Don't ever do the ATT-CTA (Tax)Watch
Finance and Accountancy Careers Content Blocks
Exempting the application paper in CTA may sounds like it's no big deal. But you have to do all the CTA exams in 7 sittings (used to be 5 sittings) and I have met multiple people who never passed the last paper in my career. Some of them are very smart. It is also a paper that is based on luck. If you get a good question, you may pass. If you get a bad paper, you will never pass.
By exempting Acca and aca from the worst paper (and the easiest 3 ATT exams), the CIOT are giving them unfair advantage.
And if u have met anyone who did the Acca-CTA and aca-CTA, they would tell you CTA is way harder (even though they have been exempted from the hardest exam)
So, just make your life easier and don't do the ATT-CTA.
I was around when the unfair aca-cta exemptions were beginning. I was so annoyed that my peers with academic could get cta by skipping out the hardest paper.
Cta requires everyone to have a prior professional qualification yet the pass rates for each paper are low like 30%
Aca does not require any prior qualification but the pass rates are 80%
So aca-cta route is much easier.
As a practitioner, att-cta does give you deeper more all round knowledge that your peers do not have. I don't think your client s will appreciate how much of a difference it makes
A TAX ADVISOR WILL BE ADVISING ABOUT TAX.
IF YOU WORK FOR CLIENTS, MOST OF THE WORK IS COMPLIANCE - PREPARING TAX RETURNS FOR INDIVIDUALS OR COMPANIES, LOOKING AT TAX LEGISLATION AND HMRC MANUALS. SOME WORK WILL USE CASE LAW TO HELP WITH HMRC ENQUIRIES. IF YOU SPECIALISE, YOU COULD BE DOING SOME EXPERT WITNESS WORK. SOME OF THE WORK IS ADVISORY - USING TAX LEGISLATION AND TAX PLANNING TO HELP CLIENTS / COMPANIES PLAN TRANSACTIONS OR TRANSFER MONEY IN THE MOST TAX EFFICIENT WAY. YOU WILL HAVE PROFESSIONAL QUALIFICATIONS AS A CHARTERED TAX ADVISOR, TAX TECHNICIAN OR ACCOUNTANT. YOU COULD ALSO END UP WORKING FOR HMRC, CHECKING TAX RETURNS AND ENGAGING IN ENQUIRIES. THE HOURS ARE PRETTY MUCH 9 - 6PM OFFICE / HOME BASED. NOT MUCH GOING TO CLIENT SITES UNTIL YOU ARE SENIOR. IT IS A STABLE JOB ALTHOUGH SORT OF NICHE AND BORING. GREAT FOR FITTING AROUND FAMILY LIFE.
IF YOU ARE AN ACCOUNTANT YOU WILL BE PREPARING ACCOUNTS FOR YOUR COMPANY OR FOR YOUR CLIENT, OR YOU COULD END UP WORKING IN AUDIT WHERE YOU GO AROUND TO CLIENT SITES CHECKING THAT ASSETS EXIST AND CHECKING THE NUMBERS AGAINST THEIR RECORDS. HOURS CAN BE UNPREDICTABLE. AUDIT YOU END UP SITTING ABOUT IN THE CLIENTS STUFFY BASEMENT OFFICE FOR A LONG TIME THEN ON THE FINAL DAY THEY GIVE YOU ALL THE DOCS AND YOU HAVE TO CRAM WORK IN LONG HOURS. CAN INVOLVE A LOT OF TRAVEL. HOWEVER, IF YOU ARE AN IN-HOUSE ACCOUNTANT, HOURS ARE BETTER. IF YOU ARE ACA OR ACCA QUALIFIED YOU WILL BE IN HIGH DEMAND EVERYWHERE AND EARN A GREAT SALARY. ACA IS THE MOST RESPECTED FLEXIBLE QUALIFICATION.
Many (I) understand what the role of an Accountant is, but how does that of a Tax Advisor differ?
I SPECIALISE IN A NICHE AREA OF TAX. I WORK IN-HOUSE. I SUGGEST YOU GOOGLE "TOLLEYS YELLOW HANDBOOK". THAT WILL SIT ON YOUR DESK EVERY DAY AND FORM THE BASIS OF YOUR WORK. DO YOU ENJOY READING TAX LEGISLATION? WHY NOT BROWSE THE CORPORATION TAXES ACT 2009 AND 2010, THEN THE INCOME TAXES ACT 2007 AND ITTOIA 2005. GOOGLE HMRC MANUALS. CHECK OUT BASIC COMPS LIKE THIS https://www.barnesroffe.com/allocati...nal-allowance/ . IF YOU ENJOY THIS SORT OF STUFF, YOU SHOULD WORK IN TAX.
FOR ACCOUNTANTS, GOOGLE THE ICAEW AND BROWSE ACCOUNTS ON COMPANIES HOUSE.
I have seen the terms 'Tax Advisor', 'Tax Accountant', 'Tax Consultant', etc.. Is there actually any difference between these terms/roles?
NO THERE ISNT. ONLY "CHARTERED TAX ADVISOR" AND "TAXATION TECHNICIAN" ARE PROTECTED TITLES THAT YOU HAVE TO HAVE SPECIAL MEMBERSHIPS TO USE.
Should I complete the ATT and CTA qualifications is it possible/normal practice to move into the general Finance arena or would I be stuck in the Tax world permanently? Accountants often practice but then during the course of their careers move into some general Finance role (maybe management, or Unit Controller, or so). Is this the same for Tax professionals?
