re-training as an accountant.. looking for some opinions


W

WJ

Hi,

not sure if this is an appropriate place to post this, but was looking
for some opinions about retraining as an accountant.

I've worked in IT (as a computer programmer) for the past 10 years and
want out of that industry. Am wondering what the best direction to go
would be to retrain into accounting, especially as I'm now in my mid
30s, e.g. start studying ACCA part-time, or would something like AAT be
more practical? I'm more interested in the financial accounting route
than management accounting, so ruled out CIMA. I'd ultimately like to be
self-employed.

A big concern I have would be how seriously I would be taken given I'm
in my mid 30s and at some point will need to take a huge pay cut and a
relatively junior accounting job.

any opinions/advice appreciated from people working in accounting.
WJ.
 
Ad

Advertisements

T

Troy Steadman

Hi,

not sure if this is an appropriate place to post this, but was looking
for some opinions about retraining as an accountant.

I've worked in IT (as a computer programmer) for the past 10 years and
want out of that industry. Am wondering what the best direction to go
would be to retrain into accounting, especially as I'm now in my mid
30s, e.g. start studying ACCA part-time, or would something like AAT be
more practical? I'm more interested in the financial accounting route
than management accounting, so ruled out CIMA. I'd ultimately like to be
self-employed.

A big concern I have would be how seriously I would be taken given I'm
in my mid 30s and at some point will need to take a huge pay cut and a
relatively junior accounting job.

any opinions/advice appreciated from people working in accounting.
WJ.
I once worked with a very high flying 30 year old who had been declared
bancrupt and was starting over in accountancy practice doing just what
you are envisaging.

He found it *very* hard going from "top dog" to bottom of the ladder but
he qualified ACCA. Mid thirties is plenty young enough IMO but if you
have children etc you will find the studying a *big* chore.

AAT is as good a path towards ACCA as any (or at least it used to be)
and you can do it in 2 years (A'levels permitting) a couple of nights a
week at the local Tech. Get started and you should be able to find a
placement, you can't learn accountancy "dry" from a text book IMO, you
need to be hands on, preferably in a small firm so you get lots of
all-round experience.

Your IT background will make you an attractive proposition in many a
small firm and the best thing about going back to college is those
impressionable young girls!



--
 
H

hussainalasfoor77

Hi,

I will finish my AAT this june and thinking of doing ACCA.

AAT is a quite good starting and give you the basic and introduction to
the professional certificates "ACCA, CIMA...etc.

You have flexible time to finish AAT "One of my friends finished it in
1.5 yrs".

If you have accounting background you may exempted from foundation
level.

At the end it all depend on you and don't worry about your age "One of
my colleagues is in his 40's"

good luck
 
P

Peter Saxton

Hi,

not sure if this is an appropriate place to post this, but was looking
for some opinions about retraining as an accountant.

I've worked in IT (as a computer programmer) for the past 10 years and
want out of that industry. Am wondering what the best direction to go
would be to retrain into accounting, especially as I'm now in my mid
30s, e.g. start studying ACCA part-time, or would something like AAT be
more practical? I'm more interested in the financial accounting route
than management accounting, so ruled out CIMA. I'd ultimately like to be
self-employed.

A big concern I have would be how seriously I would be taken given I'm
in my mid 30s and at some point will need to take a huge pay cut and a
relatively junior accounting job.

any opinions/advice appreciated from people working in accounting.
WJ.
There's a lot to learn in accountancy ... nott just through studying
but with experience also.

I think it's a good plan for you as long as you are interested in it
and can handle the studying at your age. AAT would be ok if you may be
willing to just do bookkeeping but ACCA if you want to go as far as
practical given your age.

I would why you want to get out of IT. I know contracting is not doing
too well but couldnt you go self employed and write databases and
programs for small companies?

Dont take any notice of Troy when he talks about the young girls at
college. You would be better off studying languages for that .... or
typing nightclasses!
 
T

Troy Steadman

Peter Saxton said:
Dont take any notice of Troy when he talks about the young girls at
college. You would be better off studying languages for that .... or
typing nightclasses!
[Apart from the young girls...] Don't take any notice of Troy anyway!
I've been remembering my days at college with abysmal teachers.
(Luckily they did a very nice pint of K&B Festive in the college bar,
I'd settle down there and work through the text books instead).

In every class there are three budding James Constants with no command
of English whatsoever who insist on everything being repeated 3 times
which means the syllabus never gets finished!

Study at home! Use the internet! If you have any problems ask Martin!



--
 
P

Peter Saxton

Peter Saxton said:
Dont take any notice of Troy when he talks about the young girls at
college. You would be better off studying languages for that .... or
typing nightclasses!
[Apart from the young girls...] Don't take any notice of Troy anyway!
I've been remembering my days at college with abysmal teachers.
(Luckily they did a very nice pint of K&B Festive in the college bar,
I'd settle down there and work through the text books instead).

