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To think I can do Level 4 AAT without tutor support

(28 Posts)
howdoyoudecide Tue 24-Oct-17 18:42:31

I am shamelessly posting here for traffic!

I am in the middle of level 3. Tutor
Support etc in the package. I haven’t needed to use her once. I am averaging 96% in assessments. I am a bit annoyed at myself using my learning credits from current job for Level 3 as I really could have done a basic course and saved my credits.

Would I be crazy to attempt level 4 on a basic package of basically just be work books?

For background I have a degree and a masters but neither are related to accountancy and I work in a demanding challenging job that doesn’t involve any accountancy either.

Was also contemplating skipping level 4 and diving straight into CIMA.

Really not sure what would be he most cost effective and efficient way of going about this. I have two lots of £2000 to spend on educational courses/qualifications. want to use one for a project management course.

Would appreciate any advice !

Kokorunner Tue 24-Oct-17 18:56:49

Yes I did just that with just the books for level 3 &4. I could have skipped level 4 and gone on to ACCA but glad I finished AAT as think it gave a better grounding also got some exemptions and from memory CIMA offered similar. It also helped me get a finance job where the company sponsored my ACCA studies. Good luck!

howdoyoudecide Tue 24-Oct-17 19:01:04

Thanks. They told me at the company that does the distance learning that level 3 was quite a step up etc. I haven’t found it particularly difficult. Although I still have a few modules to go

howdoyoudecide Tue 24-Oct-17 19:01:51

Yes CIMA does also offer exemptions.

goodnessidontknow Tue 24-Oct-17 19:14:08

If you're finding level 3 is easy without tutor support then skip level 4 and hop straight to ACCA or CIMA. The exemptions aren't worth the extra study time once you have the basics IMO.
I did level 2 AAT to see how I got on with accounting then moved to ACCA rather than carrying on with AAT.
I did ACCA while working 50 hour weeks and it was tough but manageable. 10 years later I run my own practice 😀

howdoyoudecide Tue 24-Oct-17 19:18:49

Thanks. I am kicking myself for using up £2000 of learning credits on the full package of tutor support etc. I could have used it towards CIMA. Oh well. Live and learn! I am leaning towards just jumping into CIMA

OneInAMillionYou Tue 24-Oct-17 19:22:35

Another one here suggesting you jump straight into CIMA. Sounds as though you have got the accountancy grounding you wanted and you are clearly bright enough to do it! Well done on those assessments and good luck.
In my experience you will never regret getting a chartered accountancy qualification.

goodnessidontknow Tue 24-Oct-17 21:30:42

I'm interested to know why you're leaning towards CIMA.
My first thought was to follow the CIMA path but in the end I went with ACCA as it covers the majority of the CIMA and ACA/ICEAW syllabus providing a much wider scope for progression and broader knowledge base. CIMA misses fundamental compliance, corporate tax and audit principles and I've seen first hand the impact that can have even for someone solely working in industry.
If you are aiming specifically for strategic management roles then CIMA may be better for you but if you're not set on that path it may be worth further consideration.
Whatever way you go, you sound as though you have the aptitude and motivation to succeed 😀

howdoyoudecide Tue 24-Oct-17 22:05:52

Honestly I wasn’t 100% sure which way to go. I m not 100% I want to be a straightforward accountant. I do seem to be drawn to the idea of interpreting the figures and applying that to whatever business/ industry I might be working in. I probably need to take some career advice and a family friend is in a very senior role but I am yet to approach her for advice. I have just over two years left in my current role before I will be forced to move on. And when I think about the things that I am good at and the things I like doing, investigating issues - solving problems - I like the satisfaction of getting the right figures when i am studying. Pretty sad but I enjoy digging out the right policy and figuring stuff out. I felt all of that leaned me more towards management accounting. Plus my current role is all about leadership and management so would hope to progress to financial controller as fast as possible. My current career is stalled.

howdoyoudecide Tue 24-Oct-17 22:06:11

I’m not sure a lot of that has made sense lol

howdoyoudecide Tue 24-Oct-17 22:07:51

Even though I don’t find Level 3 aat hard, i am a little scared of Acca and the complex tax stuff! confused

goodnessidontknow Tue 24-Oct-17 22:08:51

It makes complete sense! Also, not at all sad to like figuring things out and problem solve 😉

goodnessidontknow Tue 24-Oct-17 22:11:05

It is difficult and rightly so but if you have a feel for that sort of work (enjoying investigating and problem solving) you'll be fine.

