Does it really take 6-8 years to complete the ACA/ACCA? Watch

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prospectivEEconomist
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I know a person who is taking the ACCA exams, and is going to sit his 13th paper but has taken 7 years to complete them. Do people really manage to complete the papers in 3 years, or is the estimation only for the really bright students?
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sammau
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Your training contract with a firm is 3 years and your exams are usually over with after 2 years. The remaining year is just to accrue the relevant work experience to gain the qualification.

7 years sounds like an extremely long time to still be taking exams!? I can't imagine the firm would be very pleased with your progress if it was taking that long. Does your friend have any special circumstances? Who do they work for?
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prospectivEEconomist
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(Original post by sammau)
Your training contract with a firm is 3 years and your exams are usually over with after 2 years. The remaining year is just to accrue the relevant work experience to gain the qualification.

7 years sounds like an extremely long time to still be taking exams!? I can't imagine the firm would be very pleased with your progress if it was taking that long. Does your friend have any special circumstances? Who do they work for?
The person doesn't work for an accounting firm, but actually works in the media industry. The person did start taking their ACCA exams at the age of 37, so could that be a factor?
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Inter-Company
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(Original post by sammau)
Your training contract with a firm is 3 years and your exams are usually over with after 2 years. The remaining year is just to accrue the relevant work experience to gain the qualification.
first off how all the exams over at the end of your 2 years :rolleyes: - you would need to be extremely motivated and smart to finish the exams in only 2 years, hence your exams are not 'usually' over in your first 2 years

the general average is 3 years, however some firms extend training contracts by about 6 months if someone needs to resit a module or 2 to gain the qualification - extending by a year is rare and 1+ year almost never

7 years is an incredibly long time however, does he have any special circumstances?
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prospectivEEconomist
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Quite old. Started at 37, and is now 44 and going to give the 13th exam.
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stosie
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In none accountancy firms ACA students don't seem to get as much support. I don't think they get time off to go to college, they have to work and study at the same time so it will take a bit longer.
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sammau
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(Original post by Inter-Company)
first off how all the exams over at the end of your 2 years :rolleyes: - you would need to be extremely motivated and smart to finish the exams in only 2 years, hence your exams are not 'usually' over in your first 2 years
Here's Mr Plum again.

Alright, if you're going to challenge my claim how come my exam timetable for the ACA is as follows?

Start date: April 09

Professional Stage Knowledge Modules
Accounting, Assurance and Principles of Taxation: May 09
Law, Management Information, Business and Finance: July 09

Professional Stage Application Modules
Financial Accounting, Audit & Assurance, Taxation: September 09
Financial Reporting, Business Strategy, Financial Management: March 10

Advanced Stage Modules
Business Reporting and Business Change: November 10
Advanced Case Study: July 11

So 2 years 3 months to finish all the exams. Then you are required to have a minimum of 3 years/450 days technical work experience which completes your full three year course to qualification.
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Inter-Company
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clearly shows how much you really know - everyone gets that timetable (or one very similar to it) numbnuts

you pass all those exams first time and then come back and 'prove me wrong' :rolleyes:
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Kemik
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Are the exams on a basic, pass or fail system? Is there a fixed percentage required to pass?
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hippobluecampe
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Ehh whatttt I am so confused.

I finish school at the end of November 2008, and I am applying for Law in September/October 2009 in LSE/UCL if I get accepted.

Since I have about 9 months break, I thought I should do ACCA (because I love accounting). The ACCA course starts in early January 2009, and it said that the duration of the course is about 2/3 years, maximum 10 years.

So should I still go for it? The exam for the first paper is in June 2009, so I could stop then and continue after I finish my law degree. Is this a good idea though? Or is it just a little too hectic?
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prospectivEEconomist
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(Original post by Syafiquaaa)
Ehh whatttt I am so confused.

I finish school at the end of November 2008, and I am applying for Law in September/October 2009 in LSE/UCL if I get accepted.

Since I have about 9 months break, I thought I should do ACCA (because I love accounting). The ACCA course starts in early January 2009, and it said that the duration of the course is about 2/3 years, maximum 10 years.

So should I still go for it? The exam for the first paper is in June 2009, so I could stop then and continue after I finish my law degree. Is this a good idea though? Or is it just a little too hectic?
Why not just join a magic circle firm after your degree, and you will earn more.
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hippobluecampe
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(Original post by prospectivEEconomist)
Why not just join a magic circle firm after your degree, and you will earn more.
No maybe I don't know. But I'm gonna open up my own firm. I don't wanna be a barrister/solicitor or anything. I'm more towards commercial/property law. Why should I not do ACCA?
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Inter-Company
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(Original post by Kemik)
Are the exams on a basic, pass or fail system? Is there a fixed percentage required to pass?
it depends, pass mark for this year was 55% i believe
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theis
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to answer a few questions, dispel a few myths etc. Your firm will set you a timeline that will see you finish your exams in two and a bit years from when you start providing you pass all your exams first time. It isn't that unusual to see a full first time pass and its certainly what I'm hoping to achieve. Even if you have to do a resit you can usually catch up with the rest of your peer group and unless you have multiple resits should always finish within the three years.

If you're not on a training contract with a firm then you have to do it in your own time and this will obviously take you longer. Not sure whether there is a maximum amount of time they'll allow you in which to sit the exams but on a training contract if you haven't completed with three years I doubt you'll get much longer in which to resit exams.

Pass mark for all professional stage exams is 55%, advanced stage 50%. General rule of thumb is that a 55% pass mark should see a 70% pass rate. However if one paper were to be impossible people generally reckon they'll moderate the exams upwards but never downwards, don't know how true this is but you do occasionally see high pass rates but very rarely very low pass rates.
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Inter-Company
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exactly!

within 3 years and not 'in 2 years' as first stated by sam (whoever) - even though she changed her/his tone afterwards
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prospectivEEconomist
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How intelligent do you have to be to complete the exams within 3 years? Are the accounting exams difficult in terms of rigor or volume?
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Illusionary
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(Original post by prospectivEEconomist)
How intelligent do you have to be to complete the exams within 3 years? Are the accounting exams difficult in terms of rigor or volume?
Volume - there's a huge amount, in my experience. For the first stage of my ICAS exams (8 week course), I had 5 full lever arch files to cover. I've just started the second stage now, and we get *two* files worth of material for each of the 5 subjects! :eek:


... I'm starting to get a little scared by it, now!
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prospectivEEconomist
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(Original post by Illusionary)
Volume - there's a huge amount, in my experience. For the first stage of my ICAS exams (8 week course), I had 5 full lever arch files to cover. I've just started the second stage now, and we get *two* files worth of material for each of the 5 subjects! :eek:


... I'm starting to get a little scared by it, now!
Whoa..you are scaring me. You are a Cambridge graduate and struggling. :eek:
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Inter-Company
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(Original post by Illusionary)
Volume - there's a huge amount
that comment right there = the ACA

the content is phenomenal, however having said that PLENTY of people i believe manage to pass it, for every 20 or so people i have known, only 2 or 3 have dropped out

cambridge grad? illusion did you always want to do accounting then?
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prospectivEEconomist
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How competitive is it to get an ACA contract at any firm (including big 4 to a small one) Inter?
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