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    Hello All,

    I hope you are well. I am 25 and graduated from university with an Accounting and Finance degree. I started out with a graduate scheme and now in a permanent role.

    I work in banking (one of big UK banks) and I don't really want to spend my whole career at a bank and would like to study for the ACA to keep my options open in the future.

    There are people at my bank who are studying for the ACA so I believe my bank is an authorized to sign-off for the time qualifications but I have a few questions with regards to the registering with the ICAEW.

    1. When I register what actually happens.
    2. I don't plan to take funding from my employer (so no classes from Kaplan for the knowledge etc. until I really need it i.e. the professional stages) because I am thinking about leaving my employer in the next year or so and don't want to pay back the expensive fees. I have friends who are studying for the ACA so I have access to the Kaplan material
    3. Is purchasing the books compulsory as they are £30 each and my friend who has just started the ACA has given me their material.

    I just had a look on their website, as mentioned above I believe that my bank is an Authorized Trainer but how do I find out who the right person to contact is within my bank?

    My questions for the lovely people of this forum are:

    - would it be possible to study independently for the knowledge exams and would I need a mentor in the bank to sign-off my time qualification?
    - How challenging are the exams and how much time would I realistically need for each module for knowledge?

    Thanks guys - looking forward to starting this long journey
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    (Original post by Bleached)
    Hello All,

    I hope you are well. I am 25 and graduated from university with an Accounting and Finance degree. I started out with a graduate scheme and now in a permanent role.

    I work in banking (one of big UK banks) and I don't really want to spend my whole career at a bank and would like to study for the ACA to keep my options open in the future.

    There are people at my bank who are studying for the ACA so I believe my bank is an authorized to sign-off for the time qualifications but I have a few questions with regards to the registering with the ICAEW.

    1. When I register what actually happens.
    2. I don't plan to take funding from my employer (so no classes from Kaplan for the knowledge etc. until I really need it i.e. the professional stages) because I am thinking about leaving my employer in the next year or so and don't want to pay back the expensive fees. I have friends who are studying for the ACA so I have access to the Kaplan material
    3. Is purchasing the books compulsory as they are £30 each and my friend who has just started the ACA has given me their material.

    I just had a look on their website, as mentioned above I believe that my bank is an Authorized Trainer but how do I find out who the right person to contact is within my bank?

    My questions for the lovely people of this forum are:

    - would it be possible to study independently for the knowledge exams and would I need a mentor in the bank to sign-off my time qualification?
    - How challenging are the exams and how much time would I realistically need for each module for knowledge?

    Thanks guys - looking forward to starting this long journey
    As you did A&F at LSE, you'll have exemptions (or credit for prior learning) from most of the knowledge papers as long as you did the required modules.

    You can search here - http://apps.icaew.com/index.cfm/rout...ning_directory

    The course may have changed slightly since you took it so check your modules if you can't remember etc.

    As for difficulty of ACA, wikijobs has a few answers.

    http://www.wikijob.co.uk/forum/accou...-are-aca-exams

    http://www.wikijob.co.uk/forum/accou...icult-are-they

    Out of interest why do you want to switch from working for an IB to being an ACA? Not a choice that many make, I know many do are both usually starting out with the ACA.

    Anyway, good luck with it
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    Thanks for the reply, really appreciate it :-).

    After working for over two years now I just really dislike the job and think that doing the ACA will give me flexibility to move to more roles. I think it would quite nice to move over to Corporate as I think the culture would be nicer. What's your background, are you working at an accounting firm?

    Wrt to the exemptions I have had a look and I didn't do too well for ac100 so can't get the exemptions which is a major ***** but I guess its my fault so can't complain.
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    (Original post by Bleached)
    Thanks for the reply, really appreciate it :-).

    After working for over two years now I just really dislike the job and think that doing the ACA will give me flexibility to move to more roles. I think it would quite nice to move over to Corporate as I think the culture would be nicer. What's your background, are you working at an accounting firm?

    Wrt to the exemptions I have had a look and I didn't do too well for ac100 so can't get the exemptions which is a major ***** but I guess its my fault so can't complain.
    I'm currently studying at Manchester but I've done quite a bit of research on the ACA and I think it's for me. I will be applying for internships this Summer/Autumn.

