Start the ACA independently / tuition provider or wait for a training contract?

Watch
EzRAaeel
Badges: 5
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#1
Report Thread starter 1 year ago
#1
Hello people

I am in need of your advise on what's the best action to take as my situation is very unique. A quick background, I graduated few years ago with a degree in Management with Accounting, I was unable to work due to extenuating circumstances, but I will be able to work and start applying for Audit graduate programs in 2021. And the questions are as follows;

1- Should I start studying from January for the ACA certificate exams whether it is alone or with a tuition provider then when I join the training program I will have 6 exams less.

2- If its worth studying for the ACA with a tuition provider, what do you think about BPP and Kaplan? which one should I go for, they are both between £3,000 - £4,000, or should I go for it independently as its certificate level exams.

3- Should I just wait for the training programs as they will cover all the costs? as I think big firms want fresh students.

4- Should I buy the ICAEW Books for the certificate level and go through them in my free time and just wait until I apply for the training programs in 2021?


If you have any opinion or an alternative direction for me to take please let me know, and thank you for reading.
0
reply
K1NE
Badges: 10
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#2
Report 1 year ago
#2
Hey,

Best thing in my opinion to do is wait for the ACA trainee scheme and start your exams with your new employer. Big 4 and the other large practices typically do not hire trainees who have already self-funded some of the exams. They expect candidates to have done zero exams and will fund your training. If you were really really keen to get a head start, then you can consider getting a hold of a study manual and question bank for some of the certificate level exams, however this is by no means necessary as they will teach you what you need to know at college. Also, reading the study manual can be quite pointless and boring. If there is one exam you might want to do it for, then I would say get the Certificate Level Law resources. The module is pretty much a learn and churn and the study manual isn't that long to read. Material is really dry though. Also for the law module, you don't really go to college, it's normally self-study. If you study with a tuition provider, they'll give you some additional e-learning resources for law but you might even be better off just reading the study manual and going through the question bank.

Another thing to check is for exemptions. You may have exemptions for some of the earlier exams with your degree because you did management with accounting, so it is worth checking this. When you do get your ACA contract, some firms may allow you to take those exemptions however others may not. To check for exemptions, you need to go onto the ICAEW website and check in the CPL section.

So in summary to answer your questions :

1- Should I start studying from January for the ACA certificate exams whether it is alone or with a tuition provider then when I join the training program I will have 6 exams less. - No need start studying for the exams. The courses are fairly expensive and it may work against you when applying for certain trainee schemes, as larger firms in particular expect candidates to have done zero ACA exams.

2- If its worth studying for the ACA with a tuition provider, what do you think about BPP and Kaplan? which one should I go for, they are both between £3,000 - £4,000, or should I go for it independently as its certificate level exams. - Again, no need to self fund. Find a ACA contract with a firm first and let them cover the cost.

3- Should I just wait for the training programs as they will cover all the costs? as I think big firms want fresh students. Yes, most of the larger firms expect trainees to start their ACA contracts fresh with them.

4- Should I buy the ICAEW Books for the certificate level and go through them in my free time and just wait until I apply for the training programs in 2021? - This may help, because when you do start the courses, depending on the company you work for you are expected to understand the material thick and fast. There can be a 7 day window between learning the material and completing the exam for some modules. Law is the certificate level module which is typically self-study (unless something has changes over the last 3 years), so you may benefit most getting a study manual and question bank for this exam. Similar thing could be said for Business, Finance and Technology. Not necessary though, it could prove to be a waste of money as your company will pay for fresh resources for you. Also, when I mean buying resources for Law/ Business Finance and Technology I mean just buying the study manual and question back, which I think costs £35 for each certificate level module. No need to pay for courses at BPP/Kaplan.

Other things you could do in your spare time, is to just brush up on double entry accounting. This will help with the certificate level accounting module.

Hope this helps.
Last edited by K1NE; 1 year ago
3
reply
EzRAaeel
Badges: 5
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#3
Report Thread starter 1 year ago
#3
(Original post by K1NE)
Hey,

Best thing in my opinion to do is wait for the ACA trainee scheme and start your exams with your new employer. Big 4 and the other large practices typically do not hire trainees who have already self-funded some of the exams. They expect candidates to have done zero exams and will fund your training. If you were really really keen to get a head start, then you can consider getting a hold of a study manual and question bank for some of the certificate level exams, however this is by no means necessary as they will teach you what you need to know at college. Also, reading the study manual can be quite pointless and boring. If there is one exam you might want to do it for, then I would say get the Certificate Level Law resources. The module is pretty much a learn and churn and the study manual isn't that long to read. Material is really dry though. Also for the law module, you don't really go to college, it's normally self-study. If you study with a tuition provider, they'll give you some additional e-learning resources for law but you might even be better off just reading the study manual and going through the question bank.

