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(23 Posts)
eatingworms Wed 27-Jan-16 21:06:40

I've recently been given a great opportunity at work to move into our Finance team and to study towards some professional qualifications. I need to decide between ACCA and CIMA.
I've done a bit of research and CIMA seems to fit well as my ultimate goal is to be a Management Accountant - ideally in the my current company. However it looks as though if I do ACCA then I could potentially also go into private practice one day if I wanted to. I can't envisage wanting to right now, but would it be better to do ACCA to keep my options open?
I'd also love to hear from anyone with recent experience of studying for either of these. There are quite a few threads I've found but some are pretty old - I'd love to hear from anyone who's doing it right now if you're out there!
I'm nearly 38, have a 6 year old and a 2 year old, so I am a bit concerned about fitting it all in. But, I've always been pretty good academically, good a retaining information and good at exams, so hoping that will get me through.
I feel like this is a last chance at a career I could be proud of so want to give it my best shot.
Please share your experiences, I'm all ears, thanks.

trilbydoll Wed 27-Jan-16 21:14:28

I'm ACA but if I had my time again I would do ACCA because I think you get a balance between financial and management accounting. Having said that, what is everyone else in the dept? My qualification remains a total mystery to my boss, it'll be much easier if you're not constantly explaining what stage you're at!

eatingworms Wed 27-Jan-16 21:19:00

Our CFO is neither as she's not from the UK so I think she has something different!
There's currently a trainee who is working towards CIMA, and someone else working towards ACCA. There's one AAT qualified person too. So it's pretty much up to me!
Reading up on the CIMA modules, it sounds more interesting to me.........but really it looks very very similar to ACCA.
How did you find the studying for the ACA? Hard going? I'm prepared to put some graft in but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little bit daunted!

GooseRocks Wed 27-Jan-16 21:25:47

I'm doing ACCA now. I think ACCA and CIMA are fairly similar. Mix of both where I work.

It is hard going but I'm nearly there now and hopefully be worth it in the end!

LucyMouse Wed 27-Jan-16 21:25:51

DH is recently CIMA qualified and says that ACCA is more focused on audit and stat accounts and touches on taxation. Whereas CIMA is more industry focused and is more than just numbers. Covers person management, dealing with change and strategic decision making for business. However you can once CIMA qualified apply for a practising certificate (member in practice) and work in a practice environment.
ACCA is usually a BA degree and professional qualification whereas CIMA is an advanced diploma and professional qualification.

TheRadiantAerynSun Wed 27-Jan-16 21:28:12

I'm ACCA, around about the time I started the syllabus was completely revised and it became more similar to CIMA, but with more Audit & Tax options. I work in industry and have been in a commercial role for about 10yrs, recently moving back into a more accountanty type role. I did a stint in practice and didn't much care for it.

When I employ people I don't care what they have as long as they have or are working towards one of the main three (ACA, ACCA or CIMA)

I will say ACCA are an absolute pain for having exam sittings during month end, which is very disruptive.

eatingworms Wed 27-Jan-16 21:35:59

How long have you been studying for Goose?

And Lucy how long did it take your DH?

Didn't know about the practicing cert after CIMA - that might swing it for me actually. I'm just wary of pigeon holing myself too soon.

MuttonCadet Wed 27-Jan-16 21:41:24

Whatever suits you best will be fine, I'm encouraged that your firm is moving you into finance at a relatively advanced stage in your career.

I'm CIMA qualified, but I ensure that I have a mix of ACA and AAT in the department as well, (AAT is a slighter lower grade qualification), so that we cover all areas.

Good luck with your choices!

GooseRocks Wed 27-Jan-16 21:43:55

Sat my first paper in June 2012.
Sitting one in March, will have two left after that (assuming I pass).

Have worked in private practice and currently in management accounts. The management account is ACCA, the financial accountant is CIMA, it really makes no difference once you're qualified as far as I can see.