    Oh fair enough, it will give you great scope to choose whatever you wish to do after you've completed it I guess. Did you do IB exams? Accounting will be more corporate, that's quite true. You'll have an amazing CV after this what with your experience and qualifications.
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    (Original post by Bleached)
    Hello All,

    I hope you are well. I am 25 and graduated from university with an Accounting and Finance degree. I started out with a graduate scheme and now in a permanent role.

    I work in banking (one of big UK banks) and I don't really want to spend my whole career at a bank and would like to study for the ACA to keep my options open in the future.

    There are people at my bank who are studying for the ACA so I believe my bank is an authorized to sign-off for the time qualifications but I have a few questions with regards to the registering with the ICAEW.

    1. When I register what actually happens.
    2. I don't plan to take funding from my employer (so no classes from Kaplan for the knowledge etc. until I really need it i.e. the professional stages) because I am thinking about leaving my employer in the next year or so and don't want to pay back the expensive fees. I have friends who are studying for the ACA so I have access to the Kaplan material
    3. Is purchasing the books compulsory as they are £30 each and my friend who has just started the ACA has given me their material.

    I just had a look on their website, as mentioned above I believe that my bank is an Authorized Trainer but how do I find out who the right person to contact is within my bank?

    My questions for the lovely people of this forum are:

    - would it be possible to study independently for the knowledge exams and would I need a mentor in the bank to sign-off my time qualification?
    - How challenging are the exams and how much time would I realistically need for each module for knowledge?

    Thanks guys - looking forward to starting this long journey
    Hi Bleached

    Great that you are thinking of training for the ACA qualification - to answer your specific questions:

    • if you study independently you would not have a training manager as you would be studying without a training agreement, therefore you only have access to the modules and exams
    • the modules are challenging, however, this is a personal issue and each person has different motivation and ability so potentially, if you are sure this is the route you want to take, you may find them easier than you think!


    To clarify the above, if you are thinking of training for the ACA you would need to find a training agreement with an ICAEW Authorised Training Employer in order to complete all the requirements. As an independent student you can only complete the modules and exams (except the Case Study).

    Have you considered applying for an ICAEW Training Agreement instead? ICAEW has vacancies on its website icaew.com/careers then click the Training Vacancies link.

    Hope this helps.

    Louise
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    Hi Bleached, I was working in a bank but in a department completely non-related to finance/ accounting. I do not have any background in accountancy, but started studying independently full-time towards the ACA since two months ago. I have now passed two modules. It is not difficult to pass if you work through the ICAEW study manual and question bank, and it probably will only take you a month to prepare each Knowledge module since you are not new to the subject. Hope this helps.
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    (Original post by ellyntt)
    Hi Bleached, I was working in a bank but in a department completely non-related to finance/ accounting. I do not have any background in accountancy, but started studying independently full-time towards the ACA since two months ago. I have now passed two modules. It is not difficult to pass if you work through the ICAEW study manual and question bank, and it probably will only take you a month to prepare each Knowledge module since you are not new to the subject. Hope this helps.
    hi thank you for your reply and words of encouragement. I just wanted to know if you happen to want to "chat", since we're both doing it independently it would be really nice to have someone to share my experience with haha

    I am 24, frm, London, never know we may even work at the same bank!
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    Hey Guys, I just wanted to know what you all thought would be the "best combination" of modules for the knowledge modules would be.

    I have just about going through the Kaplan file for Accounting and did plan to do MI but they are rumoured to be both of the toughest and not sure it would be wise to do both at the same time.

    anybody have any thoughts on combinations?
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    (Original post by Bleached)
    Hey Guys, I just wanted to know what you all thought would be the "best combination" of modules for the knowledge modules would be.

    I have just about going through the Kaplan file for Accounting and did plan to do MI but they are rumoured to be both of the toughest and not sure it would be wise to do both at the same time.

    anybody have any thoughts on combinations?
    I was exempt from 3 of them; but maybe do Accounting, Assurance & Tax together then do MI BF and Law together?
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    Just an updated question:

    I have started to look at the ACA and have started the Knowledge modules, now I think that I can handle the knowledge modules but I wanted to know if you thought that the step up for the application/technical modules would be a massive jump..

    Another dilemma is that I recently found out that I have 8 exemptions from the CIMA (I did A&F @ LSE) so I was thinking to take the "easy" route out... have sent an email to confirm with CIMA guys as I did get a 2.2 in my degree.

