frankygorilla
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#41
Hello Louise,

Thank you for being available on this site.

I'm interested in doing a fast track ACA of 2 years. Will having a CFAB qualification allow me to take the rest of the ACA in 2 years (assuming I agree the training contract)? I would rather take the CFAB than the AAT, but it seems as though you can only take a fast track ACA course having done the AAT.

Can you clarify this for me?

Thank you
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Traci Wyne
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#42
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#42
(Original post by ICAEW Advisor Louise)
Hi there

My name is Louise and I work in the Student Recruitment team for ICAEW - over the next few months I will be available to answer your questions about the ACA qualification and becoming an ICAEW Chartered Accountant.

I'll also be joining in some existing threads, and pointing you in the right direction about the skills and experience you might need to give you the edge when applying for ACA training agreements.

Feel free to ask me any questions.

Louise
Hi Louise

I am going to choose these subjects for my A-levels:
-Accounting
-Economics
-Business Studies
Do you think this subject combination is fine to pursue the ACA qualification? How much mathematics content is there in the ACA syllabus?

And secondly, I have heard that the ACA exams are not conducted in Pakistan and candidates have to go the nearest centre (e.g. the UAE) to sit for these exams. Is it true? If so then is ICAEW taking any steps to conduct the exams within Pakistan in the coming years?

Lastly, after gaining the ICAEW membership, what job prospects will I have in the UK?

Thanks.
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ICAEW Advisor Helen
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#43
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#43
(Original post by davidwu)
Hi,

I'm very interested in obtaining the ACA qualification but I'd also rather work in industry than in practise. I'm struggling to find any ACA training agreements in industry. Just as an example, Arcadia Group have a finance analyst graduate scheme where it is the CIMA the individual works towards. Could you give me possibly a list of training agreements in industry or even an answer to whether they even exist?

Thanks
Hi there

Yes they certainly do exist, however, they do not recruit for ACA students in as large numbers as accountancy practice. Have you explored the Arcadia Group and asked whether you could study for ACA instead? That's one option. You might also want to grab a copy of the Times Top 100 grad employers - around 65 of them are authorised training employers and can train for the ACA including: NHS, Barclays, Unilever, Tesco, Rolls-Royce, Boots, British Airways, Santander, Coca-Cola. It might be worth getting on their recruitment websites or calling them to find out what opportunities are available.

Good luck.
Louise
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ICAEW Advisor Helen
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#44
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#44
(Original post by frankygorilla)
Hello Louise,

Thank you for being available on this site.

I'm interested in doing a fast track ACA of 2 years. Will having a CFAB qualification allow me to take the rest of the ACA in 2 years (assuming I agree the training contract)? I would rather take the CFAB than the AAT, but it seems as though you can only take a fast track ACA course having done the AAT.

Can you clarify this for me?

Thank you
Hi there

Happy to help. The fast track does relates to the AAT-ACA route which means you study the AAT up to level 3 then transfer onto an ACA training agreement. There is no such thing as a two year fast track ACA training agreement where you study ICAEW CFAB prior to a training agreement.

The reason for this is that you also need to complete the other elements of the qualification which is 450 days relevant work experience, professional development and ethics training. The qualification is integrated so each element relates to each other. Three years is the minimum time it takes graduates to qualify, generally speaking, although I am sure there are exceptions, but rare!

Louise
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ICAEW Advisor Helen
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#45
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#45
(Original post by Traci Wyne)
Hi Louise

I am going to choose these subjects for my A-levels:
-Accounting
-Economics
-Business Studies
Do you think this subject combination is fine to pursue the ACA qualification? How much mathematics content is there in the ACA syllabus?

And secondly, I have heard that the ACA exams are not conducted in Pakistan and candidates have to go the nearest centre (e.g. the UAE) to sit for these exams. Is it true? If so then is ICAEW taking any steps to conduct the exams within Pakistan in the coming years?

Lastly, after gaining the ICAEW membership, what job prospects will I have in the UK?

Thanks.
Hi Traci

The subjects you've chosen give you a good theoretical grounding in business, although employers do not specify any particular subjects. In terms of mathematical content you need to be comfortable working with numbers, being able to analyse and interpret what they mean more than anything else.

The email address for our Pakistan team is [email protected] - they will be able to answer your specific questions as I am not sure of the situation regarding exam centres.

Job prospects for ICAEW Chartered Accountants are good in the UK, but you will need to satisfy eligibility to work in the UK if you from a country outside the EU.

Louise
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spursfan323
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#46
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#46
(Original post by frankygorilla)
Hello Louise,

Thank you for being available on this site.

I'm interested in doing a fast track ACA of 2 years. Will having a CFAB qualification allow me to take the rest of the ACA in 2 years (assuming I agree the training contract)? I would rather take the CFAB than the AAT, but it seems as though you can only take a fast track ACA course having done the AAT.

Can you clarify this for me?

Thank you
CFAB is much harder than AAT and provides only marginally more exemptions. In terms of ease of study, I would definitely recommend AAT over CFAB.