Another thing to check is for exemptions. You may have exemptions for some of the earlier exams with your degree because you did management with accounting, so it is worth checking this. When you do get your ACA contract, some firms may allow you to take those exemptions however others may not. To check for exemptions, you need to go onto the ICAEW website and check in the CPL section.

So in summary to answer your questions :

1- Should I start studying from January for the ACA certificate exams whether it is alone or with a tuition provider then when I join the training program I will have 6 exams less. - No need start studying for the exams. The courses are fairly expensive and it may work against you when applying for certain trainee schemes, as larger firms in particular expect candidates to have done zero ACA exams.

2- If its worth studying for the ACA with a tuition provider, what do you think about BPP and Kaplan? which one should I go for, they are both between £3,000 - £4,000, or should I go for it independently as its certificate level exams. - Again, no need to self fund. Find a ACA contract with a firm first and let them cover the cost.

3- Should I just wait for the training programs as they will cover all the costs? as I think big firms want fresh students. Yes, most of the larger firms expect trainees to start their ACA contracts fresh with them.

4- Should I buy the ICAEW Books for the certificate level and go through them in my free time and just wait until I apply for the training programs in 2021? - This may help, because when you do start the courses, depending on the company you work for you are expected to understand the material thick and fast. There can be a 7 day window between learning the material and completing the exam for some modules. Law is the certificate level module which is typically self-study (unless something has changes over the last 3 years), so you may benefit most getting a study manual and question bank for this exam. Similar thing could be said for Business, Finance and Technology. Not necessary though, it could prove to be a waste of money as your company will pay for fresh resources for you. Also, when I mean buying resources for Law/ Business Finance and Technology I mean just buying the study manual and question back, which I think costs £35 for each certificate level module. No need to pay for courses at BPP/Kaplan.

Other things you could do in your spare time, is to just brush up on double entry accounting. This will help with the certificate level accounting module.

Hope this helps.
Thank you so much for the detailed answer, really appreciate your time.

You are right about firms view on self-funded students, I had the same concerns, I think it only benefits small firms in this case but I am aiming for the top 10. For the reading materials, it sounded the best option for me right now, so is there any other subject beside law I can also go for? and its likely I will take my exams in early 2022, I heard that the reading materials change from year to year basis, is this true or its only minors

As for exemptions, I checked with ICAEW yesterday and they told me since my degree is from 2015, the requirement right now is at 2016, so its bad luck I guess, I probably missed 3 exemptions only I think, but I never thought about firms not allowing you to take them, if I read the materials to refresh my head then it should not be an issue on the topics that I know about.

Lastly, is there a point in doing masters if I am after audit trainee program and the ACA, I viewed the masters degree as waste of money since I am after the ACA but since I graduated in 2015 maybe it would give me an edge when applying and maybe 1-2 exemptions.

Again, thank you so much for answers
0
reply
K1NE
Badges: 10
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#4
Report 1 year ago
#4
(Original post by EzRAaeel)
Thank you so much for the detailed answer, really appreciate your time.

You are right about firms view on self-funded students, I had the same concerns, I think it only benefits small firms in this case but I am aiming for the top 10. For the reading materials, it sounded the best option for me right now, so is there any other subject beside law I can also go for? and its likely I will take my exams in early 2022, I heard that the reading materials change from year to year basis, is this true or its only minors

As for exemptions, I checked with ICAEW yesterday and they told me since my degree is from 2015, the requirement right now is at 2016, so its bad luck I guess, I probably missed 3 exemptions only I think, but I never thought about firms not allowing you to take them, if I read the materials to refresh my head then it should not be an issue on the topics that I know about.

Lastly, is there a point in doing masters if I am after audit trainee program and the ACA, I viewed the masters degree as waste of money since I am after the ACA but since I graduated in 2015 maybe it would give me an edge when applying and maybe 1-2 exemptions.

Again, thank you so much for answers
No worries at all. My pleasure.