NO THIS IS ABSOLUTELY NOT SO. IF YOU ARE ATT OR CTA QUALIFIED YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO WORK AS A GENERAL ACCOUNTANT. YOU WILL HAVE TO WORK IN TAX. THIS IS NOT TRUE OF THE ACA ACCOUNTANTS. I WORKED IN A TAX TEAM IN THE BIG FOUR, MANY PEOPLE WORKING IN TAX DID THE ACA BECAUSE THE PAPERS HAVE A 70% PASS RATE EACH IN GENERAL, AND YOU CAN WORK IN TAX AS AN ACA BUT AN ATT OR CTA WILLNOT BE ABLE TO WORK AS A GENERAL ACCOUNTANT. FOR MAXIMUM FLEXIBILITY I SUGGEST DOING ACA. IF YOU DECIDE YOU LIKE TAX AND WANT MORE QUALIFICATIONS IN TAX YOUY CAN THEN DO THE CTA AND YOU WILL HAVE SOME EXEMPTIONS.
YES BUT I WOULD ALSO SAY THE SAME FOR ACCOUNTING. THE REASON IS THAT ALL COMPANIES WILL NEED INTERNAL ACCOUNTANTS AND PROVIDE STATUTORY ACCOUNTS, AND ALL INDIVIDUALS AND COMPANIES WILL PAY TAX. BOTH ARE GOOD STABLE FIELDS, ACCOUNTING QUALIFICATIONS WILL OPEN MORE DOORS FOR YOU AS PER ABOVE.
I would imagine so as Tax is everywhere, you can't get away from it. Is there a specialty in Tax that is (and will be) in more demand?
IF YOU SPECIALISE IN NICHE AREAS OF TAX YOU CAN EARN A TON OF MONEY BUT MAY HAVE TO TRAVEL FOR THE JOBS SINCE THEY ARE SCARCE. FOR EXAMPLE, THERE ARE SPECIALISTS IN VAT ONLY. GENERAL TAX PRACTICIONERS ARE IN HIGHER DEMAND AND YOU COULD ALSO BE SELF EMPLOYED, BUT THE EARNINGS ARE NOT AS GOOD IN GENERAL. BOTH PAY WELL ONCE YOU ARE QUALIFIED AND HAVE MANY YEARS EXPERIENCE.
Is there much Law involved in Tax (and what's the split i.e. 50/50)?
I WOULD SAY IT DEPENDS ON YOUR JOB. TAX IS BASICALLY APPLYING COMPUTATIONS TO THE LAW. IF YOU ARE A GENERAL TAX PERSON YOU COULD BE DOING MAINLY COMPLIANCE WHERE YOU ARENT LOOKING AT THE LAW AS MUCH. FOR ME, I HAVE A 10 YEAR CAREER BASED ON ONE NICHE AREA OF TAX LAW. I THINK THE LAW/CALCS SPLIT IS ABOUT 70/30.
What Tax qualifications are demanded? I know ATT and then CTA are, but are there any others that are highly regarded?
YOU CAN GO INTO TAX DOING ACA. I HEARD KPMG GOT ALL THEIR TAX GUYS TO DO THE ACA SINCE THE FAIL RATE FOR CTA IS EXTREMELY HIGH. THE YEAR I DID MINES CTA, THE PASS RATE FOR ALL PAPERS TOGETHER AT ONE SITTING WAS 14%, THEN CIOT STOPPED PUBLISHING THAT STAT AND ONLY PUBLISHED THE STATS FOR EACH PAPER. CTA IS AN ABSOLUTE PAIN. FOR THE E-ASSESSMENTS YOU HAVE TO LEARN 1000 PAGES OF CIOT MATERIAL. FOR THE TECH PAPERS YOU ARE LOOKING AT 6 VOLS OF TOLLEYS YELLOW HANDBOOK PLUS TOLLEYS ORANGE. IT IS VERY HIGH VOLUME OF LEARNING, AND CHANGES WITH EACH FINANCE ACT.
ATT IS FAIRLY EASY BUT ISNT RESPECTED MUCH. IF YOU WANT TO GET INTO TAX EASILY AND ONLY NEED 2 YEARS EXPERIENCE TO BE QUALIFIED (AS WELL AS EXAMS) DO ATT.
ACA , I WOULD SAY, IS THE BEST QUALIFICATION FOR ANYONE LOOKING AT A GENERAL TAX CAREER - SINCE IT HAS HIGH PASS RATES PER PAPER, IS WIDELY RESPECTED, AND OPENS A LOT OF OPTIONS. I DID NOT DO IT BECAUSE I HATE ACCOUNTS, AND I LOVE LAW AND TAX.
I would love to hear from those whom have done both jobs and what their thoughts (pros and cons) are??
I DID A STINT IN BIG FOUR AUDIT.I ALSO STUDIED ACCOUNTING AND FINANCIAL REPORTING . FOR ME I HATED IT AND THOUGHT IT WAS SO BORING. I DIDNT LIKE THE LIFESTYLE OF CONSTANT TRAVEL TO AUDIT SITES (THOUGH MANY PEOPLE LOVE IT ESPECIALLY LONG AWAY TRIPS, ALL EXPENSED OUT)
I PREFERRED WORKING IN TAX. MY DEGREE IS IN LAW AND I LOVE INTERPRETING LEGISLATION AND TRANSLATING IT INTO COMPS. I LOVE BEING OFFICE/HOME BASED TOO.
IT DEPENDS WHAT YOU ENJOY AND WANT TO DO.