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Professional Qualification - Is it worth it?

Professional Qualification - Is it worth it?

Reading through a few posts on here and thinking of my own qualifications (FCCA & ATT), I'm surely not the only one who is begining to ask myself if the qualifications are worth it?

I work in industry now (this may be part of the reason I'm starting to think the way I am), have done for the past 5 years or so and have to admit it is all because the money offered beats that of working in practice.  Partnership excluded.

Do other CA's, ACCA's or whatever, perhaps more so those in industry, feel their qalification is still useful and the fees justified?

Has anyone perhaps stopped paying the subscriptions, cancelled their membership and noticed any difference?

Obviously I'm very proud etc to have qualified but not sure I gain anything from the qualifications anymore other than perhaps the status.

Just a thought.


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27th Mar 2012 14:37

Think of the future

I don't know what the trends are likely to be for accountants in industry.

For those of us in practice HMRC has been getting more and more overbearing in the last few years. I was a PQ for most of the last 25 years, but when HMRC started to supervise MLR I felt obliged to go the AAT route just to get out of their clutches. Not that I've been naughty, but I don't trust them not to accuse me of some heinous crime.

Due to lack of money and staff in the future I think HMRC will probably not want to deal with agents who don't have a reasonable set of initials after their name. They deny this at the moment, but as one who doesn't trust anything a government department tells me I feel most agents should make sure they have a reasonable qualification just to keep working in future.

I now hear rumours that accountancy bodies will be expected to monitor their members much more rigorously in future as HMRC won't have the time and money to do so. As accountancy bodies have a very poor reputation of defending members who are falsely accused by errant clients I have probably not escaped from a draconian regime where it's easy for one's regulator to bar one from accountancy practice for life.

Goodness knows what we should all do in the future

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27th Mar 2012 15:27

If you cancel your membership when you move jobs your CV will contain an immediate question as to why. This alone may prevent you getting on the short lists. Also we in practice have all the aggro from the insititutes and you industrial types have little. On balance therefore I would keep the qualifications

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By neileg
28th Mar 2012 09:43

Almost did

For a period my career was nothing to do with accountancy and I seriously considered resigning from ICAEW. Things changed in my life and what I do now means that my qualification is more relevant, though I'm still not an 'accountant' and it certainly helped me get and keep my current job in the public sector. I have found that letters after my name give me credibility in many of my work encounters - not really the same thing as status but I know what you mean.

You could compromise and drop one of them - I'd stick with the FCCA if I was you.

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28th Mar 2012 10:45

If I buy services I only deal with qualified people.


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28th Mar 2012 11:09

I am proud to be a qualified accountant, I worked hard to pass my exams, I comply with the CPD requirements and I think its fair that if a client has a complaint there is a professional body which they can contact to complain, these standards are keeping the profession respected in my opinion.

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28th Mar 2012 11:41

You never know what might happen in the future.

I left practice almost straight after qualifying as an ACA. For each year I personally paid my membership subscription fee through gritted teeth thinking why. Each time I thought I worked hard for it so it has to have a value.

Seventeen years later I found myself going back into practice (my own) needing a practising certificate. Yes, I could have got a PC with another body, but personally I'm glad I kept paying the subs as it really was very straight forward to get the PC with ICAEW.

There is also a snob value associated with 'Chartered' which some clients value - even though I know it makes no guarantee as to the quality of the service - that's very much down to the individual.

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28th Mar 2012 11:53

Thanks to all......

Always good to hear others opinions.

I will stick with it, as neileg & kent accountant have mentioned, the credibility, status, associated snobbery whatever you call it, certainly exists and has its benefits.

Last word to James-IAS, your absolutely right.  The qualification is something to be proud of.

I'm off to pat myself on the back, thanks again.

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04th Apr 2012 14:18

Same Boat


I have been thinking about it for years. I too work in industry. I really do not see any benefit being a member, particularly if you pay the fee out of your pocket. I have not benefited in any way from the body since qualification.

Ideally, i would like to suspend my membership until such time, but I do not know the bylaws of temporary cancellation.

I am not only wasting my monies, but also have to abide by the rules of the body.

ACCA's website has been down since last year. It has been poorely designed site. Whenever I visit the site for reference, The search engine always fails. 

I get a monthly magazine which has not value to me.

Where is the £200 quid I pay go?

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04th Apr 2012 14:52

With Kent Accountant

Exactly the same situation and now running my own practice as FCA so glad I never cancelled.


Lots of useful information and help from ICAEW re setting up my practice a few years ago so I feel that, at last, I am getting something for my money.



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12th Apr 2012 11:00

Is there a theme developing here ...

From comments so far, for accountants in industry it is not valued and or resented, and for those in practice it appears to be more valued.

I always thought those in industry would be a lot happier, and more loyal, if they paid a great deal less than those in practice as a basic annual sub and then paid fees for any support as and when required.

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By blok
12th Apr 2012 12:05


unless you are paying the fee personally then surely this is not an issue?  Is it not normal practice that the employer pays? 

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12th Apr 2012 14:12

I pay my own fees.  I get tax

I pay my own fees.  I get tax relief on the contributions but still suffer the after tax cost.  I often question the value of retaining membership of my professional body. 

From looking at the websites of ICAEW, ACCA and CIMA, all three are focussed purely on attracting new students rather than the service they provide to members.  Further scrutiny of the accounts highlights very expensive running costs of the order I would expect from much larger organisations than the professional bodies.


I have come to the conclusion that the professional bodies exist for the benefit of the staff of the professional body, not the members!


Having said all this, I continue to pay my subs each year, mainly in fear of losing a qualification I worked hard to achieve.

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28th Jan 2017 20:27

Sorry to resurrect this old thread, but wanted to know if any views have changed in between times?

I am working in industry and have done so for past 7years. I've recently moved to a new job, still accountancy based, but not one that required a professional qualification. Now my subs are due, new employer is reluctant to pay and over the past few years I have thought to myself that if employer didn't pay I wouldn't either as I believe I get zero benefit from it. I think I could a better use for £400 a year.

I'm with Chartered Accountants Ireland and I think not only is institute biased towards practice, it's also biased to south of the border and less relevant to NI.

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