Which tax qualification to pursue?

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A recently qualified accountant recently asked whether a CTA or an ATT qualification would be the best option at this point in her career. Alex Miller looks at the pros and cons of each.

A recently qualified ACCA member visited Any Answers in July to ask which tax qualification would best support her career progress - ATT or CTA?

The questioner worked for a small firm dealing mainly with sole traders. She was concerned that being CTA-qualified would be over the top for her current role, but also that she might appear under-experienced when applying to Big Four and mid-tier firms (which she was planning to do over the next year).

She considered studying ATT before applying for a tax associate job at a larger firm and letting the firm fund her CTA studies, but wondered whether they would question why she had not chosen that route in the first place instead of ACCA.


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About Alex Miller


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01st Sep 2012 08:02

I recommend the ATT

It's the qualification I chose & the one I recommend to others.

I shot this video recently discussing the ATT: http://youtu.be/lICD4CooB9c

In the video I mention that I was featured in their 2009 Annual Review -- On page 18, a pdf is available from:



The annual reviews are a great resource for people considering the Association of Taxation Technicians.

Thanks (1)
By kylie29
24th Sep 2014 14:44

ATT change of career

I am studying ATT via the distance learning programme. I failed the personal income tax exam and currently working through the paper 2. I dedicate 2 6 hour days a week but find some aspects difficult. I wanted a career change after having my children and always wanted to do tax and accountancy, have I chosen the right option and should I carry on or did I jump in at the deep end and maybe started via a different route?

Thanks (0)
15th Nov 2017 21:51

Obviously aim for the CTA. If you are capable, do it.

It is completely normal to go there via ATT and I see nothing wrong with that - though if eligible (I think that rule has just changed) I'd go straight to CTA Awareness and see how you get on. Save time and fees.

If you're not new to the game, don't obsess over needing tuition - that massively ups your costs - maybe buy a distance learning course instead.

Thanks (0)