ICAEW Advisor Helen
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(Original post by MudassarrQJ)
Hi Louise,

I have got an offer to study the ACA (CFAB first) with EY starting this September.

I have a few queries:

1. How would you compare the exams with A-levels? Are they harder/easier? Are they totally different?

2. What is the value of an ACA without a degree?

3. Once I get my ACA, can I move to banking or other financial institutions or am I restricted to professional services/accountancy?

Thanks a lot Louise!
Hi Mudassarr, Its Jackie here, Louise has moved on to pastures new so I have taken over from her, I am just updating everything as we speak. It is great to hear that you have a place on the EY programme - Congratulations!

In terms of the ACA qualification exams comparing to A-levels. A-levels are considered to be a Level 3 qualification and the Certificate level of the ACA is an equivalent to Level 4, so you will notice a step up in difficulty. However EY will be providing you with a structured tuition package to support you and at ICAEW we have lots of resources and tools to help you too, so you'll get lots of support.

Once you have achieved the ACA qualification, there will be no difference between yourself and anyone who progressed onto the ACA after having a degree. The way the ACA qualification is structured means that everyone, no matter what entry route they take, will have to complete all of the modules, pass all of the exams and complete each of the four key components. This approach is what makes the ACA qualification so respected.

Finally, once you have your qualification, you will be able to work in any sector you choose. The nice thing about the ACA is that the broad range of modules you study means that you have left your career options open, rather than closing them off by making subject choices. Lots of our members have started their careers in practice and moved into Business or Financial Services later in their careers, there are loads of stories you can watch/read on our website (in the careers and salary section at www.icaew.com/careers).

I hope this helps but if you have any more questions let me know

Jackie
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ACA2014
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Hi Jackie,

I have an offer to study the ACA. Can you please tell me how many exams I will be taking in the first year?

Thanks for all your help
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Ree-Shay
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#83
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Hi Jackie,

I've got an offer to study ACA in industry. Could you please tell me the career options open to me? Would it be possible to move into Practice?

Thanks,
Shaye
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ICAEW Advisor Helen
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(Original post by ACA2014)
Hi Jackie,

I have an offer to study the ACA. Can you please tell me how many exams I will be taking in the first year?

Thanks for all your help
Hi, sorry for the delay in getting back to your post. The number and subject of the modules you take in the first year will really depend on the organisation you are training with and the tuition provider you will be going to. It will also depend if you have any credit for prior learning too. However, as a guide most organisations will either take:
• a linear approach - meaning you study the six certificate level modules first (over approximately a year, sometimes less); or,
• a column approach - where you study the two corresponding certificate and professional level modules together (i.e Accounting and Financial Accounting and Reporting) and then move onto the next. With this approach you may take less exams (four-six) in the first year as the professional level ones are at a higher level to the certificate level. I recommend that you clarify this with your employer though.

I hope this helps.

Jackie

p.s Congratulations!
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ICAEW Advisor Helen
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(Original post by Ree-Shay)
Hi Jackie,

I've got an offer to study ACA in industry. Could you please tell me the career options open to me? Would it be possible to move into Practice?

Thanks,
Shaye
Hi Shaya,

Congratulations!

There are lots of career options open to you and where you want to go in your career is entirely up to you. Because the ACA is such a broad qualification, the knowledge and skills you develop are transferrable between sectors once you have qualified. We have lots of ICAEW members who move between each of the four sectors during their career (practice, public/not-for-profit sector, financial services, industry). There is more information about the sectors you can work in the careers and salary section of our website www.icaew.com/careers and there is quite a good selection of career profiles on there from our members who tell their stories about their career paths.

Does this help? If you have any further questions let me know and good luck for when you start your new job!

Jackie
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ACA2014
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(Original post by ICAEW Advisor Jackie)
Hi, sorry for the delay in getting back to your post. The number and subject of the modules you take in the first year will really depend on the organisation you are training with and the tuition provider you will be going to. It will also depend if you have any credit for prior learning too. However, as a guide most organisations will either take:
• a linear approach - meaning you study the six certificate level modules first (over approximately a year, sometimes less); or,
• a column approach - where you study the two corresponding certificate and professional level modules together (i.e Accounting and Financial Accounting and Reporting) and then move onto the next. With this approach you may take less exams (four-six) in the first year as the professional level ones are at a higher level to the certificate level. I recommend that you clarify this with your employer though.

I hope this helps.

Jackie

p.s Congratulations!
Many thanks for your reply Jackie

What advice would you give someone who is about to start the ACA? Can you recommend some pre reading before my course starts? I haven't studied accounting before so Im looking for a good overview.

Thanks again.
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farhantahir786
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Hi Jackie,

I was wondering if you could help me.

Currently, I live in Scotland, and so the primary qualification on offer is the ICAS qualification. Up until recently, I was looking to study the ICAS qualification, but now i'm having second thoughts and I actually think the ICAEW would be better.