To be honest you could actually look into reading materials for any of the other Certificate level exams, except for maybe Principles of Tax (due to changes in tax rates/rules). It would be impossible however to guarantee whether the syllabus will be similar by 2022. There's a chance there could be minimal changes and there is also a chance the syllabus for some or each exam could be updated drastically. I would say if you secure a contract next year before November at a Top 10 or a Top 20, then you will almost certainly start exams next year. It is realistic possibility too to secure a contract way before then.

In terms of exemption, that is a shame but hopefully you'll be fine when going back over the material.

Doing a masters degree in my opinion is not worth it for a career in accounting, even if that masters degree gives you loads of exemptions. You should be able to get into a good accounting firm with your bachelors degree. It shouldn't matter that you did your degree back in 2015 and I don't even think Big 4 care about where your degree is from, as long as you have a 2.1/(sometimes they accept 2.2 but double check this) and you meet their A-level/UCAS points requirements then you should be able to apply. Getting the job will be more so based on how you perform in their test and assessment centres. Accounting firms will ask you to explain if there are any gaps in your CV between 2015 - til whenever they are interviewing or reading your application, so as long as you have reasons and can explain gaps then it's no problem at all.

Really the aim should be to quickly get your ACA/ACCA/CIMA contract etc... (whichever Chartered qualification you choose) and qualify. Then work your way up in whichever area you would like to progress during and after qualification. Accounting is more about your practical experience and you will also stand a lot stronger in the eyes of potential hiring managers if you are working and simultaneously completing your professional exams.

Getting lots of exemptions for an ACA may work against you, because working through all or a large bulk (by taking 1 or 2 exemptions) of the exams requires a lot of discipline and motivation. Alternatively getting 1 or 2 exemptions is not worth it if you are spending thousands of pounds on a masters degree which will hold little value in comparison to your CA qualification in the accounting world. Most if not all senior finance roles just require a person to be a Chartered Accountant (most times they won't even care if you have a degree, they will just want to see that you're Chartered)

Hope this helps.
Last edited by K1NE; 1 year ago
0
reply
EzRAaeel
Badges: 5
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#5
Report Thread starter 1 year ago
#5
(Original post by K1NE)
No worries at all. My pleasure.

To be honest you could actually look into reading materials for any of the other Certificate level exams, except for maybe Principles of Tax (due to changes in tax rates/rules). It would be impossible however to guarantee whether the syllabus will be similar by 2022. There's a chance there could be minimal changes and there is also a chance the syllabus for some or each exam could be updated drastically. I would say try if you secure a contract next year before November at a Top 10 or a Top 20, then you will almost certainly start exams next year. It is realistic possibility too to secure a contract way before then.

In terms of exemption, that is a shame but hopefully you'll be fine when going back over the material.

Doing a masters degree in my opinion is not worth it for a career in accounting, even if that masters degree gives you loads of exemptions. You should be able to get into a good accounting firm with your bachelors degree. It shouldn't matter that you did your degree back in 2015 and I don't even think Big 4 care about where your degree is from, as long as you have a 2.1/(sometimes they accept 2.2 but double check this) and you meet their A-level/UCAS points requirements then you should be able to apply. Getting the job will be more so based on how you perform in their test and assessment centres. Accounting firms will ask you to explain if there are any gaps in your CV between 2015 - til whenever they are interviewing or reading your application, so as long as you have reasons and can explain gaps then it's no problem at all.

Really the aim should be to quickly get your ACA/ACCA/CIMA contract etc... (whichever Chartered qualification you choose) and qualify. Then work your way up in whichever area you would like to progress during and after qualification. Accounting is more about your practical experience and you will also stand a lot stronger in the eyes of potential hiring managers if you are working and simultaneously completing your professional exams.

Getting lots of exemptions for an ACA may work against you, because working through all or a large bulk (by taking 1 or 2 exemptions) of the exams requires a lot of discipline and motivation. Alternatively getting 1 or 2 exemptions is not worth it if you are spending thousands of pounds on a masters degree which will hold little value in comparison to your CA qualification in the accounting world. Most if not all senior finance roles just require a person to be a Chartered Accountant (most times they won't even care if you have a degree, they will just want to see that you're Chartered)

Hope this helps.
I am going to quick read through the materials I guess and practice a little but in the end I still need to buy up to date books which hopefully the firm does for me later, I saw this reading materials package on ebay, what do you think about it, I think its worth it.

