Midnightstar67
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Just wanted some advice on which qualification was better and any disadvantages/advantages of one over the other?
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ajj2000
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There is not better. It depends on what you want, how much time and money you have available, whether you have an employer who will pay and your academic skills - do you have strong A levels and/ or a good degree?
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Midnightstar67
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(Original post by ajj2000)
There is not better. It depends on what you want, how much time and money you have available, whether you have an employer who will pay and your academic skills - do you have strong A levels and/ or a good degree?
Oh no it’s like part of an after a levels apprenticeship scheme. I’m open to both option just wanted to see which one would be better in the long run. So my options were either one that provide me with just an ACA, another providing me with both ATT and CIOT and another one with ACA and CTA joint programme .
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ajj2000
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(Original post by Midnightstar67)
Oh no it’s like part of an after a levels apprenticeship scheme. I’m open to both option just wanted to see which one would be better in the long run. So my options were either one that provide me with just an ACA, another providing me with both ATT and CIOT and another one with ACA and CTA joint programme .
Ah, cool - I'll write some notes a little later. Are you particularly interested in tax? Thats not my field of specialist knowledge but I could probably find another forum member you could contact. ATT and AAT are different things - I guess you just mistyped on the opening post.
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Reality Check
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Depends if you want threonine or asparagine.
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Midnightstar67
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(Original post by ajj2000)
Ah, cool - I'll write some notes a little later. Are you particularly interested in tax? Thats not my field of specialist knowledge but I could probably find another forum member you could contact. ATT and AAT are different things - I guess you just mistyped on the opening post.
Oops yes I mistyped it! I’m interested in both tax and audit, that’s why I’m a little stuck as to which one to pick. It would be nice to gain some more knowledge about the qualifications, as I would like to work in this sector but am not that picky but wouldn’t like to be restricted for the future. Thanks🙏
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SteveyStack
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(Original post by Midnightstar67)
Just wanted some advice on which qualification was better and any disadvantages/advantages of one over the other?
I would personally say that being ACA qualified is a huge advantage and your best option long term. However the CTA is an absolute pain in the *** and honestly unbelievably tough considering what it gets you
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Midnightstar67
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(Original post by SteveyStack)
I would personally say that being ACA qualified is a huge advantage and your best option long term. However the CTA is an absolute pain in the *** and honestly unbelievably tough considering what it gets you
Hmm so basically CTA isn’t worth it ?
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ajj2000
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In truth you are looking at some different things:

- join an audit department (or related scheme) and do ACA (or AAT/ ACA with some firms)

- join a tax department and do ATT/ CTA

- join a tax department and do ACA/ CTA.

All are very good options for the right people.

So - I guess the first thing to consider is audit vs tax. There have been some really well informed posters on this board who wanted training posts in tax - I would have a hunt through the forum if you have the time and reach out to some of them. As a general note its not particularly hard to get a job in tax from working in audit - certainly at the point where you have qualified. It can be a bit harder to go from tax work into a more general accountancy based position in industry than from an audit background - although this would be far easier with ACA than 'just' taxation qualifications.

One reason people state for preferring tax to audit is that they prefer to spend most of their time in the main office than be out at client sites most of the time. Some dislike staying in hotels. Equally lots of people chose audit as they like being out and about and seeing how lots of different businesses operate. Oh, and auditing the payrolls to see which roles they might chose in the future!

Not that you asked - but its worth looking at how long each scheme is before you qualify as it varies rather a lot for apprenticeships (unlike grad schemes which are pretty standard). It might sound a bit negative to say so but if you are getting bored or frustrated its way better to only have 18 months before you can reasonably leave than 2 and a half years.

Personally I would prefer to start in audit if I was starting again (I trained in audit) as there are a greater variety of exit options. There are pros and cons to specialisation. Were I doing tax I think that for all its more exams and grind I'd rather go the ACA route then CTA - one reason being that its a broader qualification which would be of some additional value in a tax career but of huge benefit if you wanted to do something different.

CTA is a phenomenal qualification to have (so long as you want to work in tax or law) - as noted above its very tough. Looks - loads of people tell you things are tough and there is a real danger of people being put off perfectly accessible qualifications. CTA genuinely is tough though! Hugely respected in the field for good reasons.
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steamed-hams
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I did accounting and economics at A-level then did an accounting apprenticeship. For me doing AAT level 3 was the best starting point trying to do ACCA would have been unmanageable.
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ajj2000
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(Original post by steamed-hams)
I did accounting and economics at A-level then did an accounting apprenticeship. For me doing AAT level 3 was the best starting point trying to do ACCA would have been unmanageable.
I think it comes down to preparedness - in the academic sense. For people who took pretty traditional academic A levels and got high grades the pass rates for ACCA (or ACA) are pretty high. You need good test taking abilities.

