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I want to be an accountant

(21 Posts)
JJ Sat 08-Jan-05 14:53:07

Now that my youngest has started nursery full time, I want to study accounting. I might, possibly, be able to do a full time course, but would rather do an evening/distance learning course. Are there differences in where I end up with certifications? What should I look for in a course? I'm in East London, so could get to Central London or SE London pretty easily.

I'm not exactly interested in doing this to end up in a career. As long as my husband is working here, I'll be a SAHM. However, we have very tentative future plans (in 7 years or so) to move and start our own v small business, so the study is in anticipation of that. And, more importantly, I just need something to do and it sounds really interesting!

BubblesDeVere Sat 08-Jan-05 14:54:48

JJ, i'm not wanting to put you off, but one of my friends is accountant and she says that she will not be doing it for much longer, she leaves the house at 6.30 and often doesn't get in till gone 7, and then she has to work from home for a couple of more hours and day and more often than not on a weekend.

JJ Sat 08-Jan-05 14:56:45

That's ok, I'm not actually planning on working as one, but would just like to do the courses. Should have titled the thread "I want to study accounting".

BubblesDeVere Sat 08-Jan-05 14:57:23

Oh right, that's ok then lol, saying that i think alot of careers are like that now.

humphrey Sat 08-Jan-05 15:25:08

I gave up being a management accountant to become a SAHM I did a BTEC then AAT (Accounting Technician) the BTEC in Business studies allows you to miss I think it was the 1st year in AAT (this is a few years ago so you might want to check this out.) I then did CIMA which is the accountancy course for Management accountants. It depends on what type of accountant you want to be as to what final course you take, CIMA, CIPFA, ACCA(which is I think the one that you might want to follow which is chartered accountants). It all depends on what qualifications you already have as to where you start. You might want to check your local college for BTEC business studies (or equivalent) to check whether you need any entry level qualifications or whether they do AAT and you can get straight on or check with ACCA the chartered accounting body to see what they require at entry level. I'm sure they will have a website which might help. I'll see if I can find it. Hope some of this garbled message helps a bit

humphrey Sat 08-Jan-05 15:30:12

Here goes I'll try and do a link to the ACCA website bit that might be useful
ACCA

ladymuck Sat 08-Jan-05 15:33:37

JJ what you might actually want is a bookkeeping course, as this would help you with keeping your accounts straight for a business. If you wanted you could also say do the books of another business as well. It will concentrate on the day to day side of things.

Taking the steps towards one of the major accountancy qualifications is quite a lot of work, and usually only worth it if you actually want to work as an accountant.

However the suggestion of a decent business studies course is possibly a better one (or say that combined with a bookkeeping course - the latter don't have to be that long especially if you are numerate). And more readily accessible as most adult education centres will offer such a course.

To get a Chartered Accountancy qualification it is not just a matter of studying but you also have to have relevant work experience, usually working as a junior for an accountancy firm.

To what level are you currently educated?

humphrey Sat 08-Jan-05 15:36:54

Sorry ladymuck is right you probably don't want to go the whole ACCA route but perhaps just bookkeeping which your local college may do or business studies which would encompass more than just accounting and you could then decide after that whether you wanted to take it further

GRMUM Sat 08-Jan-05 15:37:21

My brother who's an accountant advised me to look into accounting technician as a career change - he reckoned it could be lucrative and flexible for a woman with children. I would do it but I'm not in the UK so not suitable at the moment. Web site is here

JJ Sat 08-Jan-05 16:05:57

Wow, thanks! Humphrey, will take a few minutes to parse those acronyms, but business management sounds good too. If there's a way to pick up qualifications on the way, like I think you did (?), then that would be worth considering. GRMUM, thanks for that link, too.

Ladymuck, I've got my masters in chemistry and dropped out while doing research for my PhD dissertation. That was in stat thermo, so I've got a pretty strong background in maths (I think).

