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Notshortnottall

Original Poster:

426 posts

64 months

[news] 
Thursday 12th July 2012 quote quote all
In my current post, I've been able to secure funding for the completion of a financial qualification e.g. CIMA.

Does anyone have an opinion on the most recognised/sought after/recommended qualification to aim for?

I want to make sure I don't end up with a Mickey Mouse piece of paper - instead having something useful in the real world.

For clarity, I will have the opportunity to put this knowledge into practice and therefore gain experience to match.

Steffan

8,183 posts

108 months

[news] 
Thursday 12th July 2012 quote quote all
There are differences in the various accountancy qualifications. Eric Mc is very probably the best candidate on PH to advise. My own experience suggests a career of considerable earning potential and good variety post qualification.

Essentially, IME the most widely recognised qualification, is that of a Chartered Accountant. This qualification requires a training contract and will enable the successful candidate to engage in auditing corporate bodies and every form of professional accountancy practice, once achieved.

There are pre qualification career requirements and post qualification career requirements, to ensure adequate experience.

ICMA will not achieve that range of professional cover, and will not allow qualified auditing. It is however very widely recognised within industry as an excellent qualification in itself.

Either route can offer a lifetime of professional involvement in accountancy, which does enable excellent earnings and a degree of respect, from businessmen and others. Few businessmen can afford to fall out with their accountant, and at worst you are likely to be regarded as a necessary evil by clients.

Successive political taxation requirements has made the taxation specialisation, a complete sphere of complex activity, within the accountancy profession in itself.

There are a huge range of opportunities in the accountancy profession post qualification. Good luck to you in your choice.


MEC

2,271 posts

153 months

[news] 
Thursday 12th July 2012 quote quote all
Although there are three ways to be able to use the term "Chartered" (Ie the protected accountancy title) being ACA (as Steffan suggests), ACCA and CIMA. Both ACA and ACCA can become registered auditors.

If you want to move into tax the CTA (CIOT) is a well respected qualification but a touch specialised.

AyBee

5,945 posts

82 months

[news] 
Thursday 12th July 2012 quote quote all
By "finance", do you specifically mean accountancy? What are your wider circumstances, i.e. current job and future aims?

PugwasHDJ80

5,744 posts

101 months

[news] 
Thursday 12th July 2012 quote quote all
horses for courses on this one

I did a CIMA qualification becuase i knew i didn't want to be an "accountant", but rather work in industry. CIMA had some interesting modules that focussed more on industry than anything else.

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Countdown

8,775 posts

76 months

[news] 
Thursday 12th July 2012 quote quote all
ACCA here - it's as flexible as ACA and more flexible than CIMA. It's very hard to get a training contract to do ACA unless you got at least a 2:1 with a million UCAS points (I'm not bitter). ACCA is probably just as good but ACA is regarded more highly simply because only higher calibre candidates get training contracts.

kiethton

4,607 posts

60 months

[news] 
Thursday 12th July 2012 quote quote all
I'm doing my CFA in december and have just started studying (looking at books) although the taught course through BPP starts in September.

I was first looking at either the CFA or CIMA but decided that the CFA was a better fit for what I currently do (property finance - Banking) and where I want to go - Investments/Restructuring/Property Development)

AyBee

5,945 posts

82 months

[news] 
Thursday 12th July 2012 quote quote all
kiethton said:
I'm doing my CFA in december and have just started studying (looking at books) although the taught course through BPP starts in September.

I was first looking at either the CFA or CIMA but decided that the CFA was a better fit for what I currently do (property finance - Banking) and where I want to go - Investments/Restructuring/Property Development)
Is CFA just something you want to do or have you been told/strongly advised to do it? I'm in your rough area of work (project rather than property) and it's never been mentioned to me by any of my seniors - to be perfectly honest, I don't really have time either without not having a social life at all frown

KevinA4quattro

6,083 posts

160 months

[news] 
Thursday 12th July 2012 quote quote all
FCCA and ACMA here. ACCA is recognised globally and is aimed at being in practice. CIMA is also recognised globally and is aimed more at being in business. IMHO ACA is probably the best if you want to be in practice in England and Wales, ACCA if you want global recognition in practice and CIMA if you want to work in business, rather than an accountancy practice.

Notshortnottall

Original Poster:

426 posts

64 months

[news] 
Thursday 12th July 2012 quote quote all
AyBee said:
By "finance", do you specifically mean accountancy? What are your wider circumstances, i.e. current job and future aims?
It's more based around an "Intensive Development" scheme I'm on, that will be elevating me to the realms of large budgetary responsibility (tens of millions).