Edited to add - the point above does not apply for CTA.
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Midnightstar67
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(Original post by ajj2000)
In truth you are looking at some different things:

- join an audit department (or related scheme) and do ACA (or AAT/ ACA with some firms)

- join a tax department and do ATT/ CTA

- join a tax department and do ACA/ CTA.

All are very good options for the right people.

So - I guess the first thing to consider is audit vs tax. There have been some really well informed posters on this board who wanted training posts in tax - I would have a hunt through the forum if you have the time and reach out to some of them. As a general note its not particularly hard to get a job in tax from working in audit - certainly at the point where you have qualified. It can be a bit harder to go from tax work into a more general accountancy based position in industry than from an audit background - although this would be far easier with ACA than 'just' taxation qualifications.

One reason people state for preferring tax to audit is that they prefer to spend most of their time in the main office than be out at client sites most of the time. Some dislike staying in hotels. Equally lots of people chose audit as they like being out and about and seeing how lots of different businesses operate. Oh, and auditing the payrolls to see which roles they might chose in the future!

Not that you asked - but its worth looking at how long each scheme is before you qualify as it varies rather a lot for apprenticeships (unlike grad schemes which are pretty standard). It might sound a bit negative to say so but if you are getting bored or frustrated its way better to only have 18 months before you can reasonably leave than 2 and a half years.

Personally I would prefer to start in audit if I was starting again (I trained in audit) as there are a greater variety of exit options. There are pros and cons to specialisation. Were I doing tax I think that for all its more exams and grind I'd rather go the ACA route then CTA - one reason being that its a broader qualification which would be of some additional value in a tax career but of huge benefit if you wanted to do something different.

CTA is a phenomenal qualification to have (so long as you want to work in tax or law) - as noted above its very tough. Looks - loads of people tell you things are tough and there is a real danger of people being put off perfectly accessible qualifications. CTA genuinely is tough though! Hugely respected in the field for good reasons.
Hello, this was so useful, it had given me more of an idea of which qualifications to do as well as giving me a info about why people chose tax over audit! Thanks for not being biased!

Also what do I have to type in to be nudged in the direction of these tax posters on the forum😅.

The schemes I’m looking at are all 48 months ( this is the dual one that enables me to get the ACA then progress and get the CTA ). So I’ve narrowed it down to two schemes that allow me to do these qualifications but am a little unsure as to which one to pick as I have the option of working in private clients tax or corporate and mergers and acquisition tasks. Which one would you suggest to someone starting off in the industry and why? Are the daily tasks or opportunities different in either job role?

Thanks for all all the help so far, I’ll forever be grateful and sorry if I’m a little misinformed growing up is scary😂😂
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ajj2000
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(Original post by Midnightstar67)
Hello, this was so useful, it had given me more of an idea of which qualifications to do as well as giving me a info about why people chose tax over audit! Thanks for not being biased!

Also what do I have to type in to be nudged in the direction of these tax posters on the forum😅.

The schemes I’m looking at are all 48 months ( this is the dual one that enables me to get the ACA then progress and get the CTA ). So I’ve narrowed it down to two schemes that allow me to do these qualifications but am a little unsure as to which one to pick as I have the option of working in private clients tax or corporate and mergers and acquisition tasks. Which one would you suggest to someone starting off in the industry and why? Are the daily tasks or opportunities different in either job role?

Thanks for all all the help so far, I’ll forever be grateful and sorry if I’m a little misinformed growing up is scary😂😂
48 months is great! Only a year (possibly 2) ago 4.5 years was the absolute minimum for ACA with 5-6.5 years being the normal range. I think there has been a big move away from doing AAT first which helps somewhat.

To find people on the forums I would just looks through the careers/ accounting and finance threads - skim reading - and try to find the people who were applying for or had jobs in tax. If you get really stuck let me know and I'll try to help by seeing if I can remember anyone. I'm a bit busy at the moment as undergoing audit and preparing tax comps.....

Do you have offers to chose from or are you working out what to apply for?

Private clients tax is a very specific area I think you should research properly if it might be of interest (both for the career and exit opportunities). Corporate tax/ M+A looks way broader to me - plus I find it more interesting. I think alexp98 had looked into private client tax at one point so may have some insight.
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SteveyStack
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(Original post by Midnightstar67)
Hmm so basically CTA isn’t worth it ?
I just think it is way more effort than the reward at the other side. In tax it is the most sought after but by far the most difficult. I think many of the big 4 do ACA and ATT which is far more manageable for someone who wants to get into tax and still more than good enough to not hold you back
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