings. This is better for you and your employer as it means exams schedules can be tailored to suit your work commitments and the business needs of your organisation.

    Ethics training: Given recent events in the world economy, it is more crucial than ever that future business leaders act with integrity and good judgement. The ACA therefore requires ongoing ethics learning throughout training. This is not the case with ACCA.

    Quality learning materials: ACA produces its own learning materials. These are reviewed yearly and approved by the examiners. ACCA has no such control processes in place for their materials, so multiple versions of varying quality may exist.

    Retrieved from http://www.ion.icaew.com/talkaccountancyforum/22442
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    Fairly biased then :L some firms don't offer a choice. Eg pwc only do acca if I remember? Is acca quite limited if you wanted to go into industry?
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    ACA is the biggest and can point to how many ACA holders are in top positions...but it's hard to extract cause from effect.

    From the interviews I had the only logical explanation I ever had was that it's all politics. The big four move between ACA/ ACCA and ICAS in order to get the qualification they want, taught in the way they want.
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    (Original post by ilovecatsforlife)
    Fairly biased then :L some firms don't offer a choice. Eg pwc only do acca if I remember? Is acca quite limited if you wanted to go into industry?
    PwC offer ACA as their main qualification in England
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    (Original post by Samtheman1)
    PwC offer ACA as their main qualification in England
    Oh, the one I applied for said ACCA, is it a mistake then? this is the one im going for.

    http://www.ukcareers.pwc.com/PwCGrad...=1&OrderBy=loc
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    (Original post by ilovecatsforlife)
    Oh, the one I applied for said ACCA, is it a mistake then? this is the one im going for.

    http://www.ukcareers.pwc.com/PwCGrad...=1&OrderBy=loc
    From what I can see people study for ACCA on the school leaver program but ACA on the graduate program.
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    Are there any disadvantages about being ACCA qualified as opposed to ACA qualified in terms of moving between industry and practise?
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    (Original post by ilovecatsforlife)
    Are there any disadvantages about being ACCA qualified as opposed to ACA qualified in terms of moving between industry and practise?
    I believe it is quite normal for firms to offer ACCA to school leavers and ACA to graduates. I likewise favour the ACA (very good post above explaining some of the advantages), but becoming ACCA qualified from PWC as a school leaver will still leave you in a great position career wise. I wouldn't worry about it, the PWC name will give weight to either qualification.
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    (Original post by 2late)
    This.

    Employers value practical experience equally as much as a qualification. To be fair, ACA is just "windowdressing" for your CV i.e. a signalling mechanism; it usually is about the soft skills which you gain through actual work.
    Nope, you cannot sign off account without being qualified as ACA or ACCA. Your career path will be limited if not qualified.
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    (Original post by poony)
    Nope, you cannot sign off account without being qualified as ACA or ACCA. Your career path will be limited if not qualified.
    And do you sign off accounts if you're an Investment Banker (which this thread relates to) or is that what Auditors do? :rolleyes:

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Updated: June 28, 2012
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