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ACA and ATT qualification simultaneously

1 year experience in audit, 6/15 ACA exams done - moving to tax role who want me to study ATT

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Hi all.

Possibly bit of a weird one, but basically I'm trying to move out of audit to tax (location reasons, also I was persuaded by my current firm to change from a tax application to audit). I may not get this current job I'm interviewing for, but I'm on a final stage interview and would be keen to find a similar one if not.


Essentially I would like to keep putting my ACA 1 year of practical experience and exam work to use. Also I would quite like to maintain a broad understanding of accounting even if I specialise in tax. My potential new employer seems keen to get me on ATT. There is the ACA/CTA route, but for the purposes of this question I'd like to explore whether you're allowed to gain practical experience for ATT and ACA simultaneously. I did suggest ACA/CTA during interview, but I don't know if that would be the best for me and I don't think they were *that* enthused by the suggestion either.


As far as I know, the ACA doesn't really require you to take exams at any particular pace, so I can prioritise the ATT exams and if any ACA exams are left over at the end of the 3 year ACA contract I can just finish them off when possible.


So I'm sure I can actually do the ATT exams and ACA exams in any combination required - but mostly wondering if there is some limiter on using the practical experience for both qualifications at once? As ATT has a two year run-time, that would obviously be very convenient to simultaneously do with ACA as I have two years left on that too.


I should probably point out that I don't care whether they sponsor me for the ACA exams, study or the like - I would be happy to pursue that at my own pace in my free time and with my own money.


Thanks very much for any advice.

Replies (3)

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By paul.benny
03rd Aug 2021 13:24

I see no reason why the same work experience can't count for both bodies, but I would ask directly.

I would rather question trying to study two sets of exams simultaneously, though, if that's your intention. I'd also double check the limits on completion of ACA. In the dim and distant when I did mine, you had to complete the set at one sitting rather than doing piecemeal.

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Replying to paul.benny:
By Yoghertz
03rd Aug 2021 17:07

Thanks very much for the reply - I did as you suggested and I think they mirrored your sentiments.

Basically the practical work experience is all good (if the firm is ICAEW registered) and you keep up with the admin involved. There's no policy that says the PWE must be for the ACA only whilst you're doing it.

And as you say, just to bare in mind there is very little interaction exam-wise between the two qualifications, so just have to prioritise the exams as is best.

I did actually get the job, so I'll suggest I do ATT whilst adding PWE to the ACA and maybe doing an exam or two if I have the time, and I can finish outstanding exams post-ATT.

Realistically I think my future employer would rather fund the cheaper ATT anyway, and I'll get more exposure to the relevant tax bits, so this is probably the best route.

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By Brodders
06th Aug 2021 10:15


As you say, you are allowed to do both quals at same time (if you can!).

Re the 2 year experience, you might have already seen this, but there is a simple process to becoming an ATT member once you have done the exams

See this bit especially (copied and pasted below for ease):

"You will also need a minimum of 2 years' experience, either part-time or full-time, working in taxation or in any other occupation which entails an element of UK taxation and be a fit and suitable person for admission. You will need to provide a self-certified statement of your working experience and names and contact details of two sponsors.

Your sponsors must be:

a member of the Association of Taxation Technicians or the Chartered Institute of Taxation, or
a member of a recognised professional accountancy or legal body, or
a HMRC employee at Grade HO or above, or
a member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners."

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