MajLabAcc
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Hey everyone!

I was hoping you could all share your advice with me.

Currently, I am deciding between ACA and ACCA. I have read numerous times that ACA is the most prestigious and rewarding in terms of salary, but here is my situation:

I am 26 this month (which pretty much excludes me from all graduate schemes and programs). I have a first class degree in Audio Technology from a mid tier UK university (yes, I know what you're thinking... bad choice I agree, it was!), but I have worked as a Finance Analyst at 2 major record labels since graduation.

At the moment, I am torn between:

1. Self studying towards ACCA and then completing the University of London MSc in Professional Accountancy after I become a member / affiliate of ACCA.

2. Applying for training agreement positions with accounting firms for ACA (could be difficult as these are mostly graduate schemes).

I am eligible for both so that is not an issue, nor is self funding.

What I would like your advice on is:

1. Although ACA is regarded as the most prestigious, would it be advantageous for someone like me (without a business/finance related degree) to study towards ACCA and then the MSc in Professional Accountancy? I feel like this would look much better on a CV and provide me with a much better academic background because of the MSc from UoL. It is worth also noting that I would only need to sit 2 modules of the MSc, so it would only take about 6 months to complete and it is not expensive.

2. Should I just do ACA and forget about the MSc? Would the lack of a relevant degree be off-putting to potential future employers?

I guess I just want to know what an employer would prefer between ACCA with a relevant masters degree, or, ACA with no relevant degree at all.

Essentially, I am worried that my unrelated degree will hinder my chances at a career in finance / accountancy, which is why I am leaning towards ACCA + MSc.

It is also worth mentioning that, at the moment, I am not 100% sure of the career path I would take after qualifying, but I am also considering other qualifications post ACA / ACCA + MSc (such as CFA or even MBA).

It's a lot to ask but I would really appreciate your thoughts!
Last edited by MajLabAcc; 4 weeks ago
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Gent2324
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being 26 doesnt exclude you from grad schemes, they arent allowed to judge you on your age
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MajLabAcc
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(Original post by Gent2324)
being 26 doesnt exclude you from grad schemes, they arent allowed to judge you on your age
Thanks for clarifying. I thought that was the case but, since I graduated 5 years ago, I thought it would be highly unlikely to be accepted on to a graduate scheme as they tend want recent graduates, no?
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Badcats
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You shouldn't need an additional MSc if you study ACCA or CIMA. The difference between these and ACA is more in the type of finance role you want.The big industrial firms such as Unilever put their high achieving graduates through CIMA.
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SAARH.A5
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Have a look at this to understand the differences between the ACA & ACCA Qualifications.
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AlphaZeta
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(Original post by MajLabAcc)
Hey everyone!

I was hoping you could all share your advice with me.

Currently, I am deciding between ACA and ACCA. I have read numerous times that ACA is the most prestigious and rewarding in terms of salary, but here is my situation:

I am 26 this month (which pretty much excludes me from all graduate schemes and programs). I have a first class degree in Audio Technology from a mid tier UK university (yes, I know what you're thinking... bad choice I agree, it was!), but I have worked as a Finance Analyst at 2 major record labels since graduation.

At the moment, I am torn between:

1. Self studying towards ACCA and then completing the University of London MSc in Professional Accountancy after I become a member / affiliate of ACCA.

2. Applying for training agreement positions with accounting firms for ACA (could be difficult as these are mostly graduate schemes).

I am eligible for both so that is not an issue, nor is self funding.

What I would like your advice on is:

1. Although ACA is regarded as the most prestigious, would it be advantageous for someone like me (without a business/finance related degree) to study towards ACCA and then the MSc in Professional Accountancy? I feel like this would look much better on a CV and provide me with a much better academic background because of the MSc from UoL. It is worth also noting that I would only need to sit 2 modules of the MSc, so it would only take about 6 months to complete and it is not expensive.

2. Should I just do ACA and forget about the MSc? Would the lack of a relevant degree be off-putting to potential future employers?

I guess I just want to know what an employer would prefer between ACCA with a relevant masters degree, or, ACA with no relevant degree at all.

Essentially, I am worried that my unrelated degree will hinder my chances at a career in finance / accountancy, which is why I am leaning towards ACCA + MSc.

It is also worth mentioning that, at the moment, I am not 100% sure of the career path I would take after qualifying, but I am also considering other qualifications post ACA / ACCA + MSc (such as CFA or even MBA).

It's a lot to ask but I would really appreciate your thoughts!
With ACCA, you automatically enrol with Oxford Brookes University. If you average 68%+ and pass the research analysis project (RAP), you will be awarded a first class degree, BSC(Hons) Applied Accounting.

The class of degree you can achieve will be based on:

The average mark you gain from the Applied Skills exams. (F4-F9)
The grade you achieve for your Research and Analysis Project.

If you have been given an exemption from any of the three papers Corporate and Business Law (LW), Performance Management (PM), or Taxation (TX), no mark is available, so cannot be included in the calculation for your average mark.

For example: a student with an ACCA average mark of 69 and a grade B for the Project will be awarded the BSc (Hons) in Applied Accounting with First Class Honours.

https://www.accaglobal.com/gb/en/stu...ss-update.html
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9389843
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I am currently studying ACCA. I am an accounting student and I have not graduated yet. I think you can try to finish F1-F9 and then find a job. The fundamental level exams are not very challenging, as long as you practice enough, you will be fine. But I think ACA is a more prestigious qualification, I will definitely do ACA after graduation. ACCA affiliates get exemptions on 12 ACA exams if you pass AAA and ATX.
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thegeek888
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The ACA CTA Joint Programme enables students to become an ICAEW Chartered Accountant and Chartered Tax Adviser in three to four years providing they have undertaken relevant professional work experience.

