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    Can anybody who has registered with the ICAEW as an independent student give me some advice on it as the website and the contact I've made with ICAEW has been no help to me at all.
    Basically, I want to know that if you are struggling to secure a training contract with an accredited firm, rather than wait a year to reapply, can you take the professional exams/apply for exemptions yourself and become part-qualified? Also are your chances better of securing a training contract to complete the relevant work experience to complete the qualification if you do this? I know it's expensive but I think I would rather get some work experience in an accounts office and study towards part of it rather than waste away somewhere for a year.
    Anybody who has done this, or know anything more than me about it, your help will be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks, Heather
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    Heather,

    You can register as an independent student and sit the exams and become part qualified, BUT, this is not a path I'd take, and here's why.

    Sitting the exams is EXCEPTIONALLY expensive. You will rack up costs of several thousand just to sit a few exams. Your firm will pay for all of this. Secondly, firms tend to provide a sort of integrated training- they will mix their own training up with the ACA training. They are unlikely to be swayed by the fact you have sat a few exams on your own; if you have been unsuccessful this time round you should figure out why and make amends.

    Lastly, the exams are extrememly difficult. They are far harder than any university exam, I can guarantee this. Even people with 1st class degrees often fail exams (e.g. myself). You benefit greatly from having a peer group and the support of your firm throughout.

    My advice thus is this: If you haven't got into the firm of your choice, keep applying. I applied to the 13 largest firms in the UK, and got offers from PwC and Deloitte. This was largely because these were my last interviews, and I had enough to interviews to practice screwing up before hand. Don't give up, getting is very difficult, but not impossible.

    If you're interested about the application process at PwC, you can read an article I've written about it here.

    http://www.notgotajobyet.com/showthread.php?t=1
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    Oh I did one for Deloitte as well:
    http://www.notgotajobyet.com/showthread.php?t=1
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    Sorry I meant this one:
    http://www.notgotajobyet.com/forumdisplay.php?f=3
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    Im selling ACA 2009 Knowledge books for £20 each (£35 rrp) all brand new (maybe a few pencil marks inside). dont need anymore as im leaving the country for this year so it will go to waste....if any1 wants thhem the reply to [email protected]. I live in west london and will deliver to you if necessery.
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    As someone said it's expensive, it'd far more easier to secure a contract.

    However if you have spare time and a spare grand you could do the 6 knowledge stage exams yourself. It's recognised as some sort of Business Certificate now and is a tool for people without the academic criteria to get onto chartered.

    If you have no accounts knowledge it would be best to do Accounting knowledge at college, that'll probably cost you around £600 all in. You could do the other 5 teaching yourself (I think one of the big 4 is doing self-study next year anyhow). I would've given you the materials for free but I chucked them (I really enjoyed tearing those manuals), but you can contact that lad who's selling them. Each knowledge exam is around £60 - £70 and the sittings are fairly flexible, they've got something with Parsons Vue so you can sit them at your local driving theory test place if closer than college.

    As for registering with the ICAEW you'll have to pay some sort of student subscription, probably around a couple of ton for the year, but I could be wrong.

    You can sit 14 out of the 15 exams independently, the Case Study can only be sat in your final year of contract and you need to be on a recognised contract.

    Hope that helps, if you don't get a contract don't fret, you could always do a few knowledge papers so a potential employer will at least think you have the desire. Different qualification but I know a few people who work temp jobs and put themselves through ACCA, they are the real accountancy warriors.
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    I'm considering similar. The CFAB (Certificate in Finance and Business) is the first 6 exams of the Professional Stage of the ACA and will cost (if you go the self-taught route) £165 to register with the ICAEW, £60 per exam and £20 per module for learning materials and works out at £645 (presuming you pass everything first time).

    I'm going to be graduating in a month or so with possibly a first but most likely a high 2:1 from Liverpool John Moores (isn't particularly helping with applications) in a non-accounting subject and was looking at maybe getting most, if not all, of the CFAB done before the graduate recruitment begins again in September-January in order to help my chances.

    So it's best to not do that and just apply to a load more small-medium sized firms and cross my fingers?
 
 
 
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