How hard is it to move from CIMA to CTA?

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I currently work in industry, and i am completing my CIMA qualification. I am thinking about carrying on my studies afterwards with a tax qualification. However from what i have read it is hard to do this/ not many people study tax whilst in industry. 

Any help, is greatly appreciated

Replies (5)

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By Tax Dragon
12th Nov 2023 16:42

I've heard it is hard to do this/not many people study tax whilst in industry.

But I know people who have, with employer support. What is your employer's stance/policy?

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By tom123
13th Nov 2023 08:30

About 10 years ago now, I found myself working (employed) for companies with overseas parents. The distinction between management and financial accountants was not necessarily as well known in those countries.

In effect I was being asked "call yourself an accountant when you know no tax..." etc.

I decided to embark on CTA to go with CIMA.

Apart from studying after such a long break, it was such a different area from the day to day work. With CTA, too, you had to pass all the exams that you took at one sitting.

Long and the short of it, I was very relieved in the end to 'drop down' to ATT. And I say that not to disparage ATT at all - it provided everything I need to be able to critically review the tax work that crossed my desk.

Incidentally I did get a distinction in the ATT VAT paper - which was really the only tax I regularly worked with.

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By Leywood
13th Nov 2023 08:37


Are you planning a move from industry?

Or do Tom’s comments resonate?

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By James Green
13th Nov 2023 15:02

Do ATT before you attempt CTA. ATT in itself is a very good qualification and for almost all circumstances you will see outside of specalist tax prictice it will be sufficent. If you really like ATT and feel you need more, move on to CTA once you ahve completed the qualification.

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By dmmarler
16th Nov 2023 11:05

Having moved from CGI (then ICSA) to CIMA and then to trying CTA (twice) I found that the ICSA/CIMA training (of looking at the best business outcome overall) was totally different from that of CTA exams (which looked at the best tax approach in isolation from other business considerations) and hindered my ability to display my tax knowledge. I had passed the tax-specific papers twice which were all relevant to my work, so conceded defeat. Looking back, I wish I had gone for ATT as I believe that approach is more relevant for the aspiring finance director. Good luck!

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