I will apply in January if there are still open roles, if not then on September, I have 2.1 and 208 UCAS which is over what they are asking for, the only potential issues I see are the aptitude tests, not their difficulty but the time limit, but I will sign up for a year subscription on website to practice them when the time comes, also I need to get use to interviews as I have never done them, majority of the internships I have done before was through networks. Do you suggest applying for the least favorite firms first to practice and be become more comfortable with the assessment center and tests, then in the end apply to the ones I am interested in.

Thought the same on the masters part but I considered it as personal growth and I aimed for it during my undergraduate, but you are right it does not benefit a career in accounting. I got exemption for ACCA and many do this qualification by self study which is suitable for me situation but personally I think ACA is more worth it in the end and I enjoy the auditors work.

For now I will buy the reading materials even if they are old, I want to go through them and understand it. I will able to work from January, which I will try and join a small local accounting firm as part time, it is probably linked towards the ACCA but its better than nothing I guess as I do not want them to question why I still had gap when I was able to work from January and I did not do that. I will jump ships when any recruitment opens up in the top 10 firms.


Again thank you so much, your advise is very helpful.
0
reply
K1NE
Badges: 10
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#6
Report 1 year ago
#6
(Original post by EzRAaeel)
I am going to quick read through the materials I guess and practice a little but in the end I still need to buy up to date books which hopefully the firm does for me later, I saw this reading materials package on ebay, what do you think about it, I think its worth it.

I will apply in January if there are still open roles, if not then on September, I have 2.1 and 208 UCAS which is over what they are asking for, the only potential issues I see are the aptitude tests, not their difficulty but the time limit, but I will sign up for a year subscription on website to practice them when the time comes, also I need to get use to interviews as I have never done them, majority of the internships I have done before was through networks. Do you suggest applying for the least favorite firms first to practice and be become more comfortable with the assessment center and tests, then in the end apply to the ones I am interested in.

Thought the same on the masters part but I considered it as personal growth and I aimed for it during my undergraduate, but you are right it does not benefit a career in accounting. I got exemption for ACCA and many do this qualification by self study which is suitable for me situation but personally I think ACA is more worth it in the end and I enjoy the auditors work.

For now I will buy the reading materials even if they are old, I want to go through them and understand it. I will able to work from January, which I will try and join a small local accounting firm as part time, it is probably linked towards the ACCA but its better than nothing I guess as I do not want them to question why I still had gap when I was able to work from January and I did not do that. I will jump ships when any recruitment opens up in the top 10 firms.


Again thank you so much, your advise is very helpful.
Totally up to you. You could buy reading material packages off e-bay but personally I would try to find free resources first. For example, Open tuition have great free learning materials for ACCA/CIMA. I used their youtube lectures from time to time for my ICAEW studies, especially at certificate level as there is overlap. Of course the ICAEW syllabus will differ but a lot of the content will be very similar. So rather than spending money, you can always go on Open tuition and watch their free lectures on there and practice questions during this free time.

In terms of interview prep, practice as much as you can at home. Of course with the more interviews and assessment days you attend your confidence/ resilience can grow but you could do just fine on the interview day and get the job in your first assessment centre. Just do your research at home and practice your for potential interview questions. Yep good idea with subscribing for assessment centre practice tests. The more you practice the better you will get at them.

There's plenty of great smaller firms out there which should be able to support you for your ACA/ACCA training too. Regardless if it's an internship/ part time role, as long as it's building relevant experience, then it will benefit you. Also, of course aim to get into Big 4 or a Top 10 firm if that's where you really do want to work, but if for whatever it doesn't work out, working for a smaller firm can be just as good and you may learn more. If you ever did want to move into Big 4, then maybe you can do in the future as you build your practice experience.
0
reply
EzRAaeel
Badges: 5
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#7
Report Thread starter 1 year ago
#7
(Original post by K1NE)
Totally up to you. You could buy reading material packages off e-bay but personally I would try to find free resources first. For example, Open tuition have great free learning materials for ACCA/CIMA. I used their youtube lectures from time to time for my ICAEW studies, especially at certificate level as there is overlap. Of course the ICAEW syllabus will differ but a lot of the content will be very similar. So rather than spending money, you can always go on Open tuition and watch their free lectures on there and practice questions during this free time.

In terms of interview prep, practice as much as you can at home. Of course with the more interviews and assessment days you attend your confidence/ resilience can grow but you could do just fine on the interview day and get the job in your first assessment centre. Just do your research at home and practice your for potential interview questions. Yep good idea with subscribing for assessment centre practice tests. The more you practice the better you will get at them.

