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Post Info TOPIC: AAT vs Degree


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AAT vs Degree


Hi at the moment i have just finished my first year at uni studying accountancy and ialso work part time as a bookkeeper. Currently work are putting more pressure on me to commit to 4 days a week which will mean i wont be able to study my 2nd year at uni. So i was just thinking which is the better qualification in the industry AAT or a degree in accountancy? what will get me where ? i am asking this due to i can study of an evening the AAT at a local college which would fit in if i upped my hours. please help i dont know where to turn

p.s i didnt enjoy the first year due to it wasnt really applied to the work enviroment. also if i leave the first year i will get a certificate in accountancy.

honast answers please :D

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Depends on what you want to do.
The people I know who did a degree in accounting and got into a good company through it are very successful now.
I think your best sticking to your degree as you will be much better off in the long run.

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Steve



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Hi again James,

we only ever give honest answers on here.

it seems to me that your lost for direction.

You have a job, your at Uni and your looking at buying a business. All of which need 100% commitment.

First look at where you want to be.

Now how do you get there?

What are you're strengths and weaknesses? (Use SWOT and TOWS analysis techniques to help you).

You state that you didn't enjoy first year theory. Are you sure that accountancy is the right career choice for you?

Are you sure that you are doing the right degree? All of the chartered accountants that I know have degree's in Law, not accountancy. Once you get further in you will see why a law degree is closer to accountancy and an accountancy degree is closer to bookkeeping.

A degree though is more than preparation for a career. It's an essential part of getting a career and it's a pre-requisit for emigration if you decide that you are more attuned to work in Australia or America.

Nobody can decide for you what is the best direction. All that we can do is give you the facts such as direct comparisons between AAT and ICB etc. What you do with that data has to be down to you to decide.

I just think that you need to do it quickly as you are on the cusp of being torn in three by the job, the business and study routes.

Whichever route that YOU choose I wish you the best and we're always happy on here to give specific advice but as I say, we just can't choose the direction that you take for you.

If you're really stumped why not dump the lot and just use whatever savings that you have (I assume that you have some due to the buying a business thread) and go and sit on a beach in Thailand for three to six months while you make your mind up.

Good luck,

Shaun.

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Shaun

Responses are not meant as a substitute for professional advice. Answers are intended as outline only the advice of a qualified professional with access to all relevant information should be sought before acting on any response given.



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Hi James,

Speaking as someone who did the working/AAT then ACCA route, I agree wholeheartedly with Steve and Shaun regarding the degree for no other reason than it gives you more options if you want to change direction as more doors will be open to you. I certainly wished I had done a degree as I would have liked to go into teaching but now the professional qualifications don't seem to readily convert to the requirements for the one year teaching course here in Scotland so I am back to bookkeeping.

If you can manage to do a bit of bookkeeping to get the cash to see you by and continue with your studies I think this would be your best option. It is easier to get a training contract with the big 4 firms to do Chartered Accounting qualificationswith a degree anyway which is considered the 'elite'in the accounting world, they get a good starting salary too and all their training provided.

Just my opinion,

Carole



-- Edited by littlebookkeeper on Tuesday 25th of May 2010 09:18:28 PM

-- Edited by littlebookkeeper on Tuesday 25th of May 2010 09:22:59 PM

-- Edited by littlebookkeeper on Tuesday 25th of May 2010 09:26:36 PM

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Hi James,
My degree was in economics and I found the degree largely dry and boring. we did a module of accounts and I when I left with my gentleman's 2:2 the only thing I knew was that I would not become an accountant! Now of course I look back fondly at my degree days as close to the best I had. A degree opens doors, even accountancy doors. I also took a year off between years 2 and 3 and did a bit of Shaun-like travelling for most of it but I always knew I would go back. Perhaps you are studying the wrong subject? My honest advice without knowing enough about you though would be to get your degree (in whatever subject) I think you are more likely to regret givng it up.

