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What next?

Recently completed my ACCA qualification - what to do next?

Hello Aweb Community,

I just thought I would try and get some advice off those that have seen it all before...

I recently completed my last ACCA exams and now a full member and I currently work in a small practice (six employees and two partners).

I would like to obtain an additional tax qualification which could either be ATT or CTA or both. I understand that CTA is seen as the gold standard in the tax world but would this be overkill. With my exemptions, I would only have to sit three ATT papers (two computer based and one optional paper). Out of the optional papers I would take Business Compliance or Corporation Tax (the other options being VAT and IHT).

If I then chose to complete CTA after the ATT, I would only have to complete the two advisory papers and the application and interaction paper. If I didn't sit the ATT computer based exams, I would have to complete them for the CTA qualification anyway. Therefore, I could effectively obtain the ATT qualification by just sitting and passing one exam as the two computer based exams can be carried forward for exemptions for CTA.

So, what would you do - Just the ATT, skip the ATT and go straight for CTA or complete ATT and then CTA?

My employer is not really that pushy, so I could just forget exams for good, but I did enjoy learning new things (especially tax) and keeping my knowledge up to date. I am 25 years old with no children so I feel that now is the best time to get this additional qualification, whichever one it may be.

Thanks for reading



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By rhino83
27th Sep 2017 09:03

I've been in a similar situation to you, although I studied with ICAEW.

I would go straight to CTA as oppose to ATT. I looked briefly at ATT but for the most part that the tax knowledge I gained with ICAEW was either at the same level or above that of ATT.

Will you have to pay for this yourself? If so you need to consider if you will get the benefit and keep up with the CPD requirements in your current position.

I work for a small firm as well but about 3 times bigger than yours. I was lucky with timing as the tax manager was talking about retiring around when I completed ICAEW so an opportunity arose for me.

Be warned though, the CTA advisory exams are some of the hardest professional exams. The ICAEW final exams are considered to be harder than ACCA final exams, and I can honestly say the Advisory exams are a big step up again.

Good luck with whatever you do.

Thanks (1)
27th Sep 2017 10:32

ATT is a bit pointless unless you tax is pretty weak.

The CTA does set you up very well if you want to go into tax advisory, but might be easier with a couple of years experience under your belt.

My tax knowledge (I am an ICAEW) is pretty weak so I have to restrict what I do in general practice. My interests are more business focussed which is non-structured learning. I spent a lot of time in my late 20's learning how businesses run (or dont!) rather than sitting exams as this was my preference.

You need to consider where you want to specialise, so if you fancy the CTA, thats all good and will push you down a technical advisory role, rather than a more general practice role, or the other option would be to go into business to see how the non-practice world works. All options are open, but chose wisely as in 5 years time your career will be largely set.

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27th Sep 2017 12:40

I did ATT but only because I trained in a big firm who didn't let the accounts team do tax returns so I needed a refresher to get back up to speed when I joined a smaller firm. If you are up to date and using your tax knowledge and are able to jump straight to CTA I don't think ATT will add much to your current knowledge.

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27th Sep 2017 13:21

If you think that your future lies in tax, my vote would be to go straight to CTA and take a little more time over it, rather than spend time doing ATT.

I found ICAEW tax was much the same level as ATT (admittedly a good many years ago!) so I guess ACCA tax will be, give or take, the same.

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29th Sep 2017 14:04

Hello, I am in the same position like yours and did little bit of research so can you ring me on 077 272 66 276. Thanks.

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29th Sep 2017 14:09

I'm doing an anger management course ATM. It's very good.

But if the course leader calls me "love" one more time, I'm going to break his frigging neck.

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