There's plenty of great smaller firms out there which should be able to support you for your ACA/ACCA training too. Regardless if it's an internship/ part time role, as long as it's building relevant experience, then it will benefit you. Also, of course aim to get into Big 4 or a Top 10 firm if that's where you really do want to work, but if for whatever it doesn't work out, working for a smaller firm can be just as good and you may learn more. If you ever did want to move into Big 4, then maybe you can do in the future as you build your practice experience.
The link to Ebay did not work, they are around £50 for the whole certificate level package. I saw Open tuition but they were CIMA and ACCA focused, I will check them out again and go through the lectures for ACCA.

I will research a lot about the firms I am after for sure, and practice around the questions they will ask me and prepare a lot for the tests.

That's the plan, I will secure an internship in a local accounting firm and start from there until the recruitment opens up, which some firms are still recruitment at this moment. I will be after the big 4 first, then BDO / GT, and will see how it goes from there, but personally I would love to get into BDO, their location is great for me and they are solid firm. You never know maybe I switch to ACCA instead, as the only issue I dislike about Auditing is the travel part which I hopefully does not drain me.
0
reply
K1NE
Badges: 10
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#8
Report 1 year ago
#8
(Original post by EzRAaeel)
The link to Ebay did not work, they are around £50 for the whole certificate level package. I saw Open tuition but they were CIMA and ACCA focused, I will check them out again and go through the lectures for ACCA.

I will research a lot about the firms I am after for sure, and practice around the questions they will ask me and prepare a lot for the tests.

That's the plan, I will secure an internship in a local accounting firm and start from there until the recruitment opens up, which some firms are still recruitment at this moment. I will be after the big 4 first, then BDO / GT, and will see how it goes from there, but personally I would love to get into BDO, their location is great for me and they are solid firm. You never know maybe I switch to ACCA instead, as the only issue I dislike about Auditing is the travel part which I hopefully does not drain me.
No worries. Yep I only suggested Open tuition because the material, especially for the earlier exams can be quite similar. I.e I used the Corporate and Business law resources to help understand concepts for ICAEW's Certificate level law. I would say 80% or the Syllabus is similar, just the way ICAEW ask questions can be different but you can always practice ICAEW questions from a question bank. Similarly, I would expect early the ACCA early accounting modules to be very similar to ICAEW's Certificate level accounting module. The knowledge learned will be similar, i.e understanding double entry, single entity accounts etc... Just the style of questions in ACCA and ICAEW may be different but you can practice this from the question bank. Alternatively if £50 for the certificate level resources is okay for you and you feel they will help with your studies then of course get them. Hopefully reading on the subjects may mean topics and concepts will be a lot easier to understand when you first go to college. By no means is it necessary to do that right now because they will teach you everything at College but given you have spare time, it wouldn't hurt to give yourself a head start.

Best of luck with everything.
0
reply
Seba.fr1
Badges: 10
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#9
Report 1 year ago
#9
Hey, so I am a 2nd year big 4 grad. I’d say you’d be pretty mad to pay all that for the exams and tuition. However, if you want to get a bit of a head start, buy the study manual and question bank for a few exams and have a bit of a read through.
Ones that are easier to self study are assurance (would also be help you understand a bit more about your future job), BTF, and law. Accounting has the lowest pass rate so you could try and teach yourself that, but it’s more difficult without a tutor. Or watch a few you tube courses on double entry bookkeeping.
Second hand books are available on eBay. You’ll probably want question bank and study manual. Apart from tax, the syllabus doesn’t change much year to year.
Last edited by Seba.fr1; 1 year ago
0
reply
EzRAaeel
Badges: 5
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#10
Report Thread starter 1 year ago
#10
(Original post by K1NE)
No worries. Yep I only suggested Open tuition because the material, especially for the earlier exams can be quite similar. I.e I used the Corporate and Business law resources to help understand concepts for ICAEW's Certificate level law. I would say 80% or the Syllabus is similar, just the way ICAEW ask questions can be different but you can always practice ICAEW questions from a question bank. Similarly, I would expect early the ACCA early accounting modules to be very similar to ICAEW's Certificate level accounting module. The knowledge learned will be similar, i.e understanding double entry, single entity accounts etc... Just the style of questions in ACCA and ICAEW may be different but you can practice this from the question bank. Alternatively if £50 for the certificate level resources is okay for you and you feel they will help with your studies then of course get them. Hopefully reading on the subjects may mean topics and concepts will be a lot easier to understand when you first go to college. By no means is it necessary to do that right now because they will teach you everything at College but given you have spare time, it wouldn't hurt to give yourself a head start.