On another point, I think it is quite bad form for your employers to put this pressure on you and these doubts in your mind, as an employer myself I would never encourage this.

Rob

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Rob
www.accounts-solutions.com


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Hi Shamus,

came across this read when I was looking for comparisons between degree and aat.

Sorry but I think some of the information you have given is a little misleading.

"All of the chartered accountants that I know have degree's in Law, not accountancy"

You have related this to a personal situation but to the contrary this is not the case on a generalised basis. "The big four" welcome applications from any high calibre students with any degree. "The big four" also hand pick a large proportion of students from the accountancy and finance department of the university I studied at. A degree in Law is an excellent achievement as is a degree in Accountancy, either or should allow professional accountancy study. The benefit from sitting an accountancy degree, when considering becoming a chartered accountant, is that exemptions can be gained from exams.


"Once you get further in you will see why a law degree is closer to accountancy and an accountancy degree is closer to bookkeeping."

Law and Accountancy are inter-twined with each other. In many of the top Universities law students will do accountancy modules and accountancy students will do law modules. There is no doubting they are closely related, accountancy derived from a branch of law. An accountancy degree however has and deserves far more merit than simply being associated with bookkeeping (which will account for about 3 out of about 36 units studied on a course). In most modules the need for any calculations or calculator are miniscule if any. An accountancy degree differs per university however will probably consider law, social,economical and monetary values, management development, economics and corporate finance.

Just pointing this out :)





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Hi Gary,

Ooh, this one was a long time ago.

welcome to the forum.

taking the specifics of this response out of the equation (it was around the posts of someone who had posted multiple conflicting threads and seemed to lack direction). Your right, it is just my views from personal expereince and it is true to say that the chartered accountants that I know studied law rather than accountancy at Uni.

I've had a read through and in hindsight the bookkeeping line wrong but I can see where I was coming from when I made the statement. Appologies on that as it really does come over the wrong way and I've now decided that it's not true as I'm now coming down on the side of the ICB and I don't think that accountancy degree's prepare people to be bookkeepers at all.

On the exemptions front I really don't think that the supervisory bodies should give exemptions though for people holding accountancy degree's as from my experience university does not teach people accountancy the way that the skills level papers of bodies such as the ACCA do so why should people skip the skills level papers and go straight onto the professional level ones on the back of assumed knowledge.

No, I think that for graduates to get the letters of the higher supervisory bodies after their name at worst univesity should give exemption from fundamental level papers and at best I think that exemption should only be given to theory level fundamental papers unless the graduate is able to pass an additional exam to prove their skills in accounting.

By experience, my comments are based on having worked with four of the big five (now three of the big four after one of them crashed into Enron) and I have seen a lot of people come from the Milk run with varying degree's of success. My experience is that people with good Law degree's always do well in accountancy roles. I cannot say the same of accountancy graduates.

I've actually come accross accountancy graduates who do not understand double entry bookkeeping which I think that you will agree is the foundations upon which everything is built. The reasoning behind this is that there are some degree programs (not saying that this is true of all of them) where bookkeeping is actually optional module! How crazy is that. It's right up there with wings being an option on an aeroplane!

I stand by the law comment as such is based on my experience.

I do however retract the bookkeeping comment.

Thanks for digging this old post out. As previously mentioned I really had forgotten all about it.

kind regards,

Shaun.

P.S. edited to take out the bit where I went off subject onto IT graduates as it was not relevant to the reply.



-- Edited by Shamus on Sunday 5th of June 2011 08:16:01 PM

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Shaun

Responses are not meant as a substitute for professional advice. Answers are intended as outline only the advice of a qualified professional with access to all relevant information should be sought before acting on any response given.



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To study for the exam you should focus completely to cover entire syllabus, even less time is remaining. Give some extra time to complete everything. I am working hard to complete my LSAT syllabus. << link removed >>



-- Edited by Shamus on Monday 23rd of April 2018 08:35:33 PM

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