Will you be self-studying or will work put you on study courses?

eatingworms Wed 27-Jan-16 21:45:12

Thanks, I'm chuffed that they've given me this opportunity too. Don't want to let them down now!

eatingworms Wed 27-Jan-16 21:49:07

Well done Goose, the end is in sight then.

I'm not sure yet how I will study - I'm supposed to be researching it all & letting them know what I think. I'll probably go for online courses for the early modules as fitting classes around family and work may be hard. But as I move onto the more demanding modules I may look into classes........I guess I'll see how I go. I work part time (3 days) so I'm thinking of putting my daughter into nursery an extra day a week and making that my study day.

GooseRocks Wed 27-Jan-16 21:57:59

Have a look at Free online resources for ACCA. Got me through my F papers.

Also You need to subscribe to access the really useful bits but would recommend. Getting me through my P papers!

Will give you an idea of syllabus. Don't know if there are similar sites for CIMA. Maybe someone else will.

LucyMouse Wed 27-Jan-16 22:01:44

He attended taught courses and revision days at weekends with no study leave from his full time job. During this time he took a break for our wedding and again for the birth of DS and he failed a few modules so took about 4 years all in all. But he says that was on the old syllabus and now it could be achieved within 2-2.5 years.
Good luck with it. He is much happier since qualifying and being promoted.

Runnerd Wed 27-Jan-16 22:08:44

While it's understandable to want to keep your options open, It's much less common for people to move industry to practice. Usually the transfer is practice to industry. In practice there can be significant travel to clients, constant deadline pressure trying to finish jobs within short deadlines (rather than the predictable monthly timetable of many industry jobs) and being a slave to the time sheet....

You may find that with dc, you need the predictability of a monthly timetable and a single workplace. I can't help with the difference between the quals themselves but if practice vs industry is one of your considerations then hopefully some food for thought.

eatingworms Wed 27-Jan-16 22:09:40

Thanks for the replies, I'm feeling encouraged.
If your DH managed it whilst working full time then I should be able to cope - sounds like he did really well. I was imagining it taking around 4 years, maybe I could do it faster then.
I've not come across those sites yet Goose so I will take a look, thanks.

eatingworms Wed 27-Jan-16 22:12:51

Yes thanks Runnerd, I'm definitely leaning towards CIMA.
I love my company, can't imagine wanting to move into practice, but then I could be working for another 30 years so you never know! I do like the regular hours etc. though and am very lucky to work the part time hours that I want at the moment where I am.

GooseRocks Wed 27-Jan-16 22:23:32

Is your employer, or can they become, an ACCA approved employer or get CIMA training and development accreditation?

This would swing it for me actually. Makes cpd much more straightforward (or so I'm led to believe - my employer has neither). I would discuss with management. It may be that the requirements are very similar so they can either or neither but worth checking.

MuttonCadet Wed 27-Jan-16 22:25:55

It's fairly easy to get accreditation, I have for every firm I've joined, i don't know why more company don't do it.

If you have a robust CPD in place as a company then it's simple to apply.

eatingworms Wed 27-Jan-16 22:38:53

I don't know about the accreditations - what exactly does that mean?
I doubt they have this, the company is quite new.

GooseRocks Wed 27-Jan-16 22:50:28

You need to provide evidence of three years worth of relevant experience to be fully qualified and then post qualification you need to prove that your keeping your skills up to date by providing evidence. If your employer is approved then

GooseRocks Wed 27-Jan-16 22:51:50

Oops, how did that happen... if your employer is approved then it's a lot less hassle basically!

There are links on both websites which info about applying.

eatingworms Wed 27-Jan-16 22:56:04

Right ok thanks, I'll take a look.

trilbydoll Fri 29-Jan-16 15:02:09

Yes, accreditation is awesome, I just had to sign a form to get fully qualified. My cima colleagues have to do a lot more.

ACA was hard because of the sheer volume of information to learn. If you understand it, can write quickly and concisely, and understand the questions I don't think it's hard like quantum physics, it's just a lot of work!

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