It has been designed specifically for students who want to specialise in tax and gives students the opportunity to specialise in one of three areas:

Taxation of Major Corporates (FTSE 350 companies);
Taxation of Owner-Managed Businesses; or
Indirect Taxation


https://www.tax.org.uk/students-and-...oint-programme
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thegeek888
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ACA-CTA Joint Programme:

https://www.tax.org.uk/sites/default...20Brochure.pdf
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ajj2000
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(Original post by MajLabAcc)
Hey everyone!

I was hoping you could all share your advice with me.

Currently, I am deciding between ACA and ACCA. I have read numerous times that ACA is the most prestigious and rewarding in terms of salary, but here is my situation:

I am 26 this month (which pretty much excludes me from all graduate schemes and programs). I have a first class degree in Audio Technology from a mid tier UK university (yes, I know what you're thinking... bad choice I agree, it was!), but I have worked as a Finance Analyst at 2 major record labels since graduation.

At the moment, I am torn between:

1. Self studying towards ACCA and then completing the University of London MSc in Professional Accountancy after I become a member / affiliate of ACCA.

2. Applying for training agreement positions with accounting firms for ACA (could be difficult as these are mostly graduate schemes).

I am eligible for both so that is not an issue, nor is self funding.

What I would like your advice on is:

1. Although ACA is regarded as the most prestigious, would it be advantageous for someone like me (without a business/finance related degree) to study towards ACCA and then the MSc in Professional Accountancy? I feel like this would look much better on a CV and provide me with a much better academic background because of the MSc from UoL. It is worth also noting that I would only need to sit 2 modules of the MSc, so it would only take about 6 months to complete and it is not expensive.

2. Should I just do ACA and forget about the MSc? Would the lack of a relevant degree be off-putting to potential future employers?

I guess I just want to know what an employer would prefer between ACCA with a relevant masters degree, or, ACA with no relevant degree at all.

Essentially, I am worried that my unrelated degree will hinder my chances at a career in finance / accountancy, which is why I am leaning towards ACCA + MSc.

It is also worth mentioning that, at the moment, I am not 100% sure of the career path I would take after qualifying, but I am also considering other qualifications post ACA / ACCA + MSc (such as CFA or even MBA).

It's a lot to ask but I would really appreciate your thoughts!
Although ACA is regarded as the most prestigious, would it be advantageous for someone like me (without a business/finance related degree) to study towards ACCA and then the MSc in Professional Accountancy?

Probably not. On balance no - but there are some multinationals which expect managerial staff at certain grades to have masters degrees. In some cases they also expect relevant degrees. Pretty unusual but it happens - so if you have an easy and also respectable route to a masters degree its worth considering.

I am 26 this month (which pretty much excludes me from all graduate schemes and programs).

Thats not the case.

Just as a thought - how much do you earn at present and where do you live? Also, would your experience gained to date count towards the time qualification for ACCA?

That could be a consideration as you may find joining an ACA training scheme to be a substantial pay cut compared to staying where you are and self studying ACCA.
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ajj2000
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Another thought - what are your A level grades? Are they competitive for ACA grad schemes?
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ICAEW Careers
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(Original post by MajLabAcc)
Hey everyone!

I was hoping you could all share your advice with me.

Currently, I am deciding between ACA and ACCA. I have read numerous times that ACA is the most prestigious and rewarding in terms of salary, but here is my situation:

I am 26 this month (which pretty much excludes me from all graduate schemes and programs). I have a first class degree in Audio Technology from a mid tier UK university (yes, I know what you're thinking... bad choice I agree, it was!), but I have worked as a Finance Analyst at 2 major record labels since graduation.

At the moment, I am torn between:

1. Self studying towards ACCA and then completing the University of London MSc in Professional Accountancy after I become a member / affiliate of ACCA.

2. Applying for training agreement positions with accounting firms for ACA (could be difficult as these are mostly graduate schemes).

I am eligible for both so that is not an issue, nor is self funding.

What I would like your advice on is:

1. Although ACA is regarded as the most prestigious, would it be advantageous for someone like me (without a business/finance related degree) to study towards ACCA and then the MSc in Professional Accountancy? I feel like this would look much better on a CV and provide me with a much better academic background because of the MSc from UoL. It is worth also noting that I would only need to sit 2 modules of the MSc, so it would only take about 6 months to complete and it is not expensive.

2. Should I just do ACA and forget about the MSc? Would the lack of a relevant degree be off-putting to potential future employers?

I guess I just want to know what an employer would prefer between ACCA with a relevant masters degree, or, ACA with no relevant degree at all.

Essentially, I am worried that my unrelated degree will hinder my chances at a career in finance / accountancy, which is why I am leaning towards ACCA + MSc.

It is also worth mentioning that, at the moment, I am not 100% sure of the career path I would take after qualifying, but I am also considering other qualifications post ACA / ACCA + MSc (such as CFA or even MBA).

It's a lot to ask but I would really appreciate your thoughts!
Hi MajLabAcc,

Thank you for showing an interest in the ACA qualification.

You can find out more about training to become an ICAEW Chartered Accountant by visiting our website.

You may also find some useful information within our Graduate Brochure.

We have students from all degree disciplines - from STEM, Humanities and Law, so that will certainly not be a barrier.

Age is not an issue - employers are looking for individuals which meet certain criteria and with your experience that should be a benefit.

Latest opportunities can be found on our ICAEW Training Vacancies platform.

Good luck in researching the next steps on your career journey.

Best wishes,
ICAEW
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