Best of luck with everything.
Did not know they were similar, I am going over the books and doing like chapter a day, its boring not going to lie and its probably me not being used to studying again, but I will get used to it. I will check Open tuition on the topics that I am not clear on and watch their videos.

And in 1-2 weeks I will be able to apply I think, so hopefully there are few firms who are still recruiting for September 2021 intake, its kind unfortunate situation as Pwc and Deloitte closed their recruitment already, not sure if its worth waiting 2 years to work or get into top 10 firm.
0
reply
ICAEW Careers
Badges: 3
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#11
Report 1 year ago
#11
(Original post by EzRAaeel)
Hello people

I am in need of your advise on what's the best action to take as my situation is very unique. A quick background, I graduated few years ago with a degree in Management with Accounting, I was unable to work due to extenuating circumstances, but I will be able to work and start applying for Audit graduate programs in 2021. And the questions are as follows;

1- Should I start studying from January for the ACA certificate exams whether it is alone or with a tuition provider then when I join the training program I will have 6 exams less.

2- If its worth studying for the ACA with a tuition provider, what do you think about BPP and Kaplan? which one should I go for, they are both between £3,000 - £4,000, or should I go for it independently as its certificate level exams.

3- Should I just wait for the training programs as they will cover all the costs? as I think big firms want fresh students.

4- Should I buy the ICAEW Books for the certificate level and go through them in my free time and just wait until I apply for the training programs in 2021?


If you have any opinion or an alternative direction for me to take please let me know, and thank you for reading.
Hi EzRAaeel,

There are companies advertising now for ACA training roles that start in January (see the ICAEW Training Vacancies website and look at the websites of companies you want to work for / that are local to you etc), although most roles (in normal times) typically start in Sept.

It may be that in these unusual times, that employers choose to stagger their recruitment throughout the year. Many employers will like to see recruits who are dedicated to their career choice – so for some employers studying whether independently or via tuition for some of the ACA Certificate Level (or CFAB exams which are the same exams at the ACA Certificate level) could give you an advantage.

Entering a company where you have some of the exams already completed (even if it is just one or two) saves that company money and time – which could be even more important for organisations in these Covid times. However, some of the bigger firms like to put all their students through tuition and the exams at the same time as each other so the students can share learnings / support each other. Your degree also may entitle you to some exam exemptions so you should check this at http://www.icaew.com/cpl

Most students studying on their own take 12-24 months to do all 6 ACA Cert. level / CFAB exams, so if you do decide to start studying, then just buy one study manual at a time, rather than all the books for all 6 modules.

ICAEW cannot comment on tuition providers – you will need to make that decision yourself and choose if that is right for you and if so, which provider to opt for.

Best wishes,
ICAEW
0
reply
EzRAaeel
Badges: 5
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#12
Report Thread starter 1 year ago
#12
(Original post by Seba.fr1)
Hey, so I am a 2nd year big 4 grad. I’d say you’d be pretty mad to pay all that for the exams and tuition. However, if you want to get a bit of a head start, buy the study manual and question bank for a few exams and have a bit of a read through.
Ones that are easier to self study are assurance (would also be help you understand a bit more about your future job), BTF, and law. Accounting has the lowest pass rate so you could try and teach yourself that, but it’s more difficult without a tutor. Or watch a few you tube courses on double entry bookkeeping.
Second hand books are available on eBay. You’ll probably want question bank and study manual. Apart from tax, the syllabus doesn’t change much year to year.
Thank you for the advice

I bought all the books second hand except Accounting question bank and management information, all for £50. I started with Assurance and its interesting as its the path I am after. I have not studied in few years so its felt boring but the information is very practical and not theory, and I attempt the question bank after doing each chapter.

How long does the big 4 give you for the self-study exams? or is it like 1-2 weeks for 3-4 exams together, how does it work, and if you study 3-4 chapters per week outside class / work all year long, would that be the way to go or you need to pull more, as for now I am comfortable with one chapter per day at ease probably but with work probably 1-2 days per chapter weekdays, and 1 per weekend.

