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At 29 am I too old to start a career in accountancy

At 29 am I too old to start a career in...

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I am 29 tears old and have run my own business, a nursing home, for ten years. I have sold up and am looking forward to a career in accountancy. Does anyone have any suggestions as to the 'best' route into accountancy. I am signing up for either the ACCA or CIMA in september and am also wondering what is the main differences between the two, and how different the careers are.
I hope i am not the only person this old looking to enter this profession. Any help would be appreciated.
Simerjit Pawar

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By Anonymous
14th Aug 2003 14:11

forget it!
Pick the best room out of your own nursing home, lock yourself in and forget it you old dinosaur! You'll earn more than while your training stacking shelves in asda!
Only kidding mate, have a go & good luck.......(you'll need it!)

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05th Aug 2003 22:39

No Way!
Over the last 20 years I have been, at least in part,responsible for the training of about 30 people who had no experience of working for a firm of accountants.

The best of these, by far, started at the age of 39 and has recently taken her AAT finals.

She has brought a level of maturity, commitment and experience that I could never hope to get in an 18 year old!

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05th Aug 2003 12:12

I hope not ...
I hope not as I'm 33 and am doing the same. I'm currently a software engineer, but my work is going to India, and I could possibly be made redundant by the end of the year, so I've started studing for the ACCA foundation, hoping to complete the foundation at the end of the year, and hopefully get a job in a practice and start at the bottom and work my way up again.
There is a long time still til retirement and I'd like to have a career that I enjoy and not go from one dead end job to another for the next 30 years or so.
Good luck with it.

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03rd Aug 2003 00:50

Let your employer decide
Whilst ACCA will equip you with the knowledge required for auditing, CIMA is really for management accountants. You need to decide which field of accountancy really interests you. From my point of view, auditing is about looking backwards and assessing past performance whilst management accounting is more about strategic planning and making projections about future performance.

I'm currently working towards qualifying with CIMA. I chose the qualification after starting work as a management accountant and finding that I enjoyed the work. My company are sponsoring me through it by paying my college fees (although you can do it alone, the success rate is much higher for students that have attended a college for evening classes, day release from work etc). The key point is that even if I pass all the exams I will still have to satisfy CIMA that I have the appropriate 3 years experience. So there's no point rushing into a decision. Start work and find out what qualification is most relevant to your own job / desired future career and then try to get your company to sponsor you!

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By CGVass
01st Aug 2003 17:07

A VERY late starter!!!!
I started studying for CIMA at age 36 and have just started ACCA at age 37. It does help that I am exempt from the foundation stages of both, as well as a few intermediate papers. I was originally going to complete CIMA before taking advantage of the exemption offered by ACCA and just taking the finals, but thought that it would do no harm to do both and at least complete the intermediate stages in both to keep my options open.

Your main "weapon" is your motivation. If you are determined to complete the course, you will. I am hoping to move into corporate recovery, which will (I hope?!) involve CPI and JIEB exams in due course.

Go for it and don't let anyone put you off.

The best of luck in whatever you decide to do.

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01st Aug 2003 21:02

Mature students offer something different
Good luck Simerjit in your new career! As a mature student myself and having just finished an Honours degree in Accountancy , have found it diificult, impossible to get an accounting position. Most firms do not realise the the advantages of taking a mature student. I hope that you can find a firm that will take you for what you can do as a person and forget about your age.Acca is a great qualification and offers plenty of career opportunities either within industry or with a firm. Don't let anyone put you off!

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02nd Aug 2003 09:14

You are not too old
I started AAT at the age of 29 and started my first accountancy job at the age of 30. I have since completed ACCA and CIOT exams. I work in public practice and have found no difficulties in getting a job (provided you are prepared to start at the bottom and work up). If you think accountancy is for you, then go for it. I love the work and I have never regretted my decision to leave my previous job in banking.

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By Anonymous
04th Aug 2003 09:51

never too late
Not perhaps the oldest, but having qualified as a solicitor I changed at 27 to do ACA at Deloittes, but more interestingly, in my intake was a 31 year old lecturer, a 30 year old chess master and a 28 year old Tornado pilot so shows even the biggest employers can be interested. But earlier commentator right, challenge is to convince people you're serious, Deloittes didn't have a problem, at PWC interview the interviewer just didn't seem to want to know.

