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AAT to ACCA or ICAEW

I am nearing the end of my AAT journey of which I have studied as an apprentice. I am now thinking about my future and I think I would like to either progress onto ACCA or the ICAEW.

The issue I have at the moment is my current job place is not recognised by either as I do not currently work in practice but rather just in a busy legal accounts department. With this in mind, I do not think I would be able to make up the required practical hours that both qualifications require - has anybody else done this and moved firm for this reason?
Original post by Rachel52
I am nearing the end of my AAT journey of which I have studied as an apprentice. I am now thinking about my future and I think I would like to either progress onto ACCA or the ICAEW.

The issue I have at the moment is my current job place is not recognised by either as I do not currently work in practice but rather just in a busy legal accounts department. With this in mind, I do not think I would be able to make up the required practical hours that both qualifications require - has anybody else done this and moved firm for this reason?


Hi

Plenty of people move for just that reason but you don't have to. ICAEW realistically needs a recognised employer. ACCA doesn't. For ACCA you need to get your time and competencies signed off by an appropriate person. This is almost always a qualified accountant you work with. Is there one in your department?

If not its not particularly the end of the world - I can give some more guidance should that be the case.
Reply 2
Original post by ajj2000
Hi

Plenty of people move for just that reason but you don't have to. ICAEW realistically needs a recognised employer. ACCA doesn't. For ACCA you need to get your time and competencies signed off by an appropriate person. This is almost always a qualified accountant you work with. Is there one in your department?

If not its not particularly the end of the world - I can give some more guidance should that be the case.


I think ACCA is the route that I am most attracted to, the only reason I was considering the ICAEW was due to them giving more exemptions to AAT students but this isn't a deal breaker for me.

Unfortunately, there isn't a qualified accountant in my workplace (all just AAT qualified) - if you could give more advice on this it would be greatly appreciated.
Original post by Rachel52
I think ACCA is the route that I am most attracted to, the only reason I was considering the ICAEW was due to them giving more exemptions to AAT students but this isn't a deal breaker for me.

Unfortunately, there isn't a qualified accountant in my workplace (all just AAT qualified) - if you could give more advice on this it would be greatly appreciated.

Well - to qualify as ACCA you need to:

- pass the exams
- demonstrate three years appropriate practical experience
- have an appropriate supervisor sign off your online forms to certify that you have completed a number of performance objectives.

So - you don't need a particular type of work to pass the exams - you just need to pass them!

For the practical experience section I'm a bit unclear. I've had a look at the ACCA website and get the impression that the time requirements can be signed off by a more senior person in your organisation - such as a line manager - and that that person does not need to be professionally qualified. I'm not completely clear on this - may be worth dropping ACCA a line and see if they can clarify.

For the performance objectives - these do need to be signed off by a qualified accountant. Normally this would be someone from your work but could be an external person who assists the business, or representative of an accounting firm etc.

I hear from and meet people with concerns about getting the experience signed off. Unfortunately people do put off starting to study for the exams as they feel it will be a show stopper. That's a real pity - someone with connections in the accounting world would not have this concern and would have been advised to just crack on.

The reality is that (with a few exceptions which probably won't be relevant for most people) passing the exams and gaining useful experience are the most important things. Getting a certificate falls way below these.

Its very common for people not to fill in the forms to join ACCA or CIMA for years after they have passed the exams. Often people make numerous job changes and get promoted while procrastinating! I've known a few finance directors who had a complete their applications in a rush!

The performance objectives can look a bit intimidating when you first read them but really are not when you see some real examples written by people who cleared the requirements. I'll bet you could clear a load from the work you've done to date and take on a couple of projects to fulfil more. Pretty much any senior PQ or NQ job would easily cover the requirements within the first 3 months especially if you make a point to ask for tasks to meet the particular objective.

So - should you wish to do ACCA - there is really no need to change jobs unless you want to. At worst you would wait until you've passed the exams and then move to somewhere with an appropriate person to act as a training manager. This really won't stall your career or aspirations (again - there are some exceptions). At worst you find that ACCA won't accept all your time without an appropriate person to sign it off - they will be able to clarify this. Again - you just move to a job with a qualified manager who can support you in joining the institute.

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