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Does it make a difference what ACCA Professional subjects you take?

  • 01-03-2022 11:16am
    Registered Users Posts: 230 ✭✭

    Hello all, I am sitting my final ACCA skills level exam next week and hope to sit my first P level in June. So with ACCA there are two compulsary subjects and then a choice of two out of four options. Does it make a difference which options you chose or is it more a case of once you have your qualification done, employers won't look at the breakdown of subjects? I was thinking of sitting AAA as I found AA quite straightforward and I fancy a break from the more computational subjects I've sat recently. But it wouldn't be my intention to work in audit when qualified. Should I choose exams that I think I can pass most easily or choose subjects based on my likely career path? Thanks in advance for any insight!


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators Posts: 10,281 Mod ✭✭✭✭Jim2007

    Of course employers will be aware that certain subjects are optional and in the early years of our career they will be taken into account during recruitment stage. Once you are about 10 years in it probably won't matter nor will the qualification you took for that matter, unless it is some kind of legal or insurance requirement.

    Recruiting someone and then getting them up to speed in your environment is still a costly exercise in both money and time, so employers like to be sure that they get it right. So taking on someone that avoided the one of the main topics of interest to work in that particular area, might not be an easy call for some managers.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,835 ✭✭✭ari101

    From my experience it doesn't seem to matter (hiring and being hired) in industry, most people I trained with picked the ones that they felt were easier and I've not seen them saying it has any impact on career. It would matter if you had career aspirations for practice which included audit/tax. AAA particularly is required for signing off audits. What matters more is getting finished and decent quality relevant experience - a quicker progress to qualification was higher rated than the subjects of choice when reviewing CVs in a previous employment.

  • Registered Users Posts: 277 ✭✭enrique66_35

    Most employers wont really care about which options papers you choose, just that you achieve membership (or if on a training contract how far away that is likely to be).

    My advice is choose exams which you think will be most compatible with you preferred area of work. For example if you were to decide to apply for a practicing cert to setup on your own/in partnership/as RI for a firm you won't get audit qualification without having passed AAA at finals. Conversely APM or AFM might be more attractive for industry. There's a temptation to default to AAA and ATX but you need to consider where you want your career path to take you and choose accordingly.

  • Registered Users Posts: 230 ✭✭Navy blue

    Thank you all for the replies. Enrique, they were the exact two I was going to choose 🤦‍♀️ though I know it would make more sense to do at least one out of AFM or APM as my career plan would be to get in to industry rather than practice or audit. I had an absolute mental block with FM, couldn't get my head around currency and interest risk at all. So that leaves me with APM and I will go with either ATX or AAA for my other option.