    I'd really like to earn the ACA as it think its a more prestigious Qualification but it will require a lot more work as I would be starting from scratch.

    I wanted to know if you think that the ACA exams are ok to pass if you put the time in. I am not at an accounting firm but I work in a bank so I would have the college time like the accounting firms and also I am thinking about not taking the Kaplan classes as they are pretty expensive ... if I were to leave then it would be a few thousand I need to pay back!

    Id like to work at an investment fund in the future (investing into projects - I work in project finance now (think infrastructure and energy SPVs).

    so I guess what I am asking is based on the above, would you stick to working "harder" on the ACA or take the "easy" route with the CIMA?
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    Have you considered the ACCA? I did Accounting and Finance at university too, and I managed to get some exemptions from all but two of the papers - Tax and Audit - in the Fundamentals module. If you did the said modules at uni, I would guess you'll be exempt from them too and so would just leave you with the Professional papers to do (no exemptions are given here).
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    (Original post by sonic_dream)
    Have you considered the ACCA? I did Accounting and Finance at university too, and I managed to get some exemptions from all but two of the papers - Tax and Audit - in the Fundamentals module. If you did the said modules at uni, I would guess you'll be exempt from them too and so would just leave you with the Professional papers to do (no exemptions are given here).
    Thanks for your response. But I think it would have to be ACA or cima tbh, the only thing that worries me is that because i would have so many exemptions I'm worried I would struggle in that I graduated a few years ago
    And if you asked me to take the exams I'm exempt from I would probably struggle..

    Is anybody able to comment on the difficulty of the application modules relative to the knowledge?
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    (Original post by Bleached)
    Thanks for your response. But I think it would have to be ACA or cima tbh, the only thing that worries me is that because i would have so many exemptions I'm worried I would struggle in that I graduated a few years ago
    And if you asked me to take the exams I'm exempt from I would probably struggle..

    Is anybody able to comment on the difficulty of the application modules relative to the knowledge?
    Do you mind me asking why you're just looking into ACA or CIMA?

    I am in a similar position as yourself to be honest. I only finished with a third at uni, and this was in 2011. I've spoken to a number of people, and most of them have advised me to take the exemptions anyway and just refresh my knowledge in them in my own time. It's totally up to you of course, but it does make sense from a time, stress, and, most importantly as you are looking into self-funding, financial perspective.

    Since you've already had a couple of years' experience working in a fairly similar environment with a lot of transferable skills, how about looking into getting a training contract into a company that'll be willing to fund your studies?
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    (Original post by Bleached)
    Thanks for your response. But I think it would have to be ACA or cima tbh, the only thing that worries me is that because i would have so many exemptions I'm worried I would struggle in that I graduated a few years ago
    And if you asked me to take the exams I'm exempt from I would probably struggle..

    Is anybody able to comment on the difficulty of the application modules relative to the knowledge?
    Hi Bleached

    Just wanted to add a comment on the difficulty of the application modules vs knowledge.

    There are new technical areas to learn and these are covered in the comprehensive learning materials, but they are not necessarily more difficult.

    The application module exams require a different skill set: they are scenario based questions - so you would need to apply your knowledge rather than just regurgitate information.

    But, our learning materials have extensive question practise to help you prepare for these exams, so we do all we can to get you through them!

    Louise
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    (Original post by sonic_dream)
    Do you mind me asking why you're just looking into ACA or CIMA?

    I am in a similar position as yourself to be honest. I only finished with a third at uni, and this was in 2011. I've spoken to a number of people, and most of them have advised me to take the exemptions anyway and just refresh my knowledge in them in my own time. It's totally up to you of course, but it does make sense from a time, stress, and, most importantly as you are looking into self-funding, financial perspective.

    Since you've already had a couple of years' experience working in a fairly similar environment with a lot of transferable skills, how about looking into getting a training contract into a company that'll be willing to fund your studies?
    Well the main reason is that its more of a preference tbh, I would go for the ACCA if I couldn't get a training contract (i.e. someone to signoff your experience) as you don't need to be in a contract to be exam qualified for ACCA. I think the ACCA is equally as good as the ACA (just an extra "C" right :P) but I think the ACA is more respected purely because you need to be in a training contract to begin with which suggests that you are desireable for a firm to want you whilst ACCA you may find that many are studying independently.