The only drawback is you will lack certain knowledge which is assumed to be b/fwd from prior studies when you come to Professional Stage, but that never troubled me (AAT + Prof stage all first time passes).
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slaviapragueq
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#47
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#47
As of today, the Professional stage taxation exam has been done over with and now those who were planning to write the Taxation exam in September 2013, have to thus write Tax Compliance & Business Taxation Planning exam??

I understand that the Tax compliance exam is quite straightforward, but the BTP exam looks similar to the syllabus for the TI Advanced Taxation.

Louise, can you please elaborate on this?
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ICAEW Advisor Helen
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#48
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#48
(Original post by slaviapragueq)
As of today, the Professional stage taxation exam has been done over with and now those who were planning to write the Taxation exam in September 2013, have to thus write Tax Compliance & Business Taxation Planning exam??

I understand that the Tax compliance exam is quite straightforward, but the BTP exam looks similar to the syllabus for the TI Advanced Taxation.

Louise, can you please elaborate on this?
Hi there

Unfortunately, I'm not able to go into detail about the technical changes of the ACA - could I ask you to email our experts at [email protected] and they will be able to help with any questions.

Best wishes.

Louise
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BusinessACJ
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#49
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#49
Hi,
I am currently studying a degree in Business, Economics and Accountancy.
I have a few questions about the ACA as this is the pathway i wish to take when i have passed my final year, i have only just passed my first year.

Is there a good chance i will be able to find a firm to work for and study? How many places are opened each year as a rounded figure?
What is the best thing to do now to increase chances of finding a place when the time comes?
What time of year would i need to start applying in order to find a placement after my degree ends in June.
What is the average salary whilst working on the ACA scheme?

Thanks
Aaron Jones
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ICAEW Advisor Helen
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#50
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#50
(Original post by BusinessACJ)
Hi,
I am currently studying a degree in Business, Economics and Accountancy.
I have a few questions about the ACA as this is the pathway i wish to take when i have passed my final year, i have only just passed my first year.

Is there a good chance i will be able to find a firm to work for and study? How many places are opened each year as a rounded figure?
What is the best thing to do now to increase chances of finding a place when the time comes?
What time of year would i need to start applying in order to find a placement after my degree ends in June.
What is the average salary whilst working on the ACA scheme?

Thanks
Aaron Jones
Hi Aaron

Great that you are thinking of the ACA as a career route.

In answer to your questions:

There are around 6,000 ACA vacancies each year in a variety of sectors, although the majority are in accountancy practice. Your chance of finding a firm entirely depend on your academic qualifications - employers are generally looking for a 2.1 with upwards of 260-80 UCAS points, as well as how you meet an employers competency requirements - do a bit of research on employers to find out what they need.

Your chances increase if you secure a relevant work placement or internship while you are at university - many students go on to be offered an ACA vacancy if they've performed well. But don't get hung up on relevant work experience, employers are looking for you to have a variety of experiences that may make you suitable ie. involvement in university societies. Visit employers at careers days, sessions and presentations on campus. Try and get on an insight day that some of the bigger firms run. Start to get an idea of the different types of service lines: audit, assurance, forensic accountancy, consultancy, etc.

Some employers open their graduate ACA schemes in July, but the majority from August onwards - so start applying just after your second year of uni, but do your research about firms well before this.

Average salaries are dependent on where you work and for whom. Larger firms in London may pay up to £26k but this can double during your training agreement. Smaller, regional firms pay much less, but you may want to think about the pros and cons of working for different size firms in different locations - cost of living, type of work, support systems while you study - lots to think about!

Hope this helps.

Louise
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ArsenalWenger
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#51
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#51
Hi Louise

I am goin to be starting my degree in accounting and finance this september, it includes a placement year so in regards to the aca qualification wud this year count as one year of the three work experience years required? I know takin the aca exams over two years wud be difficult but is it possible to do this?

Thanks in advance.

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ICAEW Advisor Helen
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#52
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#52
(Original post by ArsenalWenger)
Hi Louise

I am goin to be starting my degree in accounting and finance this september, it includes a placement year so in regards to the aca qualification wud this year count as one year of the three work experience years required? I know takin the aca exams over two years wud be difficult but is it possible to do this?

Thanks in advance.

Posted from TSR Mobile
Hi there

Yes, potentially you can count your placement year towards an ACA training agreement, but you need to make sure that you speak to the employer before you start - to ensure that they set you up with an ACA student record, because the different elements of the ACA get recorded as you go along, and you would be able to take this with you after you graduate.

Each employer structures the ACA differently, so check carefully with them before you start your placement year.

Best wishes.

