accounting jobs without accounting qualification?

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Fayzan_Ali
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#21
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#21
(Original post by AW_1983)
Where are you studying your accounting degree? You'll probably find you get some exemptions from ACCA or CIMA (or the ICAEW).

The reality is you won't have much of an accountancy career without qualifying as an accountant. Not only that, but there are not many finance directors who would willingly hire a freshly graduated accountant who was already saying they didn't want to do professional study because it would display a terrible attitude towards the profession and you would give the impression that you don't really want to be an accountant. When firms recruit raw talent, the expectation is that they are normally bringing in people who aspire to be a professional accountant who will one day replace the more senior members of the team when they move to a new role or retire. You would upset that succession planning.

My suggestion is if you feel like this then you need to question whether you are even studying the right thing at undergraduate level. There are places you can have a career with just a degree, but accounting is not one of them.
I’m studying at UOM and I think we get max 8 exemptions. And it’s not that I don’t ‘want’ to be chartered it just seems very difficult aka beyond my scope of abilities and it takes another 3 years to complete after the degree so it’s quite a long process if that makes sense
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K1NE
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#22
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#22
(Original post by Fayzan_Ali)
I’m studying at UOM and I think we get max 8 exemptions. And it’s not that I don’t ‘want’ to be chartered it just seems very difficult aka beyond my scope of abilities and it takes another 3 years to complete after the degree so it’s quite a long process if that makes sense
Hey,

I think you've maybe convinced yourself that you're not capable of passing Chartered Accountancy exams from what you've heard but I'm pretty sure you are capable of passing the exams. People always share the horror stories of accountancy exams but do not really talk about the positives and how lots of people get through them and become Chartered. It is an achievable task if you are disciplined and put in the work.

Given you are doing a degree in Accounting too it puts you at an advantage compared to the large majority of students I met during my time at college when I did my exams. There are people from various backgrounds who've done Language/Art/Engineering/Science etc degrees who are doing the exams and getting through and in some cases passing the exams first time too.

Don't be too hard on yourself and tell yourself you can't do it. The fact that you have 8 exemptions already is great because if your training company lets you take the exemptions, then it means you have fewer exams to do.

Think more about it positively.
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Fayzan_Ali
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#23
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#23
(Original post by K1NE)
Hey,

I think you've maybe convinced yourself that you're not capable of passing Chartered Accountancy exams from what you've heard but I'm pretty sure you are capable of passing the exams. People always share the horror stories of accountancy exams but do not really talk about the positives and how lots of people get through them and become Chartered. It is an achievable task if you are disciplined and put in the work.

Given you are doing a degree in Accounting too it puts you at an advantage compared to the large majority of students I met during my time at college when I did my exams. There are people from various backgrounds who've done Language/Art/Engineering/Science etc degrees who are doing the exams and getting through and in some cases passing the exams first time too.

Don't be too hard on yourself and tell yourself you can't do it. The fact that you have 8 exemptions already is great because if your training company lets you take the exemptions, then it means you have fewer exams to do.

Think more about it positively.
Appreciate the advice boss 👊🏼 I’ll try have a more positive outlook about it especially considering I’m still in first year of uni
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AW_1983
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#24
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#24
(Original post by Fayzan_Ali)
I’m studying at UOM and I think we get max 8 exemptions. And it’s not that I don’t ‘want’ to be chartered it just seems very difficult aka beyond my scope of abilities and it takes another 3 years to complete after the degree so it’s quite a long process if that makes sense
I think you miss the point of what it would actually be like for those three years. Most of the time you would be working as an accountant, not studying (especially if you have 8 exemptions). Also, the level of study will not be any higher than what you are already doing at degree level until you get to the final level of examinations.

The reason a lot of people find becoming chartered hard is not normally the study, it's the job itself and here you do have choices. You don't have to join a Big 4 audit firm in a major city and do 12-14 hour days whilst doing your exams on a fast track scheme. There are plenty of other schemes and plenty of other employers out there who will let you study at a gentler pace and work a more normal 9-5 if this is what you want. You might want to look at finance schemes with employers like Lidl who run some great schemes.