    I would definitely take the exemptions if I were you and agree with the advice that you have been given wrt to reading up on the modules you are exempt from. I have spoken to my line manager and there is funding available so I think I will probably just get the bank to pay for it.. my reasoning behind not taking it was because if I leave then they will want it back anyway and there is an expectation to complete it once they have started to pay so if I change half way then I would have to pay it back.

    I don't think I can handle the Auditors lifestyle tbh and I like the responsibility I have with my current role ... longer term I would like to work with an investment fund who invests capital into infra/energy projects.. I will drop you a PM re: your third.
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    (Original post by ICAEW Advisor Louise)
    Hi Bleached

    Just wanted to add a comment on the difficulty of the application modules vs knowledge.

    There are new technical areas to learn and these are covered in the comprehensive learning materials, but they are not necessarily more difficult.

    The application module exams require a different skill set: they are scenario based questions - so you would need to apply your knowledge rather than just regurgitate information.

    But, our learning materials have extensive question practise to help you prepare for these exams, so we do all we can to get you through them!

    Louise
    Hi Louise,

    Thanks again for your insight, I have heard that in the main that its more exam technique for the Application modules. I do have your study manual but have never used them (I have managed to borrow Kaplan notes from a friend who is sitting the ACA now).

    I have just sent my transcript to CIMA to see if I do get the 8 exemptions or now.

    Rgds.
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    (Original post by Bleached)
    Thanks for your response. But I think it would have to be ACA or cima tbh, the only thing that worries me is that because i would have so many exemptions I'm worried I would struggle in that I graduated a few years ago
    And if you asked me to take the exams I'm exempt from I would probably struggle..

    Is anybody able to comment on the difficulty of the application modules relative to the knowledge?
    Massive step up.
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    Hi, I saw you asked for some advice in my other topic so here goes...

    Do you work long hours? I ask because i'd imagine passing all the exams independently would be quite time consuming i'd imagine.

    For each knowledge module, we get a week's revision course. The revision courses are pretty intense but I suppose we do get a lot of breaks. I'm just telling you this because you will have it a lot harder than us on training contracts who get whole weeks off to learn.
    I'll try and give you a break down of my exams so far in my opinion.

    Knowledge modules - multiple choice

    Accountancy - Mathsy. Time consuming to learn but easy once you get the hang of it. If you did Accounting at university you'll find it easier but it wasn't a complete walk in the park for my friend who also did that degree.

    Assurance - Wordy. Easy as long as you do practice papers. Also very boring, even more so if you're not even involved in audit i'd imagine! A quick one though and far less time consuming than others.

    Principles of Tax - Mathsy. Time consuming and very intense. We probably spent around 35 hours at college for this one. Very do-able once you get the hang of it, but it's just a lot of material. Relatively interesting.

    Principles of Law - Wordy. Easy, easy, easy. We got 3 days to self study this one and it was probably around 15 hours work in total.

    Business and Finance - Wordy. Quite interesting in my opinion as it looks at the economy at a macroscopic level too. You might find it easy if you work in a bank.

    Management Information - Mathsy. Like tax it's very time consuming and intense.


    Application modules - These are written, but in my opinion they're more interesting as, as the name implies, you get to apply your knowledge to potentially real life scenarios. We had a week at college and then another week for a revision course for each.

    Financial Accounting - Quite interesting as it goes. But another one which could take a while to learn. We spent around 40 hours at college for this one and then did a weekly revision course practicing as well. It's not written as in essays, but it's proper accounting - taking a trial balance to the final accounts.

    Audit and Assurance - Quite easy and not so time pressured. Written essays. Probably spent about 20 hours at college for this one.

    Tax - The big daddy so far. We had to work out tax liabilities from lots of information given about individuals and corporations. I found it the easiest exam but it took the most work initially - possibly 40 hours too.



    That's it so far. As far as I'm aware, it doesn't get any easier but i'm not particularly afraid. It's very very doable when you get college days, but if you have to do it all in the evenings and weekends then i'd say goodbye to your social life.
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    Would any kind souls happen to know where one could find the ICAEW Examiner's Report?

    I have finally moved onto the famous Question Banks!
 
 
 
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