In every class there are three budding James Constants with no command
of English whatsoever who insist on everything being repeated 3 times
which means the syllabus never gets finished!

Study at home! Use the internet! If you have any problems ask Martin!
I agree about the teachers. Home study is definately recommended.
 
Ad

Advertisements

R

Ronald Raygun

Peter said:
I agree about the teachers. Home study is definately recommended.
If you can't do it, teach it.
If you can't teach it, either rewrite the syllabus or write a textbook.
If you can't write a syllabus, become a college administrator.
If you can't write a book, become a publishing executive.
 
W

WJ

Troy said:
I once worked with a very high flying 30 year old who had been declared
bancrupt and was starting over in accountancy practice doing just what
you are envisaging.

He found it *very* hard going from "top dog" to bottom of the ladder but
he qualified ACCA. Mid thirties is plenty young enough IMO but if you
have children etc you will find the studying a *big* chore.

AAT is as good a path towards ACCA as any (or at least it used to be)
and you can do it in 2 years (A'levels permitting) a couple of nights a
week at the local Tech. Get started and you should be able to find a
placement, you can't learn accountancy "dry" from a text book IMO, you
need to be hands on, preferably in a small firm so you get lots of
all-round experience.

Your IT background will make you an attractive proposition in many a
small firm and the best thing about going back to college is those
impressionable young girls!
Hi,

thanks very much for the advice to everyone who replied!

I'm thinking ACCA may be the best route for me to go, since I already
have a degree and given my age can go straight into study as a mature
student.

I'm wondering though, would there be an advantage at all to AAT, or
would it just be prolonging my path? Also, at what point of ACCA would I
be likely to find work / be employable? and what kind of work at/if that?

I'm fine with going back to a less senior job, I know there will be less
money. I'd also be happier working for a small company, rather than a
large corporation. What I have wondered though is how I would be
perceived, at my age, given the type of jobs I would most likely be
applying for? I've found that often mid life career changers can be
looked upon with slight suspicion, as some kind of 'weirdos'. (I know
that's a huge generalisation)

WJ
 
T

Troy Steadman

WJ said:
I'm thinking ACCA may be the best route for me to go, since I already
have a degree and given my age can go straight into study as a mature
student.

I'm wondering though, would there be an advantage at all to AAT, or
would it just be prolonging my path? Also, at what point of ACCA would I
be likely to find work / be employable? and what kind of work at/if that?
The trouble with Accountancy is that unlike so many subjects it is
something you cannot be good at straight away. You need to study but you
also need *experience*. AAT is in a direct line and is a stepping-stone
to ACCA. If you can pass AAT easily right now then I suggest you do so
and you will walk into pretty decent employment, no bottom of the ladder
for you!

But if you are like most of the rest of us you will find it hard going.
You can't wing it or fake it or gloss over the subject, you have to
*know* it.

As to the work you could be looking for while you are studying:

1) Audit Assistant in a large practice auditing (ie checking) large
companies' accounts and records.

2) Assistant to the Financial Controller in a medium-sized company
keeping the books straight and preparing reconciliations in Sales
Ledger, Purchase Ledger, Cash Book, VAT Returns, Cash Flow Statements,
Budgets etc etc.

3) Accounts Assistant in a small accountancy practice doing all the
above and a lot more.

All those jobs will lead to good rates of pay after a few years and
excellent pay when you are qualified.


--
 
Ad

Advertisements

J

Jon Griffey

I'm thinking ACCA may be the best route for me to go, since I already
have a degree and given my age can go straight into study as a mature
student.

I'm wondering though, would there be an advantage at all to AAT, or
would it just be prolonging my path? Also, at what point of ACCA would
I be likely to find work / be employable? and what kind of work at/if
that?

I'm fine with going back to a less senior job, I know there will be
less money. I'd also be happier working for a small company, rather
than a large corporation. What I have wondered though is how I would be
perceived, at my age, given the type of jobs I would most likely be
applying for? I've found that often mid life career changers can be
looked upon with slight suspicion, as some kind of 'weirdos'. (I know
that's a huge generalisation)
Yes, I would certainly recommend ACCA.

The problem with studying for ACCA with no experience is that employers
are faced with the dilemma that, here is an ACCA, he will want a big
salary but he has no experience. This will be your biggest obstacle, so
you might want to look for a job at an earlier stage when you will be
perceived as cheaper. AAT might therefore have advantages as they know
that your salary expectations will be lower.

However AAT will of course add even more years of study for probably few
exemptions.

FWIW if I were in your shoes I would forget doing AAT unless you were
not confident of finishing ACCA.
--
Jon Griffey FCCA CTA
Hackett Griffey
Chartered Certified Accountants & Registered Auditors
2 Mill Road, Haverhill, Suffolk, CB9 8BD

Tel (01440) 762024

www.hackettgriffey.com

See website for disclaimers
 

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments. After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.

Ask a Question

Top