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31st Jul 2003 15:35

I'm sure you aren't!
When I started my training there was a new student aged 30 who had previously been a librarian. Having said that, she didn't finish her training but that was in practice where you get looked at a bit funny if you're not the 'right' age.

In industry you should have an easier time of it, and perhaps you're more likely to be looked at positively for having the courage to take up professional studies.

As for the differences between ACCA and CIMA, I'd suggest you call them both, and make sure they know you're considering both qualifications. They want your subscriptions, after all. Their student societies may even be able to offer you some support as a more mature student.

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01st Aug 2003 09:37

Never (& say) too old
A number of my friends got qualified at age 35. And they were having two or three children five or six years ago. Is it because of family commitment that tied them down that they have to sacrifice their time to family needs?

Now these fellas are doing well in their career.

I would say, CAT or AAT for a start is fine. Both CIMA and ACCA are excellent qualifications. If you wish to embark on a career in auditing, then it has got to be ACCA out of the two. Do sign on to http://www.accaglobal.com or http://www.cimaglobal.com.

It would be a good idea to surf other accountancy websites, especially those recognised ones, like RQB/RSB and CCABs.

Not sure which part of UK (or other parts of the world) you are from. If you are in Ireland, you may wish to consider CPA Ireland (http://www.cpaireland.ie) or CA Ireland.

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By Albasas
01st Aug 2003 13:29

Scottish Accountants As "Best Lovers"
Quantum Leap! Presumably this award is one of narcisisim? As sponsored by "The Scottish Daily Mirror"? On reflection of course.

I still say accountants are by and large boring and not the life and soul of any party because of the work we do. Mmmmmmm interesting......? Are accountants the oldest swingers in town, or in John's case swiggers! As he likes a wee dram of whisky galore as we all know...to dilute the Irn Bru with!

In My Defence:

https://www.accountingweb.co.uk/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=99775

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By Anonymous
01st Aug 2003 14:27

Don't forget Chartered...
I had a career change and starting training to become a Chartered Accountant (ACA) at the age of 32, qualifying 3 years later. I had a degree which helped. If you don't have a degree you would need to do a 4 year training contract, with a firm of Chartered Accountants.

Attitudes varied when applying for my training contract (either very interested or not at all) but my age and previous experience actually helped me progress more quickly.

Alternatively if you have book-keeping/basic accounting skills you could try to find relevant work with an employer who might sponsor you to do your exams for CIMA or ACCA.

I am now a Finance Director with a varied and interesting job. Not boring at all...!

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01st Aug 2003 11:11

Not too old
I started my studying for ACCA at a later stage than you, finally becoming qualified at the age of 39. Six years on from that, I have the job I wanted. Your main problem, I would suggest, would be finding somewhere to obtain the necessary work experience that would be needed to obtain membership. If you are prepared to start at the bottom, then I would suggest that you try and obtain work with a practice. You can always move to a commercial position later if you so wish.

ACCA/CIMA - depends where you want to end up. I am in industry and the ACCA qualification suits it well.

Hope this helps.

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By Albasas
31st Jul 2003 19:35

Dont Know What You're Doing?
ACCA & CIMA are both excellent qualifications, but very different in the accounting disciplines on offer in the syllabus. Suggest you tell us what you want to achieve in accounting terms? As for age well in accountancy that's probably irrelevant given it isn't the most glamorous of professions.

Sorry to be abrupt, but you should do AAT first because you dont know what you excel at yet.

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By Abacjm
31st Jul 2003 23:39

Well Worth it
It seems to be werll worth getting to be an Accountant and it is not as boring or dull as Mr Mitchell makes out. Only this week Accountants were awarded the title of the "best Lovers" in a national survey in Scotland!!
Must order another crate of Irn Bru!!

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By Anonymous
31st Jul 2003 16:45

WHAT!!!
You are never too old to start a new challange.

I did not join my profession (not accountancy) until I was 28. It required 5 years study and practice before i became fully qualified. I am now 56 and never regretted one moment.

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