The Student Room Group

ACCA/ACA or ACA and CTA Joint Programme

Just a little background info about me, I am 26 - I only studied a Masters in accounting and finance (my undergrad was in teaching) so I definitely feel like there are gaps in my knowledge which I need to work on. If I choose to do ACCA - I am exempt from 5 of the 14 exams so will only have to 9. Not sure if ACA offers any such exemptions?

I worked in a financial accounting firm for 3 years and absolutely loved it. I was constantly learning new things, although it was challenging, it felt great to learn something new every day. My job included completing tax returns for mainly sole traders and limited companies, payroll, bank reconciliations etc.

I currently work for a small business which I do not find as enjoyable - I worked in a similar role prior to this and my experience was the same. My job includes invoicing, bank reconciliation and ensuring everything is captured for the VAT Returns.

I'm struggling to figure out what is right for me - based on my experiences and what I found enjoyable, I really miss working in an accounting firm so do I find somewhere that does ACCA/ACA training and go with them?

I also feel like I would really enjoy tax - I have never studied tax in my Masters but am wondering if it'll be different to what I have experienced at work? If tax is the route I want to take, do I do ACA and CTA instead? The cons to this I have heard about are that ACA is much more difficult to pass than ACCA and CTA more so than ACA - does anyone know how true this is? Is it a possibility or is it wise to do ACCA then if I wish to go into tax - do CTA afterwards? I have heard that the combined ACA-CTA route is a more efficient route into accountancy and tax which makes sense. Does anyone know the pass rate for this route?

I have been standstill with my studies and career for 2-3 years because of personal circumstances but also because I feel I have ADHD - I won't go into too much depth but the main points which I feel I struggle with when it comes to studies and work are that it takes me some time to understand and process information and weak memory (which becomes overwhelming and stressful) and is worrying esp if I have exams to sit. BUT I think if I have some sort of guidance/support, I will be okay (at uni, I worked with a peer who supported me and helped me achieve my goals). I am trying to get some help for the ADHD but there is a huge waiting list so there is no point waiting around - I've come to a point now where I just want to get on with my studies.

Any advice would be appreciated and I am happy to answer any questions anyone has. Have a great day :smile:
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by Anxnymous
Just a little background info about me, I am 26 - I only studied a Masters in accounting and finance (my undergrad was in teaching) so I definitely feel like there are gaps in my knowledge which I need to work on. If I choose to do ACCA - I am exempt from 5 of the 14 exams so will only have to 9. Not sure if ACA offers any such exemptions?

I worked in a financial accounting firm for 3 years and absolutely loved it. I was constantly learning new things, although it was challenging, it felt great to learn something new every day. My job included completing tax returns for mainly sole traders and limited companies, payroll, bank reconciliations etc.

I currently work for a small business which I do not find as enjoyable - I worked in a similar role prior to this and my experience was the same. My job includes invoicing, bank reconciliation and ensuring everything is captured for the VAT Returns.

I'm struggling to figure out what is right for me - based on my experiences and what I found enjoyable, I really miss working in an accounting firm so do I find somewhere that does ACCA/ACA training and go with them?

I also feel like I would really enjoy tax - I have never studied tax in my Masters but am wondering if it'll be different to what I have experienced at work? If tax is the route I want to take, do I do ACA and CTA instead? The cons to this I have heard about are that ACA is much more difficult to pass than ACCA and CTA more so than ACA - does anyone know how true this is? Is it a possibility or is it wise to do ACCA then if I wish to go into tax - do CTA afterwards? I have heard that the combined ACA-CTA route is a more efficient route into accountancy and tax which makes sense. Does anyone know the pass rate for this route?

I have been standstill with my studies and career for 2-3 years because of personal circumstances but also because I feel I have ADHD - I won't go into too much depth but the main points which I feel I struggle with when it comes to studies and work are that it takes me some time to understand and process information and weak memory (which becomes overwhelming and stressful) and is worrying esp if I have exams to sit. BUT I think if I have some sort of guidance/support, I will be okay (at uni, I worked with a peer who supported me and helped me achieve my goals). I am trying to get some help for the ADHD but there is a huge waiting list so there is no point waiting around - I've come to a point now where I just want to get on with my studies.

Any advice would be appreciated and I am happy to answer any questions anyone has. Have a great day :smile:

If I choose to do ACCA - I am exempt from 5 of the 14 exams so will only have to 9. Not sure if ACA offers any such exemptions
ACA offers exemption, but it's a bit more difficult to find their exemptions calculator. Look at the following and see if you can get any exemptions for your master's: https://apps.icaew.com/cpldirectory

I'm struggling to figure out what is right for me - based on my experiences and what I found enjoyable, I really miss working in an accounting firm so do I find somewhere that does ACCA/ACA training and go with them?
You should ideally be studying under a firm that offers your ACCA or ACA training. Personally, I would rather work at an accounting firm because the experience that you have there can be applied both in financial and management accounting, whereas working in industry would only allow you to work in industry. However, you should go where you are happiest.

If tax is the route I want to take, do I do ACA and CTA instead?
You can do the CTA with virtually any accounting qualification, not just ACA. See the following regarding what exemptions you can get with ACCA: https://www.tax.org.uk/exemptions. However, I recommend contacting CIOT to double check on this as there is little other information on their website regarding this.

The cons to this I have heard about are that ACA is much more difficult to pass than ACCA and CTA more so than ACA - does anyone know how true this is?
The pass mark for ACA exams is generally 55%:
https://www.icaew.com/for-current-aca-students/exam-resources/Certificate-Level
https://www.icaew.com/for-current-aca-students/exam-resources/Professional-Level
The pass mark for ACCA exams is 50%:
https://www.accaglobal.com/gb/en/student/exam-support-resources/fundamentals-exams-study-resources/f7/faqs.html#:~:text=All%20questions%20in%20the%20exam,mark%20continues%20to%20be%2050%25.

Is it a possibility or is it wise to do ACCA then if I wish to go into tax - do CTA afterwards?
See above

I have heard that the combined ACA-CTA route is a more efficient route into accountancy and tax which makes sense. Does anyone know the pass rate for this route?
See the following regarding pass rates for certain ACA exams: https://examresults.icaew.com/Home/Stats
See the following for pass rates on CTA exams: https://assets-eu-01.kc-usercontent.com/220a4c02-94bf-019b-9bac-51cdc7bf0d99/df322b2a-eb15-447c-a9e5-decbabf33917/CTA%20Prizes%20and%20Results%20Information%20May%202022.pdf
https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/bppassets/public/assets/pdf/brochures/Moving_from_ATT_to_CTA.pdf
I can't find any specific stats on the ACA CTA pathway though.

Most of the above information can be found on both the CIOT, ACCA, and ICAEW websites. Failing this, there is always Google.
@mods - any chance of moving this post to the careers- accounting where it would get more traction?

Quick Reply

Latest

Trending

Trending