Might as well tell you our 'tentative future plans' and please, feel free to laugh! If all goes according to plan, we'd like to move back to the US (to Vermont) in 7ish years and buy a v small farm. I'd do the books and my husband would run it. I'd also be the primary wage earner and have a real job, maybe accounting. I know the accreditation doesn't transfer (does it?) but thought that if I worked on it here, I'd be that much further along there. My husband would be in charge of the boys re doctor's visits, days off sick, etc, so the job wouldn't need to be as flexible as it would if I were the one doing those things.

Anyway, I desperately need something challenging to do as well. Our little farm dream will probably never happen, which is why I'm loath to say I'm training to be one as my career.

CountessDracula Sat 08-Jan-05 16:07:08

How about an MBA?

JJ Sat 08-Jan-05 18:43:45

At school, all the business students wore suits. Do you have to wear a suit to business school here? Writing that down, it is a stupid reason not to consider one.... must rethink a little!

But where to go? Is a degree from Birkbeck or the Open University just as good as one from a full time school? What about business school? Does it matter then? As I'm not a professional, could I get into one?

JJ Sat 08-Jan-05 23:40:50

Had a google around and don't want to do an MBA. Plus, they'd laugh me out of the interview -- I'm no high powered exec.

Just bumping this up because I'm lurking atm and saw one forensic accountant posting around (unless I have a brain cloud and am not remembering correctly).

soapbox Sat 08-Jan-05 23:41:48

You've caught me - I'll just read through the thread and post again in a minute!

soapbox Sat 08-Jan-05 23:49:16

Well Ladymuck has pretty much given you the right answer in that it is a long haul and big effort to become a chartered, management or certified accountant. In all cases you have to effectively study while you work under a training contract, which usually takes about 3 years. You wouldn't have to do another degree as your current chemsitry degree is enough for entry into a training contract.

However I sense that you don't really want to work at the moment, just to study with a view to working in the future in the US???

If that is the case then you would be best to do some kind of accountancy degree level qualification. I had a friend who's sister did a diploma in accounting who then moved to the US and is working in Cleveland as an accountant in business. That may very well be your best starting point.

On the other hand, if I had the option of that or an MBA, I'd do the MBA any day! The possibilities of possible careers are so much greater with the MBA although the study is probably harder.

Let me know if you want any more info and I'll do my best to let you know!

ladymuck Sun 09-Jan-05 00:04:25

MBAs tend to be expensive, and it does depend on exactly how you wish to work afterwards, but yes some MBAs are seen to be more valuable than others in the usual snobbishness about these things. It might be worth serching on The TImes website or somewhere - I know guides on going an MBA come out all the time.

No, business suits are not the norm for studying, even for those professionally sponsored.

JJ Sun 09-Jan-05 00:05:06

Soapbox, thanks! Hearing about your friend's sister is really encouraging. Was it hard for her to find work over there? And I have to admit that I'm not the MBA type, so probably wouldn't enjoy it or do very well.

I've found a course at Birkbeck -- here which sounds interesting. Or any other suggestions as to schools? I guess ideally there'd be a course which fit in with my boys' school times. Not holding my breath, though.

Thanks again.

soapbox Sun 09-Jan-05 00:07:27

Thats very true Ladymuck, and I suppose thats why a lot of people doing MBAs are sponsored by their employers!

I think there are a couple of decent distance learning MBAs, Warwick and Cranfield spring to mind, and it might be worth finding out how much these cost.

JJ Sun 09-Jan-05 00:08:31

Oops, crossposted with you, ladymuck. I'm not sure why we always saw the business students in suits... they would descend on the school's pub on Thursday evenings all dressed up for some reason. Weird!

soapbox Sun 09-Jan-05 00:10:42

JJ - why don't you leave it with me and I'll have a chat with some collegues on Monday. I'm not sure which are the best courses around but some others may well have a better idea!

I'll post early next week on this thread

JJ Sun 09-Jan-05 00:14:10

Thanks. No hurry, obviously! I really appreciate it.

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