Career change to Accountancy - advice pls?!
I am seriously considering a career to Accountancy and I would very much appreciate any advice/experiences you guys can share with me.
I am in my early 30's and currently work as a Web Developer with a lot of database work. My career history to date has been in I.T. and I DO NOT have a degree. I have thought this decision through and my reasons for wanting a change are very good so I am comfortable in making the change.
I am still reading up on the different areas of the industry and where each path could lead me, but at the same time as doing this I would very like your specific answers too. Okay, so I've listed some questions/areas that I would like advice on:
1) What qualification should I take (AAT, ACCA, CIMA, ACA)?
a) the specific career path each will lead me to?
b) the qualification that is most demanded currently?
c) is the industry leaning towards a particular qualification for the future?
d) will not having a degree dictate/limit which qualification I go for?
2) What is the best way to enter the industry?
a) look for a junior position with study support straight off?
b) look for a junior that doesn't have study support but then with 1 years experience look for a position that does provide study support?
c) study the foundation level exams through my own cost but, hopefully, get study support for the intermediate and advanced level exams?
d) is there a particular company I should look to start off with?
e) a good method of home study (CBTs, books)?
As you can see I have listed a number of questions here and I am still reading into the subject, but it will be a lot quicker if I just ask the questions.
Not having a degree is penalising me in the employment world but having a recognised Accountancy qualification will hopefully put that restriction behind me (i.e. if you study a Accountancy degree you still don't end up an Accountant).
Any good advice will be greatly appreciated.
Thanks in advance.