With this in mind, I was leanign more towards CIMA as it's regarding management accounting, as opposed to the auditing aspect others verge on.

I was interested to hear some thoughts from more learned minds on the subject. Thanks for your input so far.

kiethton

4,607 posts

60 months

[news] 
Thursday 12th July 2012 quote quote all
AyBee said:
kiethton said:
I'm doing my CFA in december and have just started studying (looking at books) although the taught course through BPP starts in September.

I was first looking at either the CFA or CIMA but decided that the CFA was a better fit for what I currently do (property finance - Banking) and where I want to go - Investments/Restructuring/Property Development)
Is CFA just something you want to do or have you been told/strongly advised to do it? I'm in your rough area of work (project rather than property) and it's never been mentioned to me by any of my seniors - to be perfectly honest, I don't really have time either without not having a social life at all frown
Its something I am wanting to do, I'm mindful that my current employer won't be around in a few years time. Although I knew this when I started, it was negated to an extent as there is a personal develpment budget set aside for training which I've elected to use to make myself more employable when it does actually end.

I know that it is a lot of work, I think when everything starts I may have to focus less on PH and more on revision. I am lucky enough to have a decent memory, everything that is said or I read I remember, my main focus will be on memorising formula and their application in certian situations as with a bit of reading/employer funded taught course/revision sessions I should hopefully make the grade or I am liable for the re-sit fees.

sideways sid

415 posts

95 months

[news] 
Thursday 12th July 2012 quote quote all
None of the options will do you any harm but from what you say, CIMA should be most useful to you.

CFA is an excellent qualification but more suited to working in FS than industry.

Perhaps swing it round to where you want to be in 10 years and work back from there in terms of work experience, career progression & qualifications.

Also consider that studying in addition to performing a demanding role is hard work. Options include losing your evenings &/or weekends &/or a couple of full weeks per year.

Steffan

8,183 posts

108 months

[news] 
Thursday 12th July 2012 quote quote all
sideways sid said:
None of the options will do you any harm but from what you say, CIMA should be most useful to you.

CFA is an excellent qualification but more suited to working in FS than industry.

Perhaps swing it round to where you want to be in 10 years and work back from there in terms of work experience, career progression & qualifications.

Also consider that studying in addition to performing a demanding role is hard work. Options include losing your evenings &/or weekends &/or a couple of full weeks per year.
At least that nowadays, I think, unless you are Stephen Fry, with his megabrain. I really think that the exams are still pretty difficult unlike "O" and "A" levels which have been radically dumbed down by successive Education chiefs.

I would go into this aware it is seriously demanding hard work in the training period. The actual practice of accountancy itself has been made much easier by IT generally. Post qualification.

s2kjock

154 posts

27 months

[news] 
Thursday 12th July 2012 quote quote all
Steffan said:
I would go into this aware it is seriously demanding hard work in the training period. The actual practice of accountancy itself has been made much easier by IT generally. Post qualification.
The training certainly is tough and the exams hard - I found CA and ACCA considerably more demanding than studying for a law degree (and the latter only had to compete with Countdown and beer, not a challenging full time job).

I'm not sure the practice of accountancy is any easier these days overall - IT certainly speeds up the mundane stuff, but also makes it easier to make a mess of and all work still needs reviewed regardless.

Standards and regulations continue to become more complex and ways to deal with them more sophisticated - all leads people more into specialising which has its pros and cons. I rarely come out of a training course not slightly depressed about the next set of regulations I am expected to get to grips with (and not charge the client extra for).

In the practice and sectors I work in your experience and ability tends to be more important than the particular letters after your name, but you do need them as a starter to get in at a certain level.

s2kjock

154 posts

27 months

[news] 
Thursday 12th July 2012 quote quote all
Steffan said:
I would go into this aware it is seriously demanding hard work in the training period. The actual practice of accountancy itself has been made much easier by IT generally. Post qualification.
The training certainly is tough and the exams hard - I found CA and ACCA considerably more demanding than studying for a law degree (and the latter only had to compete with Countdown and beer, not a challenging full time job).

I'm not sure the practice of accountancy is any easier these days overall - IT certainly speeds up the mundane stuff, but also makes it easier to make a mess of and all work still needs reviewed regardless.

Standards and regulations continue to become more complex and ways to deal with them more sophisticated - all leads people more into specialising which has its pros and cons. I rarely come out of a training course not slightly depressed about the next set of regulations I am expected to get to grips with (and not charge the client extra for).

In the practice and sectors I work in your experience and ability tends to be more important than the particular letters after your name, but you do need them as a starter to get in at a certain level.
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