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I'm currently involved in an operations management type role in the financial sector with a salary of around £25k. I'm currently considering embarking upon studies with the aim of becoming a qualified accountant in 4 years (part-time studies).

Two questions really. Bearing in mind my current role and salary, is there likely to be any financial advantage for me at the end of the 4 years when I strut around fully qualified? Also, what are the pros and cons of the CIMA and ACCA routes? I'm looking for a qualification that will provide me with as flexible and lucrative opportunities as possible and will also sit nicely alongside my existing management experience.

Any views would be greatly appreciated!
Barry Fotheringham


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23rd Jul 2002 05:28

AIA also a possible route too
Do sign on to to find out the flexibility of this qualification.

AIA syllabus is as flexible as the ACCA. Do consider the AIA, Barry.

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30th May 2002 00:04

bearing in mind your current experience ....
the best option for you is clearly the CIMA route. CIMA is basically geared towards management accountancy and industry. Your experience clearly lies in this sector. Although the ACCA qualification also enables you to work in industry, I think CIMA is the better for industry.

ACCA on the other hand can be said to be slightly the more flexible in that it is of more use if you want to go into general practice.

If you want to stay in industry then take CIMA. If you want to go to practice take ACCA. This would however mean a big change from your current experience and so may not be worthwhile depending on your age and aspirations

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By neileg
30th May 2002 09:43

Don't forget the MBA as a possibility.

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By admin
30th May 2002 13:34

ACCA or CIMA?: An objective opinion

I work for a regional office of PwC.


This is a quite a large international accountancy body.

CIMA is a qualification focussed on management accountancy and therefore industry based careers. It is excellent in this respect. However, CIMA is restrictive. It does not offer the chance to work in practice and do audits. It is only fit for management accountancy in industry and does not give much emphasis at all to audit and tax in its syllabus.


Firstly, it is the largest international accountancy body.

ACCA has a comprehensive syllabus and allows you to become anything you want in the accountancy profession (from Finance Director to Audit Partner).

It is also the only accountancy body which allows specialisation in its exam structure. Allowing you to take options focussing on management accountancy (as in CIMA), or more tax and audit papers, or both! This is an excellent and recent innovation.

You can also argue that Financial Directors in Industry should be aware of tax and auditing issues (which ACCA covers comprehensively), as well as management accountancy.

It is highly respected internationally and represented well in all the sectors (public, practice and industry).

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28th May 2002 22:32

I am sure that this point has been covered many times before. Try a search and see some of the almost heated debates we have had.

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By admin
28th May 2002 15:57

It depends but ultimately it is still a professional Qualificati
It depends on what you want to become. I studied both and found that CIMA worked better to my advantage in the jobs i did which were mainly in Industry and in Service Sector. The content of CIMA that I was exposed was broad and therefore made me more commercially astute and an all rounder with sound financial background but also geared more towards forward thinking which is more demanded these days.

ACCA -I found that the content of papers was covered in depth and perhaps was viiewed as a qualification with options to go in Industry or Audit Practice.

Overall it does not perhaps matter as both are recognised by industry professional but being an ACMA myslef , I would give it an edge due to the commercial flair it gices you.bharat

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