My main question is, I couldn't find much information about exemptions for my university (Heriot-Watt University). I did study a relevant degree (Accounting and Finance), but I can't find exemption information.

Also, I was wondering - what is the difficulty level in getting a training contract? I know in Scotland smaller firms prefer Scottish Universities, but is this the case in England aswell? I actually want to move to the Manchester/North West area, but until I get a offer, it's probably not the best idea to move. So any advice on this aspect would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Farhan
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ICAEW Advisor Helen
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(Original post by ACA2014)
Many thanks for your reply Jackie

What advice would you give someone who is about to start the ACA? Can you recommend some pre reading before my course starts? I haven't studied accounting before so Im looking for a good overview.

Thanks again.
My main advice would be to make sure you do plenty of research about the company that you are going to be working for. If it is a firm of accountants, make sure you are familiar with the service lines that they offer, or if they are a business make sure you understand what their products are and where they are positioned in the market. You probably did this to prepare for the interview but make sure you keep up-to-date.

Commercial awareness is a key skill that employers are looking for in new recruits, so if you can show you are aware of what is going on in the business world and how it could have an impact on your company or its line of work I am sure they will be impressed.

I wouldn’t worry too much about developing your technical accounting knowledge before you start, as you should get all the support you need from your employer through your ACA tuition and your on the job experience. If you do want to do some research, you can always visit our www.icaew.com/careers website to find out more about the ACA qualification or our main corporate site to get more technical information.

Finally, some firms offer for new employees to get involved in social activities in the summer before you start with them. If they do, make sure you get involved, its a great way to break the ice and start building your network.

I hope this helps and good luck!
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ICAEW Advisor Helen
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(Original post by farhantahir786)
Hi Jackie,

I was wondering if you could help me.

Currently, I live in Scotland, and so the primary qualification on offer is the ICAS qualification. Up until recently, I was looking to study the ICAS qualification, but now i'm having second thoughts and I actually think the ICAEW would be better.

My main question is, I couldn't find much information about exemptions for my university (Heriot-Watt University). I did study a relevant degree (Accounting and Finance), but I can't find exemption information.

Also, I was wondering - what is the difficulty level in getting a training contract? I know in Scotland smaller firms prefer Scottish Universities, but is this the case in England aswell? I actually want to move to the Manchester/North West area, but until I get a offer, it's probably not the best idea to move. So any advice on this aspect would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Farhan
Hi Farhan, great news that you would like to study for ICAEW's ACA qualification!

In terms of your main question, our Credit for Prior Learning directory is the main place to look, as if anyone has applied from your university and course before it would be listed here. I have had a quick look myself and cannot seem to find anything either. Therefore, if you did want to apply for credits then you would have to make a full application. As it is an Accounting and Finance degree, there should be some available, it would just be a case of how many so our team here would have to look into the syllabus detail when you make your application. The link to the pages on our website with more information about the process is http://www.icaew.com/en/qualificatio...-qualification.

In relation to finding an ACA training agreement, our dedicated Training Vacancies website would be the best place for you to start www.icaewtrainingvacancies.com. Here you will find a range of employers advertising their ACA vacancies from across the UK and our employers range in size. I recommend signing up to job alerts and loading your CV for employers to search too.

I hope this information helps and if you need any more advice then let me know.
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Graduate_1990
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Hello Jacki, I'd just like to find out how many prior learning credits I could obtain from my undergraduate and postgraduate degrees? I am aware that this is based on a case-by-case basis, however what is the maximum exemptions I could apply for? I hold a BA (Hons) Accounting and a MSc. Strategic Accounting & Finance. None of my degrees are listed on the ICAEW's database. I have covered most of the certificate/professional level exams either directly or indirectly for example: law, taxation, auditing, financial management, financial reporting, management accounting etc.
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tkatawal
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Hi,
I wanted to know about ACA tuition providers. The information on ICAEW website is overwhelming. I have heard that Kaplan and BPP are one of the best tuition providers. I went to their website but I find the whole course details confusing. Does the tuition for each paper/module only last a few days say 3/4 days? I want to be able to attend the classes with all the study material required and learn everything from certificate level along with my ACA training.
Many thanks
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Josh95ni
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Hi

I have recently passed the EY assessment centre in London, I have been invited to attend a partner interview. Has anyone got advice about the interview such as what type of questions are asked, how long does it last, and is it similar to the first interview. also I was wondering if the success rate at this stage is quite high.

Kind regards
Josh
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matt011
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(Original post by ICAEW Advisor Jackie)
Hi there

My name is Jackie and I work in the Student Recruitment team for ICAEW. Advisor Louise has moved on to a new company now so I have taken over from her Advisor role. I will be available to answer your questions about the ACA qualification and entry routes to 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.