Also, yesterday I found out that in 1-2 weeks I can start applying but its probably unlucky timing as big 4 is closing their recruitments, I saw BDO, E&Y and KPMG still recruiting I think, if by 2 weeks they close, is it worth the wait until September 2021 or go beyond the top 6 firms

Again thank for your suggestion.
0
reply
Seba.fr1
Badges: 10
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#13
Report 1 year ago
#13
Re top 10 vs big 4, obviously big 4 does look “better” on your CV, but realistically top 10 is still going to get you to a similar place. If you really wanted, do your 3 years at a top 10 and then more to big 4 for a year. I’m at KPMG and know a couple of qualified ppl who have done this after qualifying at smaller firms. You’ll have a years more experience, and big 4 experience, in the same time it would have taken you if you’d have waited a year
For certificate exams study leave varies by exams and employer. At KPMG you get 6 days at college where they teach you accounting, and the other certificate exams are 2-3 self study days each. There are some videos that get you through the content a bit faster. They then recommend 16 hours additional study per week in the lead up to exams. I find for some exams you can cut that down to 10 hours, but on some of the professional/advanced exams you ideally take a couple of days holiday before the exams to fit everything in. I actually studied assurance before joining like you are doing. I ended up not needing to do so much study when I joined the firm, as I already knew the content, and I could concentrate fully on my accounting exam, which was the same day, so it was really helpful.
Last edited by Seba.fr1; 1 year ago
0
reply
tjames988
Badges: 12
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#14
Report 1 year ago
#14
(Original post by EzRAaeel)
Thank you for the advice

I bought all the books second hand except Accounting question bank and management information, all for £50. I started with Assurance and its interesting as its the path I am after. I have not studied in few years so its felt boring but the information is very practical and not theory, and I attempt the question bank after doing each chapter.

How long does the big 4 give you for the self-study exams? or is it like 1-2 weeks for 3-4 exams together, how does it work, and if you study 3-4 chapters per week outside class / work all year long, would that be the way to go or you need to pull more, as for now I am comfortable with one chapter per day at ease probably but with work probably 1-2 days per chapter weekdays, and 1 per weekend.

Also, yesterday I found out that in 1-2 weeks I can start applying but its probably unlucky timing as big 4 is closing their recruitments, I saw BDO, E&Y and KPMG still recruiting I think, if by 2 weeks they close, is it worth the wait until September 2021 or go beyond the top 6 firms

Again thank for your suggestion.
The big 4 will probably still have roles available at the regional offices, as they fill up later on, but yeah with all its best to apply as soon as you can. How come you can only start applying in 1-2 weeks, why not now? Would be highly beneficial to apply as early as possible to avoid the rolls filling up before you get to an assessment centre
0
reply
EzRAaeel
Badges: 5
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#15
Report Thread starter 1 year ago
#15
(Original post by ICAEW Careers)
Hi EzRAaeel,

There are companies advertising now for ACA training roles that start in January (see the ICAEW Training Vacancies website and look at the websites of companies you want to work for / that are local to you etc), although most roles (in normal times) typically start in Sept.

It may be that in these unusual times, that employers choose to stagger their recruitment throughout the year. Many employers will like to see recruits who are dedicated to their career choice – so for some employers studying whether independently or via tuition for some of the ACA Certificate Level (or CFAB exams which are the same exams at the ACA Certificate level) could give you an advantage.

Entering a company where you have some of the exams already completed (even if it is just one or two) saves that company money and time – which could be even more important for organisations in these Covid times. However, some of the bigger firms like to put all their students through tuition and the exams at the same time as each other so the students can share learnings / support each other. Your degree also may entitle you to some exam exemptions so you should check this at http://www.icaew.com/cpl

Most students studying on their own take 12-24 months to do all 6 ACA Cert. level / CFAB exams, so if you do decide to start studying, then just buy one study manual at a time, rather than all the books for all 6 modules.

ICAEW cannot comment on tuition providers – you will need to make that decision yourself and choose if that is right for you and if so, which provider to opt for.

Best wishes,
ICAEW
Thank you so much for your advice

Your site is on my Bookmarks!, once I am able to apply then I have to see what's currently available, either through your site or directly through the companies, but I am not sure if the jobs that have been listed on your site a month go worth applying for? or its old listing.

I think the best action for me right now is to keep going over the manuals and study bank, but not pay for tuitions as I think I do not need it for the certificate level, and since I am going to see the listing of jobs from December then my options becomes narrower as recruitment is filling right now, its likely I have to apply in September 2021 for January - April 2022 intake, or if I am lucky the top 10 firm would be still recruiting by 2 weeks, which some have closed already.

