UK HELP- what to choose ACCA, AAT or CIMA

Feb 23, 2014
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I am 23 years old. I obtained a first class degree in mathematics (Hons.) 2 years ago, Since then I am working in banking- sales, customer services, collections etc. The only reason why i got into this role was due to lack of opportunities for graduates in my area. I have decided now to get in to accounting as i think it best suits me as I like excel, working out or doing calculations for long hours, producing reports etc. I have applied for several graduate trainee schemes since last year but have been unsuccessful (haven't got a single invitation for interview; one of the feedback i received was the company was concerned if I would find it boring and leave!! which is what i was told by the recruitment consultant ). I think I applied to at least 20 trainee position and even internship but no luck.
I am trying to decide whats the best route to get into accounting, I have no prior experience accounting, I have self studied basic accounting principles. Initially i thought i should start with AAT which I can get the full qualification in 10 months if i study full time and work part time but most of the forums I have looked at says ACCA is the best route for a graduate. I really want to work my way up, i have no experience in accounting at all. So please help whats the best route for me AAT or ACCA? Considering I have done no financial modules in my degree as it was mostly pure maths, statistics, Computing.
In terms of cost as well how much does ACCA cost in total? I know AAT is a little under 3000 done through a training provider for full AAT level 2,3 and 4 qualification. I am trying to get into career where i can use my degree skills, I cant really think of any other roles, I tried applying for several analyst roles but waiting for replies. I need to be flexible in terms of getting into math based profession as its really competitive out there in any fields particularly accounting. Any advice on other profession to consider for a math graduate would be nice , i would really appreciate that as well . I mean I have done my research and obtained a math degree is bcz i was really interested to learn at a higher math level, but from my experience applying for jobs its not that simple to get into a particular field. Thank you very much


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Aug 26, 2011
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Hello and welcome to the forum!

Sorry to hear you've been having trouble finding a job, it's a tough market out there. I think it always helps to phone up and have a quick chat with someone in HR - makes you stand out and look proactive, given that most people just fill in online applications and nothing else. Definitely worth giving it a try!



Feb 27, 2014
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I do think ACCA is the better route for a graduate, especially a mathematics graduate who received a first. Of course, you could always start with AAT and then "graduate" to the ACCA, but the ACCA is a qualification that in the first place doesn't require an undergraduate degree as a prerequisite.

Accounting is a decent career choice for a maths graduate, though the mathematics will not get too complicated. Treasury might be a good area for you if you are interested in finance but in more than just debits and credits. You might also consider work as an actuary, in risk, etc.

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