Alternatively, having your degree won't do you any harm in a role in the finance sector (but not in the finance function) where further study would not necessarily be required. For example, back office banking operations or securities services would offer opportunities where further study was optional rather than mandatory.
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ajj2000
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#25
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#25
If you get 8 exemptions from ACCA you have a load of options for training in industry - it need not be horribly intense. Plus - the different level of exams suit different people. It doesnt necessarily get harder. When I was doing ACA the Cambridge maths grads seemed super smart for the first couple of years but others of us overtook them on the final level when reporting writing etc became a big part of the exams.
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Fayzan_Ali
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#26
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#26
(Original post by AW_1983)
I think you miss the point of what it would actually be like for those three years. Most of the time you would be working as an accountant, not studying (especially if you have 8 exemptions). Also, the level of study will not be any higher than what you are already doing at degree level until you get to the final level of examinations.

The reason a lot of people find becoming chartered hard is not normally the study, it's the job itself and here you do have choices. You don't have to join a Big 4 audit firm in a major city and do 12-14 hour days whilst doing your exams on a fast track scheme. There are plenty of other schemes and plenty of other employers out there who will let you study at a gentler pace and work a more normal 9-5 if this is what you want. You might want to look at finance schemes with employers like Lidl who run some great schemes.

Alternatively, having your degree won't do you any harm in a role in the finance sector (but not in the finance function) where further study would not necessarily be required. For example, back office banking operations or securities services would offer opportunities where further study was optional rather than mandatory.
Hi thanks for your response, you make some good points. So would you say working towards the ACA in places other than the top 4 is much more manageable overall? And would they offer support like the top 4? Because tbh I don’t see myself working for any top 4 if I was to work towards the Aca, I’d rather work in a mid/smaller firm or like in a football club or educational institutions like college
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Fayzan_Ali
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#27
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#27
(Original post by ajj2000)
If you get 8 exemptions from ACCA you have a load of options for training in industry - it need not be horribly intense. Plus - the different level of exams suit different people. It doesnt necessarily get harder. When I was doing ACA the Cambridge maths grads seemed super smart for the first couple of years but others of us overtook them on the final level when reporting writing etc became a big part of the exams.
That’s an interesting insight so I guess it depends on the individual and so I shouldn’t generalise the difficulty of it to my own potential experience
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ajj2000
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#28
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#28
(Original post by Fayzan_Ali)
That’s an interesting insight so I guess it depends on the individual and so I shouldn’t generalise the difficulty of it to my own potential experience
If you can get into UoM you should be confident of doing ok in the exams? I'm not as gung ho as many about telling people to just dive in and do them as the failure rates are real. However, the correlation with pass rate and A level results was very strong in the past when such data was more available.
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AW_1983
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#29
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(Original post by Fayzan_Ali)
Hi thanks for your response, you make some good points. So would you say working towards the ACA in places other than the top 4 is much more manageable overall? And would they offer support like the top 4? Because tbh I don’t see myself working for any top 4 if I was to work towards the Aca, I’d rather work in a mid/smaller firm or like in a football club or educational institutions like college
There are loads of options to train in practice and industry and most employers will fund your study although how much support you get really depends firm to firm.

Big 4 tends to be quite intense balancing work and study. The study leave is in theory generous but my own experience at Deloitte (albeit 15 years ago now) was during the 2 weeks I had for revision I was constantly being harassed by third years on the phone. Big 4 firms like to come across as professional but my experience was that you're basically a 'kidult' working with other 'kidults' and doing large volumes of monotonous work, albeit for big name companies. The drink and drug culture in my office was pretty bad too. In hindsight I consider myself lucky to have failed an exam and moved into the investment banking back office as I've done more with my career than anyone who stayed.

I doubt the rest of the top 10 is much different but it might be possible that you work with more experienced people as managers and their offices have a more grown up culture.

With most of the top 10 there is little room to fail an exam too. They'll simply let you go if you fail a paper and then hire one extra person the following year. The work you would do is not that hard until you qualify so you aren't difficult to replace.

Smaller practices can afford to be a bit more forgiving but don't have bottomless pockets for you to keep failing exams either and also can't afford as much study leave but they will offer a less intense working environment and you probably won't fail if you do the required study hours.

I think the most lenient is industry because the work you get assigned is less regimented against the stage of qualification you are at and if you fail a paper they tend to just make you pay for the resit. They also tend to be less bothered if it takes you a bit longer to qualify provided you are good at your job. The key difference is that practices hire more people than they need and expect attrition either before or after qualification whereas industry hire you to do a particular job. Practice can just dump you and find another tick monkey whereas industry has given you a proper job to do and has made you harder to replace.

The downside with industry though is that they tend to be less generous with study leave (though apprenticeships are changing that).
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