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Career change (accounting)

  • 08-06-2021 8:11pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 17 ✭✭✭ limerick17


    Hi there,

    Just looking for some info.

    I am currently working in medical devices but am thinking about training for accounting.

    I was looking at the acca programme. I have no previous degree and don’t have the best leaving cert. I am just wondering is it possible to start at foundation level and work the whole way through.

    Also is the acca course a good route to take..

    Thanks


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,540 ✭✭✭ true-or-false


    I can't say I've been in your position but I did complete the ACAs which are another accountancy qualification, and I work with a lot of people who completed the ACCAs.

    In terms of whether it's a good route to take, that depends entirely on where you're trying to get to. What is it that you're hoping to get out of it?

    It's internationally recognised, so it's a brilliant qualification to have under your arm for many different career routes. But it is a big undertaking, so it's good to have an end-goal in sight.

    It's not just the exams either - you need to get relevant experience too. I don't know the exact requirement for ACCA, but for ACA it was 682 days experience required. Have you scoped out any potential jobs for this? I'm sure you'll be able to find something, but you'll have a tougher time than college grads.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4 Cliff 1234


    you can start ACCA with a very basic leaving certificate or with no leaving cert if you pass a pre-course. While it is a long undertaking you get milestone qualifications along the way including an honors degree in accounting and finance after paper 9 and a masters degree after the final paper. you can do the exams as quickly or slowly (within reason) as you want and exams are held 4 times a year. You will need 3 years experience but that can be pre, during or after the exams. If you put your head down, you could have a degree in 2.5 years doing one exam at a time and allowing for one retake. The awarding body for the degree is Oxford Brooks university in the UK. Keep going another year and 4 more exams and you are finished but the final level is masters level exams so be prepare for a challenge. I know people who started at paper 1 and a short few years later they are doing their final paper. Good luck.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,330 ✭✭✭✭ mariaalice


    What are the opportunities like for accountants when you live? unless you are prepared to move.

    Have you looked at the cost of doing the qualifications?


    Would you not be better pressing some qualifications in the medical devices area as you already have experience in the area.

    Retraining is not as simple as it's made out to be sometimes.


  • Registered Users Posts: 17 ✭✭✭ limerick17


    Thanks very much for the responses,

    I suppose the reason for my interest in acca is the fact that it seems to be a solid qualification and I would imagine that there are endless job opportunities in the area of finance with good security and pay.

    I understand it would be a big undertaking and I would be doing it while working full time in my current job.

    My biggest concern really is that is it a bad idea to switch fields completely and like the previous poster said would it be better to pursue qualifications in med devices.

    Thank you


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,035 ✭✭✭ Wabbit Ears


    Folk I know who did it started off doing the ACCA accounts technician level exam and got entry level finance jobs off the back of that.

    To do the levels above that you really need to be working in accounting.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 23,854 ✭✭✭✭ Mrs OBumble


    limerick17 wrote: »
    Thanks very much for the responses,

    I suppose the reason for my interest in acca is the fact that it seems to be a solid qualification and I would imagine that there are endless job opportunities in the area of finance with good security and pay.

    I've heard reports from people who switched to accounting that there actually weren't as many jobs as you'd think.

    Research carefully: start by talking to the finance team in the place where you work now. Ask if they would hire someone like you I'd you got quals.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,540 ✭✭✭ true-or-false


    limerick17 wrote: »
    I suppose the reason for my interest in acca is the fact that it seems to be a solid qualification and I would imagine that there are endless job opportunities in the area of finance with good security and pay.
    It's a very wide range of job opportunities once qualified, since there are finance related roles in most organisations, so you're not limited to one industry. Accounting qualifications are also seen as good for management roles in general. That said, I don't think there's any qualification out there that guarantees endless job opportunities.
    I understand it would be a big undertaking and I would be doing it while working full time in my current job.
    Unless your medical device experience is in a finance/strategic capacity, this might be a problem. You have to complete three years of relevant experience in order to get the qualification. Most people complete it while simultaneously working in a related entry-level role.
    My biggest concern really is that is it a bad idea to switch fields completely and like the previous poster said would it be better to pursue qualifications in med devices.
    It depends on what your current role is - medical devices doesn't really give us any specifics of what you do (software, manufacturing, design, project management, junior/senior, etc.), or your personal situation/needs. I switched fields to do my training at an accounting firm and it's the best thing I've ever done, changed my life big time and picked me up out of a real rut. But I took a 20% paycut to get into a training role. I was still in my late twenties and I had no one relying on me. I had very little to lose.

    Depending on what stage you're in with your current career, you might be better off sticking with it (it doesn't sound like it makes you deeply unhappy?). If you do choose to go the accounting route, if you're not currently in a related role you will eventually have to switch to one before you're officially qualified, which could likely mean a paycut. You can't just upskill while working your current role and then neatly step over into a qualified accountant position.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,015 ✭✭✭ ianuss


    Cliff 1234 wrote: »
    you can start ACCA with a very basic leaving certificate or with no leaving cert if you pass a pre-course. While it is a long undertaking you get milestone qualifications along the way including an honors degree in accounting and finance after paper 9 and a masters degree after the final paper. The awarding body for the degree is Oxford Brooks university in the UK. Keep going another year and 4 more exams and you are finished but the final level is masters level exams so be prepare for a challenge. I know people who started at paper 1 and a short few years later they are doing their final paper. Good luck.

    The bit in bold isn't quite correct. The degree is not automatic after completing the first 9 exams. You would need to do a research project (case study/business analysis type thing). You have to pay for it and you can fail it.

    Similar story with the masters. It is an extra course on top of the 13 exams. Which costs around €3500, I think.

    I started ACCA from scratch with no accounting experience, never did it in school. I failed pass maths at junior cert level. I found it very hard initially and hadn't a clue what was going on tbh. I failed some of the earlier papers but passed all of the Strategic level papers first time. I think if I can do it, anyone can tbh. The exams are doable but it's a slog. A lot of work required, particularly the last 2 option papers.

    Best of luck with it.


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