Squirmy65ghyg Tue 24-Oct-17 22:12:07

What about forensic accounting?

howdoyoudecide Tue 24-Oct-17 22:12:56

Probably need to get hold of some CIMA qualified people and get a sense for the job/career options.

howdoyoudecide Tue 24-Oct-17 22:17:29

I haven’t really investigated forensic accounting.

I need to balance job prospects and pay with what I want and how likely I am to find employment. Which is why I was leaning more towards CIMA and has considered ACCA. I will probably have to take a pay cut when I move on but need to ensure it isn’t massive.

howdoyoudecide Tue 24-Oct-17 22:18:20

I am pretty excited by the idea of my second career. Just need to nail down the detail!

goodnessidontknow Tue 24-Oct-17 22:27:57

Not wanting to get into the age old ACCA is better/only the elite can do ACA but many (not all of course!) CIMA qualified accountants won't be aware of the scope they're missing.
I once worked with a manager who was CIMA who didn't have the faintest idea of what the auditors were trying to achieve and got very frustrated at their perfectly reasonable requests. He was convinced he was getting one over on them but actually just showed himself up as ignorant and got in the way of those of us who were trying to get the audit done as efficiently as possible.
I've also worked with a few people who have switched from CIMA or gone on for further training to expand their knowledge base.
Sorry, rant over! There is a lot of competition within the industry blush
I've always thought forensic accounting would be great but I discovered that my strengths lean toward strategic and management accounting rather than audit and investigation. I think it takes someone with a real desire to trace through minute detail and with the best will in the world I just don't have that skill set!

howdoyoudecide Tue 24-Oct-17 22:39:34

I am also a little annoyed at myself as now I am pretty sure I could have started CIMA from scratch and been ok without the AAT. I just didn’t really have a clue what I was letting myself in for so almost wanted to test the waters.

I will look again at ACCA.

stevie69 Tue 24-Oct-17 22:49:25

Another one here suggesting you jump straight into CIMA. Sounds as though you have got the accountancy grounding you wanted and you are clearly bright enough to do it! Well done on those assessments and good luck.
In my experience you will never regret getting a chartered accountancy qualification.

Well, the only regret is ...... that you'll be a chartered accountant and not a lion tamer grin

Ginermog Tue 24-Oct-17 22:58:08

The trouble with ACCA is that there are masses of qualified ACCA accountants due to the way the training works (there’s some very strange deal with Oxford Brooke’s University which means that people who’ve never set foot in the UK seem to be able to get a degree from there having done ACCA exams plus an extra essay or something, but without any practical experience whatsoever). And many of those people don’t know which way up a balance sheet is.
I work in practice and think the new way that ACA training is structured is much better for someone like you who is clearly up to the academic rigour. I may be a bit biased though wink
And don’t bother with finishing AAT if you are going further with your studies.

OneInAMillionYou Wed 25-Oct-17 04:08:48

😂 Stevie!

Sweetheartyparty76 Wed 25-Oct-17 06:49:41

I'm CIMA qualified and also completed AAT level 4 so feel free to ask me any questions.
I didn't find there was much if a knowledge jump between level 3 and 4 in AAT. It was a while ago but just seemed to build on what we already learnt rather than new stuff. A big part of level 4 was writing a report on changing processes within your organisation and for that reason alone I would suggest doing CIMA certificate. I'd much rather do exams than reports. This was many years ago though so it's probably changed quite a bit

howdoyoudecide Wed 25-Oct-17 08:09:00

Even more to think about! I want to make the right choice as I am mid 30s so this will be my last career change! Hopefully anyway.

howdoyoudecide Wed 25-Oct-17 08:10:50


Did you self fund CIMA or did your employer? I am interested in the career progression as two children has stalled my current career and I am very keen to get back on track.

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