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    hello,
    I am an international student and I plan on studying in the UK.
    I am a bit conflicted on what to study, I heard about the ACCA qualification and its pros, and the fact that you can gain an oxford brookes degree along the qualification if you choose to. on the other hand I'm afraid that an actual university degree would be a better option. I was hoping anyone with information about ACCA and/or accounting degrees would help me with this one. which option should i go for?
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    Hey

    I work as a Level 2 Management Accountant full time for a large American IT firm. I did an Economics degree and am doing my ACCA Professional Level. My degree only gave me 1 exception however. If you do a degree, then make sure it is one that you can get a lot of exceptions i.e. make sure it is relevant to accountancy so then you can finish ACCA quicker.

    Honestly, I think you can save a lot of time if you just go straight to ACCA - with the degree as far as I know you can get exceptions for up to 9 exams, but I think it might work out more expensive for you that way.

    If you are able to just start ACCA straight away and you are able to self study (there are a lot of good resources out there - going to college is not always the default answer) then it will be more cost effective for you and time saving. It is more appealing to employers if you can juggle work experience with study so ACCA is much more flexible in that regard, especially now they have 4 sittings in the UK. Don't forget some employers will also sponsor you with ACCA whereas you most likely won't get the same level of help with a degree. To be honest the level of technical knowledge in ACCA will make up for anything you may miss from not doing a degree.

    I can tell you from experience that there are other important things which a good accountant needs too. Lots of Excel experience, a good strong understanding of practical bookkeeping is absolutely essential, and strong debits and credits. I personally think if you don't have these 3 fundamental skills then you cannot be a good accountant because everything else is dependent on these basics. I have worked from junior level to where I am now and can honestly say these skills repeat time and time again and can be the secret to your success.

    I have seen many successful people become Senior level in finance without degrees so it is very possible as long as you have the common sense and intelligence to approach this a slightly different way.

    Hope that helps and good luck on your accountancy journey.
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    (Original post by Humi123)
    Hey

    I work as a Level 2 Management Accountant full time for a large American IT firm. I did an Economics degree and am doing my ACCA Professional Level. My degree only gave me 1 exception however. If you do a degree, then make sure it is one that you can get a lot of exceptions i.e. make sure it is relevant to accountancy so then you can finish ACCA quicker.

    Honestly, I think you can save a lot of time if you just go straight to ACCA - with the degree as far as I know you can get exceptions for up to 9 exams, but I think it might work out more expensive for you that way.

    If you are able to just start ACCA straight away and you are able to self study (there are a lot of good resources out there - going to college is not always the default answer) then it will be more cost effective for you and time saving. It is more appealing to employers if you can juggle work experience with study so ACCA is much more flexible in that regard, especially now they have 4 sittings in the UK. Don't forget some employers will also sponsor you with ACCA whereas you most likely won't get the same level of help with a degree. To be honest the level of technical knowledge in ACCA will make up for anything you may miss from not doing a degree.

    I can tell you from experience that there are other important things which a good accountant needs too. Lots of Excel experience, a good strong understanding of practical bookkeeping is absolutely essential, and strong debits and credits. I personally think if you don't have these 3 fundamental skills then you cannot be a good accountant because everything else is dependent on these basics. I have worked from junior level to where I am now and can honestly say these skills repeat time and time again and can be the secret to your success.

    I have seen many successful people become Senior level in finance without degrees so it is very possible as long as you have the common sense and intelligence to approach this a slightly different way.