Louise
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ArsenalWenger
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#53
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Thanks

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krissy93
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#54
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#54
Hie Louise I just finished my high school and I intend to study Accounting and Finance(BA Honors Accounting and Finance) at Middlesex University at the Mauriritus branch. They say that after completing the degree you'll receive a number of exemptions from professional bodies like the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW). So I wanted to find out how long it will take me(as in years) after completing the degree to acquire the ACA qualification? Please help
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ICAEW Advisor Helen
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#55
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#55
(Original post by soko7)
Hi Louise,

I'm in a similar situation as a previous member. I did well imho at A Level (340 UCAS points) but then achieved a 2:2 in Clinical Sciences (so no experience in the financial field). My long term goal is to become a chartered accountant but I need to get my first step on the ladder. I know it will be extremely difficult if not impossible to get a place with a training provider. So I'd like to ask you:
1. Which kind of work experience do you recommend I should look for?
2. Should I look to do the AAT or CFAB?
2i. Am I over-qualified to study the AAT and possibly exempt from the fast-track route as I have a degree?
2ii. What kind of work will I be qualified to do with the CFAB and how do employers regard it?

Thanks in advance
Hi Soko7

Thanks for getting in touch and it’s great to hear that you are planning on becoming a chartered accountant! You are right in thinking securing a training agreement isn’t easy but it is by no means impossible. I would suggest the best place to start looking for an employer would be on our Training Vacancies page icaew.com/trainingvacancies here you will find various job listings and links to employers recruitment websites.
In answer to your questions above:
Which kind of work experience do you recommend I should look for?
Any work experience that you have throughout your life is valuable the key is to identify how the transferable skills you used in various roles will be relevant for the roles you are applying for now. Even part time bar work or working in a shop at weekends require tangible soft skills that are desirable for graduate careers. Key skills to focus on would be communication, team working, presenting etc.
Should I look to do the AAT or CFAB?
AAT/CFAB are both viable options to look into as they will give you good base level understanding, which will stand you in good stead when going on to complete the full ACA. The CFAB allows you to complete the first 6 modules of the ACA which will allow you to claim for credits when completing the ACA in a training agreement with an employer.
Am I over-qualified to study the AAT and possibly exempt from the fast-track route as I have a degree?
Traditionally someone who is educated to degree level wouldn’t then study AAT as it is more traditionally done by a student after finishing GCSEs. The CFAB would probably be more appropriate for you to start as it is a good thing to have on your CV to prove to an employer how serious you are about achieving the ACA.
What kind of work will I be qualified to do with the CFAB and how do employers regard it?
Completion of the CFAB would mean you are part qualified (6 of the 15 total ACA modules). The work that you would be able to do would be that of someone around 1 year into their training contract. The best thing about completing the CFAB is having it on your CV to then secure a training agreement to complete the full ACA.

Hopefully the above helps, if you have any further questions please let me know.

Good Luck
Adam
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sdf1
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#56
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#56
Hey,I'm starting with one of the big 4 this September. I am wondering if you can recommend any books that would be helpful to read preceding my start date? Thanks,Sam
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Tactical Nuclear Penguin
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#57
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#57
(Original post by sdf1)
Hey,I'm starting with one of the big 4 this September. I am wondering if you can recommend any books that would be helpful to read preceding my start date? Thanks,Sam
No real point as you'll get all of the training you need when you start!

Which firm is it?
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zaibazeta
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#58
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#58
I am currently a college student i just finished as level in maths, chemistry, biology and eng literature and progressing on to a2 in September however ive been looking into this aca qualification from ICAEW as i visited a stall at a ucas convention about a month ago which got me interested as you dont really need maths so I am interested in following this route as opposed to going university, what would i need to do in order to start this qualification in September 2014? do i need to do AAT before i can start my ACA?
(i have 8 or more GCSES in maths and english and i will have 3 a levels by end of next year)
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ICAEW Advisor Helen
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#59
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#59
(Original post by sdf1)
Hey,I'm starting with one of the big 4 this September. I am wondering if you can recommend any books that would be helpful to read preceding my start date? Thanks,Sam
Hi sdf1,

As part of your training agreement with your employer you will be provided with all the learning materials and tuition you will need to complete each of the ACA modules.

Good luck with starting your training!

Adam
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ICAEW Advisor Helen
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#60
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#60
(Original post by zaibazeta)
I am currently a college student i just finished as level in maths, chemistry, biology and eng literature and progressing on to a2 in September however ive been looking into this aca qualification from ICAEW as i visited a stall at a ucas convention about a month ago which got me interested as you dont really need maths so I am interested in following this route as opposed to going university, what would i need to do in order to start this qualification in September 2014? do i need to do AAT before i can start my ACA?
(i have 8 or more GCSES in maths and english and i will have 3 a levels by end of next year)
Hi Zaibazeta

Thank you for getting in touch with us and for visiting us at the UCAS Fair.

There are various routes available to you as a school leaver and it would be up to you to choose which is best for you personally. You are right in thinking that you can start AAT and then fast track from this onto the ACA with an employer but because you have completed your A Levels you wouldn't have to enter at this level. As a result of completing your A Levels you would be eligible to go straight into work with an employer on one of their school leaver programmes, which are offered by various different employers.

For more information on the school leaver programmes please see this link http://careers.icaew.com/school-stud.../School-leaver

I hope this helps but if you have any more questions please reply here.

Good Luck!

Adam
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