Jackie
Hello Jackie,

I want to start a career in accountancy. I'm 24, & during the past 6 years, I've been in/out of hospital with depression (ok now). I've also taught myself web development & taken on a few clients.

I have 10 GCSEs (A-C) & two A-levels (B & D) . Please can you tell me what the best route for me to take is? I would like to become ACA / ICAEW qualified in the shortest possible time. I don't have any experience in accountancy at present. I'm very willing to work a couple of months for free, as to get my foot in the door, so to speak.

Thanks!
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ssalmaa
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Hi jackie...
I am currently doing my gcse's...i have been interested in accounting for nearly 4 years (so since I was 12) ..what are the gcses that are mostly needed to go into acccounting, so what grades? Also I have picked further maths and economics for 6th form alongside to other subjects juat to keep my options opened (law and psychology)...they don't do any accounting courses...so what grades would I need in a levels aswell?

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AllyN
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Hi

I am looking for advice on the best route to take in order to achieve ACA...I have a 2.1 law/politics degree (graduated 2006) and originally started a career in compliance (financial industry) I then took a career break and had a family...now the youngest is almost at school I have decided to pursue accountancy....I would ideally like to start the ball rolling with a distance learning option until my dd is at full time school, then look to finding a post with a local firm to progress my study to the full ACA...do I start with the CFAB or AAT? or is there another route you can suggest?

Thank you for your help!
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apsendy1
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Hi Jackie,

Can we take ACA 3-4 years after graduation or we must take it directly after graduation?

Thanks
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ICAEW Advisor Jackie
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Hi Everyone,

It's Jenny and Mark here from the ICAEW Student Recruitment Team. We're here to answer any questions you may have about getting into chartered accountancy from school, college and university.

Discover more on our careers website at http://www.icaew.com/careers



We're also on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/icaewcareers
. . . and Twitter http://www.twitter.com/ICAEW_Careers

If you're looking for an ACA training vacancy, use our Training Vacancies website http://www.icaewtrainingvacancies.com and also have a look at the Events section on our Facebook page.

Thanks
Jenny and Mark
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ICAEW Advisor Jackie
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(Original post by ssalmaa)
Hi jackie...
I am currently doing my gcse's...i have been interested in accounting for nearly 4 years (so since I was 12) ..what are the gcses that are mostly needed to go into acccounting, so what grades? Also I have picked further maths and economics for 6th form alongside to other subjects juat to keep my options opened (law and psychology)...they don't do any accounting courses...so what grades would I need in a levels aswell?

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Hi Ssalmaa,

You need to take Maths and English (plus at least 3 other subjects of your choice) and obtain at least a B in Maths and English. Some of our authorised training employers (whom you'd take your ACA qualification with) ask for an A at GCSE.

Our advice is to try your best to get the highest grades you can. This way you stand a greater chance of getting more opportunities.

Hope this helps you?

Thanks
Jenny and Mark
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ICAEW Advisor Jackie
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(Original post by AllyN)
Hi

I am looking for advice on the best route to take in order to achieve ACA...I have a 2.1 law/politics degree (graduated 2006) and originally started a career in compliance (financial industry) I then took a career break and had a family...now the youngest is almost at school I have decided to pursue accountancy....I would ideally like to start the ball rolling with a distance learning option until my dd is at full time school, then look to finding a post with a local firm to progress my study to the full ACA...do I start with the CFAB or AAT? or is there another route you can suggest?

Thank you for your help!
Hi AllyN,

Thanks for your post. You can start the ACA qualification with an authorised training employer as you have graduated. Our advice would be to contact some of our authorised training employers and have a chat regarding the sort of work-life balance you'd like. Obviously you'd like to spend sometime with your children, so you may find the standard 3-year ACA training agreement a little too intensive . . . however you can do the ACA over as long as 5 years, so you can get more family time.

You need to find an authorised training employer who'd be willing to take you on a 5-year training agreement, so you'll need to contact their HR departments (or training partner if it's a smaller firm), so see what their thoughts are.

Use our ACA Training Vacancies website http://www.icaewtrainingvacancies.com

You can start with ICAEW CFAB if you want to get a flavour of what it would be like on the first six modules of the ACA however some firms like you to train from scratch with them. So, see what you can find from the firms.

Hope this helps?

Thanks
Jenny and Mark
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ICAEW Advisor Jackie
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(Original post by apsendy1)
Hi Jackie,

Can we take ACA 3-4 years after graduation or we must take it directly after graduation?

Thanks
Hi Apsendy,

You can take the ACA qualification anytime after you graduate. You'll follow the same recruitment process as graduates and essentially be on the same programme. The only difference could be in the work place in terms of what experience you may have had since your graduation e.g. whether you've worked in certain industries with certain clients, types of projects you've had etc.

Hope this helps?

Thanks
Jenny and Mark
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