Madman11
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Hi, I’ve recently been looking into accounting and finance as a viable degree, to either go into Chartered Accountancy or maybe IB. I’ve read up about all these exemptions u can get at different unis for different qualifications, but I wanted to know do you only have to do 1 out of the several options (ACCA, ICAEW, CIMA, AAT) ? Is there some sort of advantage if u do more than one, and if not, which of those qualifications would u recommend ? - as in u get all the same benefits but it’s much easier to pass the exams etc.

Also, do the exemptions you’re applicable to at a uni only come about if u pick the right modules to do ? And, if so, will the uni let u know which modules are most advantageous to take to increase max no. of exemptions and which ones just look better in general when applying to a top 4 firm or anywhere for that matter ?
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EmPar
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If you definitely want to become an accountant, you don't need to study accountancy/finance at uni. In fact, most large firms will prefer that you don't. In terms of becoming "qualified", you'd normally study for one qualification (ACA, CIMA, etc) so you need to research what each of those "gives you" (qualifies you to do).
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Mojmeer
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Usually people do first AAT and then for example ACCA.
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Madman11
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(Original post by EmPar)
If you definitely want to become an accountant, you don't need to study accountancy/finance at uni. In fact, most large firms will prefer that you don't. In terms of becoming "qualified", you'd normally study for one qualification (ACA, CIMA, etc) so you need to research what each of those "gives you" (qualifies you to do).
Thing is my number 1 would be Investment Banking, and although I obviously acknowledge just how difficult it is to get into, a degree from a decent uni would certainly help, hence why I’ve been looking at A and F, as it sorta keeps both options open.
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Madman11
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(Original post by Mojmeer)
Usually people do first AAT and then for example ACCA.
Ah ok. But when I’ve had a look at, for instance, Leeds uni (ranked 3rd in UK for A and F), there aren’t any AAT exemptions, only ICAEW, ACCA and CIMA, so is AAT really they valuable ? Also, out of the other qualifications, which one is most common to do/ gives you better chances of securing a better job in the future ?
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Catherine1973
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Yeah people only do one of those. Most aca accountants will have degrees, and it’s probably expected to move up the career ladder anyway.
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Madman11
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(Original post by Catherine1973)
Yeah people only do one of those. Most aca accountants will have degrees, and it’s probably expected to move up the career ladder anyway.
ACA is the ICAEW one right ? So, on average, having that particular qualification, as opposed to the others, allows you to move further up the ladder quicker ? If so, what’s different about this particular qualification ? I’ve read their exams are harder than ACCA’s, so is that why they’re looked at in a better way.
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Catherine1973
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It’s the One that graduates who join accounting firms do, rather than The other two which people do generally by working in a finance department and doing the exams whilst on the job.
It’s generally considered the best One (but I am biased as I did it)
All finance departments I have worked in, the more senior ones had aca, sone budget people had cima and more junior were doing aat, thinking of doing acca down the line.
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Madman11
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(Original post by Catherine1973)
It’s the One that graduates who join accounting firms do, rather than The other two which people do generally by working in a finance department and doing the exams whilst on the job.
It’s generally considered the best One (but I am biased as I did it)
All finance departments I have worked in, the more senior ones had aca, sone budget people had cima and more junior were doing aat, thinking of doing acca down the line.
Thank you very much for the helpful info 🙂 May I ask where u ended up working with your ACA qualification, and how/if you’ve enjoyed it and would you recommend a career in this field - factoring in difficulty of the job, stress, salary etc.
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ajj2000
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(Original post by Mojmeer)
Usually people do first AAT and then for example ACCA.
Thats not true. Perfectly good route, but in no way do a majority of people do AAT first.
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Madman11
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(Original post by ajj2000)
Thats not true. Perfectly good route, but in no way do a majority of people do AAT first.
Which one do majority of people do then ?
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ajj2000
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(Original post by Madman11)
Which one do majority of people do then ?
People with a good academic background (strong A levels - degrees don't tend to be very predictive) tend to start straight off with CIMA or ACCA. Many Chartered firms like their apprentices to do AAT first, but there has started to be a move against that towards not graduates taking ACA over 4 years. Graduates in CA firms almost always just start of with ACA (plus sometimes ACCA or CIMA depending on the department they work in).
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EmPar
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(Original post by Madman11)
Which one do majority of people do then ?
Honestly, just pick a subject that you think you will enjoy and work hard at. You will need a First from a decent Uni to be interviewed for top 4, and depending on what your interests are, they will tell you what qualifications they want you to gain. I've worked for two of them, and my degree is in Chemistry.
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Madman11
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(Original post by ajj2000)
People with a good academic background (strong A levels - degrees don't tend to be very predictive) tend to start straight off with CIMA or ACCA. Many Chartered firms like their apprentices to do AAT first, but there has started to be a move against that towards not graduates taking ACA over 4 years. Graduates in CA firms almost always just start of with ACA (plus sometimes ACCA or CIMA depending on the department they work in).
Ah fair enough mate. You studying in this field, or looking to get into it ? You seem to have a decent knowledge about all this 🙂
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Madman11
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(Original post by EmPar)
Honestly, just pick a subject that you think you will enjoy and work hard at. You will need a First from a decent Uni to be interviewed for top 4, and depending on what your interests are, they will tell you what qualifications they want you to gain. I've worked for two of them, and my degree is in Chemistry.
What do you count as a decent uni though ? For example, would Manchester fit into that category ?
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EmPar
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(Original post by Catherine1973)
It’s the One that graduates who join accounting firms do, rather than The other two which people do generally by working in a finance department and doing the exams whilst on the job.
It’s generally considered the best One (but I am biased as I did it)
All finance departments I have worked in, the more senior ones had aca, sone budget people had cima and more junior were doing aat, thinking of doing acca down the line.
Depends on your specialism. I've worked for two of the top 4, and my financial qualifications are from CISI.
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EmPar
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(Original post by Madman11)
What do you count as a decent uni though ? For example, would Manchester fit into that category ?
Oxbridge or Russell Group so Manchester would be fine
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ajj2000
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(Original post by Madman11)
Ah fair enough mate. You studying in this field, or looking to get into it ? You seem to have a decent knowledge about all this 🙂
I'm an experienced Chartered Accountant.
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Madman11
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(Original post by ajj2000)
I'm an experienced Chartered Accountant.
Oh wow nice. What things does your job mainly consist of on a day to day basis ? Also, what was your route into CA - did you always have it specifically in mind, or were you thinking of something else at one stage and then changed your mind to CA halfway through your course ? Also, what’s the salary like ? Lmao Sorry for all the questions, just that So many people write so many different things online (some of whom may not even be involved in this field), hard to know what’s right ahah
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Madman11
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(Original post by EmPar)
Depends on your specialism. I've worked for two of the top 4, and my financial qualifications are from CISI.
What’s CISI ? Sorry if I sound like an idiot lmao, just learning about all this now 😅
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