Accountants / ACCA Exams

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sparkles Posts: 293
This has been playing on my mind this long time. I finished my degree in 2003 and worked extremely hard ( Like everybody ) to come out with the best result. I spent the following years trying to get a job as close to home as possible which was unsuccessful and then broadened my horizons, unfortunately the industry died in Ireland and now I am working in close to home in a different area of expertise, having said that, the job is well paid and the people you could not get a nicer bunch to work with, however, I do not feel challenged in this role and am bored to death in it. I have been considering applying to accountancy firms and completing my ACCA exams. I really wanted some advice/feedback from accountants or someone who has done this! I know it will not be an easy ride working full time and studying for exams but I have always loved maths and would never have become bored working with anything related to maths (that’s also another question ) Would it be advantageous to have a great interest in maths for this career. Is it worth it at this stage? Sparkles
rock-n-roll-wife Posts: 6579
sparkles... it's a common misconception that maths and accountancy go hand in hand... they're completely different things, you don't have to be any good at maths to be an excellent accountant, the only thing that would be advantageous is basic arithmetic, ive just started studying for the ACCA exams myself from home while working full time.. it's not easy at all but very rewarding when you get to the end of a chapter and answer all the questions right! you should get a lot of exemptions because of your degree, so you won't have to sit a lot of the exams, it'd be just like topping up your degree, if you want to go for it do it!! i love it because its both challenging and very rewarding, and you get instant satisfaction when you know you've made everything balance the way it should and made decisions based on your own calculations, let me know if you decide to go for it! best of luck.. ;) xx kim xx
SarahS Posts: 550
Hi Sparkles I've been down that road so maybe I can be some help to you. The accountancy qualification is a very well recognised business qualification and yes it is worth the effort as it opens many doors for you and salary wise you are guaranteed a certain standard of living. You sound like your 26ish.. it is never too late to start them, in fact I think you need a level of maturity to be able to balance study and work. It depends on what is going on with your life, can you give it a good shot or are you in the process of getting married?? I wouldn't recommend anyone take these on if they are going to get sidetracked too much. It is a rough ride no doubt, you are looking at possibly twelve papers to sit depending on your exemptions, so that will be tough. You are probably better off in an accountancy practice because you will get better leave and they will possibly pay your exam fees if you sign a contract with them but you will probably not be paid well until you progress with your exams. As for maths, you don't need fantastic maths to be an accountant, it is no harm obviously, you need good English and to be interested in business. A lot of people find accountancy boring and too detailed and I'm one of them I'm afraid but I intend to use the qualification to get into other branches of business so I wouldn't change the fact I went through the exams for the world. I think you should base your decision on how much time you can give the study, can you afford to take a possible pay cut and where you ultimately see yourself career wise. One other thing, the final exams are tough, much tougher then college exams, so be prepared for that. Hope this helps!! Sarah
SarahS Posts: 550
you should get a lot of exemptions because of your degree, so you won't have to sit a lot of the exams, it'd be just like topping up your degree, It depends very much where you got your degree from and what modules you took but whether you study ACA or ACCA, you could be looking at ten/twelve papers and I don't agree with it being a top up on a degree, the standard is way higher. Not being a snob but that is the reality, the finals are way higher then degree level as the institute's want a certain standard of their members.
rock-n-roll-wife Posts: 6579
what i meant by the top up on the degree is that the degree still counts someway towards getting the accounting qualification, so it's not like she's going in from nothing and having to start it from scratch, she'll get exemptions from some of the exams, the exams that she won't get exemptions for will be the higher level ones.. anyways.... go for it girl!!...but i do agree about the distractions bit, i'm waiting til my wedding is firmly out of the way before sitting any of the exams...and in the meantime i'm studying at home in my own time and at my own pace.. xxx kim xxx
sparkles Posts: 293
Thanks for the replies girls, I am nearly 28 Sarah, so good guessing! I am married 7 weeks on Friday so not any big distractions as of yet. My husband is very supportive so there will be no problem in that sense. I have applied to an accountancy firm so am hoping to hear back from them regarding salary in the next couple of weeks. My degree was in Electronic Engineering, however I don't think I will be eligible for any exemptions I'm afraid but you never know. Thank you so much for your detailed replies girls, it is great to hear it from someone who has been there. Sparkles
july07 Posts: 30
i'd be interested i doing these myself but after a history & classics degree i wouldn't get any exceptions. So you don't need good maths? What is ACA and ACCA which of them is chartered? How long does it take to become qualified?
SarahS Posts: 550
July07 ACA is the Association of Chartered Accountants and ACCA is the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, the later known as a certified accountant. With no exemptions you are looking at for Chartered, Professional 1, Professional 2, Prof 3 and the finals, four papers each, so sixteen papers. For ACCA you are looking at fifteen papers, four in level 1, six in level 2, 2 in level 3 which are options and the 3 core final papers. I wouldn't be so sure you would get no exemptions at all as they do take you having a degree into account. When I qualified, I was involved with training and exams in my firm so I'm well versed in what the set up is, if anyone has any questions. No as Rock and Roll Bride said it is a common misconception that you need good maths.. Sparkles Depending on what you want career wise, don't forget you are newly married and you don't want to not enjoy that either... ;) Rock and Roll Bride I hear you, sorry for the confusion.. :D
mrswed0505 Posts: 444
Hi I find it would be better if you were great at english, I am good at the maths side of things but not great at all at english. What I mean is I can do all the calculations and use all the rules but when it comes to the exam I just find it hard to word it the way that the examiners want it. . I am doing the ACCA exams. I am currently in my final year studing for my two option papers. The paper will be changing again in Dec 2007.
MadameKinky Posts: 222
Hi Girls, I also studied ACCA many moons ago now, i qualifed in 1996. Sparkles, i would say go for it, the benefits will outweigh the short term monetary costs of studying. As a trainee in any practice, it is likely you will have to take a significant pay cut. I'm a partner in a medium size(top 20) firm and our ACA trainees start on €16,500, with exam leave built into their package and the costs of the ACA course paid. The big 4 firms would pay a higher salary I don't know what an ACCA trainee would be paid but i would expect it to be something similar. You should bear in mind, that with ACCA you can also work in industry and study, so long as your employer is certified by the ACCA as a training practice/business. The pay in industry does tend to be better. The pay will get better as you pass your exams and a newly qualified accountant would expect to command a salary of minimum of €40,000(ACA qualfied). The salaries quoted as Dublin based. Regards, Seven