    Hope that helps and good luck on your accountancy journey.
    Thank you soo much! Your answer was very detailed and balanced, I think it covered pretty much everything I needed to know (for now). Its exactly what I was looking for.
    I believe I'm fairly good at the three skills aforementioned as I took IGCSE Accounting as well as A level Accounting and Applied ICT, so I have a good background in those areas, however, If you don't mind, I have one more question, Is ACCA tough? I heard lots of people complaining about the difficulty and workload and even repeating exams because of that. so is it really THAT tough or would you say its manageable? Did you have to give up lots of things in order to keep up? What does it take to pass these exams?
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    (Original post by JJKSI)
    Thank you soo much! Your answer was very detailed and balanced, I think it covered pretty much everything I needed to know (for now). Its exactly what I was looking for.
    I believe I'm fairly good at the three skills aforementioned as I took IGCSE Accounting as well as A level Accounting and Applied ICT, so I have a good background in those areas, however, If you don't mind, I have one more question, Is ACCA tough? I heard lots of people complaining about the difficulty and workload and even repeating exams because of that. so is it really THAT tough or would you say its manageable? Did you have to give up lots of things in order to keep up? What does it take to pass these exams?
    You're most welcome

    I heard the exact same horror stories when I started out back in 2012 (I was only 22 and fresh out of uni). People resitting endlessly, some people getting to their late thirties or fourties and still having papers to complete, some people just dropping out completely.

    I say - JUST IGNORE THEM.

    I have managed to pass every single paper first time whilst juggling work at the same time.

    My technique?

    1. Start preparing at least 3 months in advance minimum. (My typical cue date to get myself into gear is within the week of getting results from a previous sitting).

    2. Keep work and leisure time if you can to the working week, Let's be honest, no one wants to be studying in the evening after a long day crunching numbers on spreadsheets. But a cup of coffee with a friend, an hour in the gym doesn't seem as bad. So I always try to do these "fun" activities after work so I don't feel I am missing out too much on social life.

    3. Try and keep weekends and days off dedicated to studying. Of course you will have the odd event here and there but seriously, try and focus. I always try and have a clean run up of just swotting 4-5 days before the paper (so take annual leave from work) so I have nothing else floating around in my mind. Don't forget you will have a month and a half of freedom after the exams till results, so keep that goal in mind.

    4. Use digestable notes. My current favourite is Acowtancy Classroom, although historically I have used LSBF notes.

    5. Written based questions - use the 1 heading/ 1 paragraph technique. Your points will be more focused.

    6. Practice exams questions - this is standard advice.

    7. Try and apply things you have learnt at work to the scenario - it can really help.

    8. In my experience I could manage maximum two F papers at a time (given you are sitting every six months) and only one P paper at a time. P papers are very dense so seriously, don't bite off more than you can chew. Slow and steady is the best approach.

    9. Use your common sense - you will be surprised how much it can save you.

    One of my colleagues is 30, completed his qualification a few years ago, is in a brilliant reporting manager role, owns a house and is happily enjoying life, all because he chose study as a higher priority than social life. That is what I aspire to.

    I am not saying you need to cut yourself completely, but you need to decide what is more important and keep focused. I am now 26 myself, and am aiming to finish my exams by the end of the year. It is really up to you how you want your success to track, so don't base your experience on others.

    Hope that helps
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    I am about to print your reply and stick it on my desk so I can see it and be reminded of these awesome tips!
    I loved that bit about keeping weekends dedicated to studying and doing the fun activities during the week, it really makes sense actually now that I think about it.
    Again Thanks and best of luck for your upcoming exams!
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    (Original post by JJKSI)
    I am about to print your reply and stick it on my desk so I can see it and be reminded of these awesome tips!
    I loved that bit about keeping weekends dedicated to studying and doing the fun activities during the week, it really makes sense actually now that I think about it.
    Again Thanks and best of luck for your upcoming exams!
    Aww your reply put a smile on my face! Lovely to read that and thank you for the best wishes. Good luck with everything
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    Such a great advice, thank you. I also decided to copy and paste this onto word and print it out for myself as a reminder. Found it odd this was your last post on the site, but nonetheless very help.

    (Original post by Humi123)
    Aww your reply put a smile on my face! Lovely to read that and thank you for the best wishes. Good luck with everything
 
 
 
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