Should I study AAT or go straight to CIMA?

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Hello! I have been working in accounting for about 4 years now, 3 years at a firm and currently one year in production finance. I have really enjoyed working in production and would like to further my career in this sector. I have studied some of AAT's Level 3 but not sat an exam yet. I intend to complete the Level 3 and Level 4 and stop there. However, I don't know if it would be more beneficial to study the CIMA Certificate rather than AAT. Thank you in advance!

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By Leywood
18th Sep 2023 17:39

Why have you not done any exams yet?

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By taxdigital
18th Sep 2023 19:14

AAT introduces you to the world of Accountancy - pass those exams and then decide the future course of action. These exams are very difficult to fail anyway!

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By D V Fields
18th Sep 2023 23:15

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants is the world’s largest body of professional management accountants, offering the most relevant finance qualification for businesses. It defines management accounting as the combination of accounting, finance and management with the leading edge techniques needed to drive successful businesses.

One of the skills is to analyse information and use it to make business decisions. If you want to do CIMA then it would be wise to start making some of those decisions for yourself. Good luck in whatever you decide.

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By ayaz786ahmd
19th Sep 2023 03:39

If you are enjoying this field then you should go for CIMA. You will have professional degree, in-depth knowledge and your career progression will be much faster.

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Replying to ayaz786ahmd:
By turchyna582
21st Sep 2023 10:54

I am not aware that any 'Professional' Qualification is classified as a Degree.
Degrees are academic qualifications at 'say' Foundation, Bachelor, Master, Doctor, Professor...whereas Professional qualfications in e.g. Accounting, Law, Banking, Surveying etc....at Associate, Fellow etc are vocational.
I retired from Accountancy Practice after 28 years, and for the SME clients my Practice served; my trainees (recruited at age 16 and who did ONC/BTEC Business Studies, then AAT) were at age 22, a much better 'product' and were Fee Earners........... in contrast to a 22 year old Accountancy or Business Studies Graduate recruited at age 22, who had no practical work experience or client/employee relationship experience.

Having since retirement worked in industry (varied sectors); I would also say that a similar training route (with the AAT part being biased in the final year to Industry rather than Practice)....might well give the same outcome for the business.
I know many AAT members in industry, who hold senior positions (FM, FC and FD's); but it very much depends upon the needs, size and complexity of the Business whether CIMA is necessary.

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By tom123
19th Sep 2023 10:06

Admission to CIMA as a student will depend on prior educational achievement.

If, for example, you don't have A Levels, you would need to complete AAT as a precursor.

I would check both bodies websites for confirmation.

Combining any professional exams with work is hard to do - and it is in no-ones interest to embark on something they don't end up completing.

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By iainroe
21st Sep 2023 13:17

From personal experience; if you complete AAT first and do not complete CIMA, then you still have a recognised qualification. If you go straight to CIMA and do not complete intermediate stage, then you have no qualification to show for it.

AAT should provide you with exemptions towards CIMA modules.

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