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CIMA or Not?

CIMA or Not?

I am about to complete my AAT qualification and my employer has offered me the chance to go onto CIMA. My long term goal is to open my own practice and I am debating whether CIMA is worth the extra 2/3 years study considering my future plans. Instead of CIMA I thought about gaining practical experience through voluntary work (for at least a year) and then seek my own clients. Any comments would be very useful as I am unsure which path to choose (and if it makes any difference I'm 35)


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28th Jan 2013 20:44

Things to think about:

1) How will your employer take the fact that you don't want to do CIMA? Will they see this as a lack of ambition and therefore stop considering you for pay rises? Will they see this as you being difficult and not co-operating?

2) If you are thinking of going into practice you may want to start doing a qualification like ATT (it will give you an excellent grounding in tax for SME's).

3) If you want to secure a job in practice ACCA is probably the best way to go. A lot of practices when looking to fill vacancies want an ACCA studier (just look at any recruiter website: reed, hays, accountancy age, protax, etc). 


Ideal route for you taking your age into account:

1) Politely decline CIMA and start doing ATT (you may want to keep this quite from your employer).

2) Start building up your client base in your spare time and offer to do: bookkeeping, vat, ecsl's, payroll, personal tax, etc (again, you may want to keep this quite). Apply to accountancy firms as a subcontractor.

3) Two years later you will be ATT qualified, much more confident with tax, and hopefully have enough of a client base to run your own practice full-time.

4) If things don't go to plan (there is a chance that things don't work out) go back to CIMA with the knowledge that at least you tried.

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28th Jan 2013 20:51

Thanks GR, your response fits in exactly with my considerations and ATT which I didn't originally mention. I don't think my employeer would be too put off if I declined the CIMA route as I have a one year old daughter and they appreciate studying and parenting is a tricky mix. I will explore the ATT route (by coincidence I am in the midst of a Corporation Tax session!) Thanks again.

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