As for the exemption I have spoken over the phone with ICAEW and explained my circumstances, they said I do miss the year criteria as its set at 2016 right now, and I graduated in 2015, which is unlucky as I was unaware of it or else would have applied last year.

I know this information is probably in your site already, but if I take any exams next year I have to pay for (Yearly membership + the exam fee) correct? and I know tuition providers have their exams but what if I am self-studying what are the dates for the exams.
0
reply
EzRAaeel
Badges: 5
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#16
Report Thread starter 1 year ago
#16
(Original post by Seba.fr1)
Re top 10 vs big 4, obviously big 4 does look “better” on your CV, but realistically top 10 is still going to get you to a similar place. If you really wanted, do your 3 years at a top 10 and then more to big 4 for a year. I’m at KPMG and know a couple of qualified ppl who have done this after qualifying at smaller firms. You’ll have a years more experience, and big 4 experience, in the same time it would have taken you if you’d have waited a year
For certificate exams study leave varies by exams and employer. At KPMG you get 6 days at college where they teach you accounting, and the other certificate exams are 2-3 self study days each. There are some videos that get you through the content a bit faster. They then recommend 16 hours additional study per week in the lead up to exams. I find for some exams you can cut that down to 10 hours, but on some of the professional/advanced exams you ideally take a couple of days holiday before the exams to fit everything in. I actually studied assurance before joining like you are doing. I ended up not needing to do so much study when I joined the firm, as I already knew the content, and I could concentrate fully on my accounting exam, which was the same day, so it was really helpful.
I will keep it at top 10 firm and don't go beyond it I think for now, and joining big 4 after qualifying for some experience then probably into industry sounds like plan I think.

I thought the same with using the holiday days if I am struggling with any subject, but hopefully I have gone through all the certificate level materials by the time I join. Do you still work when you attend college or its class then home to self-study.

Again thanks you for your explanations.
0
reply
EzRAaeel
Badges: 5
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#17
Report Thread starter 1 year ago
#17
(Original post by tjames988)
The big 4 will probably still have roles available at the regional offices, as they fill up later on, but yeah with all its best to apply as soon as you can. How come you can only start applying in 1-2 weeks, why not now? Would be highly beneficial to apply as early as possible to avoid the rolls filling up before you get to an assessment centre
I had a very long court case with Home Office but won in the end, then this pandemic hit us and delayed issuing my right to work papers so its unfortunate, as its it will get issued when recruitment is near the deadlines for many firms, very few will still be recruiting from the top 10 by December, its a race I guess, can't do much about it.
0
reply
ajj2000
Badges: 20
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#18
Report 1 year ago
#18
(Original post by EzRAaeel)
I had a very long court case with Home Office but won in the end, then this pandemic hit us and delayed issuing my right to work papers so its unfortunate, as its it will get issued when recruitment is near the deadlines for many firms, very few will still be recruiting from the top 10 by December, its a race I guess, can't do much about it.
Why does that stop you filling in application forms now? Is there a way you can state on the form that you will receive a right to work in December?
0
reply
EzRAaeel
Badges: 5
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#19
Report Thread starter 1 year ago
#19
(Original post by ajj2000)
Why does that stop you filling in application forms now? Is there a way you can state on the form that you will receive a right to work in December?
I spoke to BDO about it, if I need the permit when I am filling in the application as the work starts next year, and the answer was unclear, and asked again it was still unclear response, they were speaking about Visa which is unrelated to me. When you apply in their site it will ask to upload your right to work, did not try with the rest.
0
reply
ajj2000
Badges: 20
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#20
Report 1 year ago
#20
(Original post by EzRAaeel)
I spoke to BDO about it, if I need the permit when I am filling in the application as the work starts next year, and the answer was unclear, and asked again it was still unclear response, they were speaking about Visa which is unrelated to me. When you apply in their site it will ask to upload your right to work, did not try with the rest.
I would try. One of the big firms lost a case for indirect discrimination for something similar so I suspect they will be pretty careful.
0
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Back
to top
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

How would you describe the quality of the digital skills you're taught at school?

Excellent (35)
9.62%
Okay (106)
29.12%
A bit lacking (135)
37.09%
Not good at all (88)
24.18%

Watched Threads

View All
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise