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ACCA practice cert advice needed

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Hi - has anyone else found obtaining an ACCA practice certificate far harder than it really ought to be? 

I qualified 5 years ago and have been working as a practice manager/Head of Ops since then in couple of small/medium firms.. Running my own practice was never the plan but since moving into industry 6 months ago I now realised I wish to persue this.

Unfortunately I am unable to get a PC as I have no-one to sign off my experience forms. The principals at both of my previous firms are deemed unsuitable by ACCA and to be honest, I wouldn't expect they would spare the time to write the commentary anyway.

I explained this to a very helpful lady at the ACCA this afternoon who said I could apply for a waiver - which seemed straightforward on the call. But, after reading a few past questions on here, actually seems a pretty brutal process and can take a long time to conclude. 

I know AAT/IFA/Others are options and ultimately it doesn't matter what letters are after my name, but I worked hard for ACCA and I don't want to give this up.

It looks like I can transfer to ICAEW in a few months for much less hassle and get a practice certificate with them instead. Has anyone done this? Is it really as straight foward as their website makes out?

It seems mental that it is easier for an ACCA to get PC with the ICAEW than it is with their own institution.

Any advice or help welcome. 

 

Replies (4)

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By Ranse
14th Feb 2020 20:34

Sorry to hear about your struggles. What do you mean by "The principals at both of my previous firms are deemed unsuitable by ACCA "? According to the ACCA guidance the principal must be :

- ACCA member
- Any member of a recognised professional
- Those ACCA deemed to be suitably qualified and Experienced

So i take it that your past principals do not meet point 1 and 2. so it might worth pursuing options 3 with sufficient reason why they are unsuitable, if that fails ,sadly your options would be to apply for a waiver.

re : ICAEW : https://www.icaew.com/membership/becoming-a-member/members-of-other-bodi...

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By Tetter
15th Feb 2020 11:05

They weren't accountants is why they're unsuitable. One was the accountancy branch of a wider financial services group. Non regulated, HMRC supervision etc, and the other, the accountants whose practice certificate regulated the firm, I supervised them, not the other way around.

I can resign ACCA of course, but I have concerns that the reinstatement rules may change whilst I am a non member and if I do wish to work for someone else in future, being ACCA carries a lot of weight in terms of prospects and salary.

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By emilyi
15th Feb 2020 22:44

It is really hard and despite having more than enough experience for my cert, I kept having to rewrite sections of the PCTR adding more detail and having them resigned. Which was hard as I had to go back to employers prior to my maternity leave For resigning and people had moved to different firms and countries by then.
It was a complete nightmare.
In the end I worked at a local firm as I needed to get 6 months signed off. Ended up staying there for 4 years!
In the meantime I did do the written papers for the ICAEW conversion but that has to be signed off by an appropriate supervisor too.

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By Tetter
17th Feb 2020 12:38

Is it a supervisor that needs to sign off for ICAEW? I was under the impression that it was a 'sponsor'. Using the guidance on ICAEW website the sponsor must:

Use their professional judgement to satisfy themselves that the information and answers that have been provided are true and accurate, and that the applicant is of good character.

I have interpreted this to mean they don't necessarily need to have been your workplace supervisor, as with ACCA, but can satisfy themselves what you have written accurately describes your experience.

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