Should a masters business degree holder start with AAT or not? | AccountingWEB

Should a masters business degree holder start with AAT or not?


My question is whether a career-changer, moving into accounting and holding a master’s degree in business, should start at AAT L3 and L4 (assume exempt L2), or should they go straight into ACCA/ ACA/ CIMA professional studies.


If you could suspend judgement and take in a few specific details…

Aims: to secure a finance-related job a.s.a.p. in this tough market, to have a solid grounding in financial accounting and to be a management accountant within 3 yrs.

Background: Nil accounting experience (career change from marketing), investing for 10 yrs (i.e. financial statements and asset/ project valuations) and MBA 5yrs ago.


If you were in this [messy!] position, which path would you consider best?:

1. Self-study CIMA’s foundation certificate and then begin the CIMA professional pathway of exams for Operational F1, P1, F2 etc. and seek no exemptions (except perhaps E1), or

2. Begin the exams for AAT L3 and L4 and then take CIMA’s “CMGA”, where MBA graduates take one exam at Management level and then start Strategic’s P3 etc. afterwards (i.e. exempt from all 3 Operational exams as well as 3 separate Management exams).


(Both paths will take roughly the same amount of time to reach CIMA Strategic.  

Option 2 may seem a little strange, but it would fit the 3 aims mentioned.

Please help- I’m in a real pickle, since studying syllabuses and texts only guides you so far.

There are 16 comments. Login or register to view them.

Sounds like a win-win

GR |

Both AAT and CIMA

dreamcatcher |
dreamcatcher's picture

The qualification does not matter

Roland195 |

Thank you very much for your

Max T |

I like the plan; now it is

GR |

Where do you see yourself working

tom123 |

My views

petersaxton |
petersaxton's picture

(warning- a long post but

Max T |

Why do accounting?

petersaxton |
petersaxton's picture


Max T |

Entering financial accounting

petersaxton |
petersaxton's picture


Red Leader |
Red Leader's picture

Hi Red-

Max T |


petersaxton |
petersaxton's picture

I really mean this to be

Catherine123456 |

Hi Catherine-

Max T |