Hi folks, I’m new to this site. I’ve just joined as I’ve been shown these forums by a friend.
Anyways, I’m a final year student studying for a degree in Accounting and Financial Management and am on course for a 2:1. I did my placement year working in the finance department at an automotive company that would offer me CIMA training if I choose to stay there upon graduation. However, I have been strongly attempting to get a place with a firm of chartered accountants that would provide me with ACA training instead. I have interviewed with all of the big 4 and been rejected and also been rejected by a few mid-tier practices such as BDO, Baker and Tenon. The main reason I have been attempting to go in this direction is because I have viewed CIMA as an inferior qualification, and believe my salary prospects would be greater if I obtained ACA. I am not sure where this perception that I have stems from, but for some reason I have it in my head that ACA is more lucrative.
It says the average starting salary for those who are ICAEW qualified is £36.8k, in comparison to £40.3k for CIMA. People who do CIMA seem to do better for the first few years. After 4 years , CIMA qualified professionals earn £47.3k, their ACA counterparts earn £45.3k. However, after this stage ACA overtakes CIMA. After 5 years qulification, ACA earns £50.1k; CIMA £47.8k. And for those who have been qualified 6+ years, the difference is large, CIMA professionals earn £57.8k, but ACA earns £67.k. This seems to indicate that CIMA is a better qualification to have in the short term, but ACA earns more in the long run. But, could this just be due to the fact that CIMA is a newer qualification and therefore those who have held it for 6+years have not had as much experience and time to earn promotion?
I was wondering if any of you folks who are better informed than I am could provide me with some information. What are the pros and cons of studying each? What are the salary prospects of each? What sort of roles in each area do you have to take on to earn the top salaries? Really, I am at a loss here. I can’t decide what I want to do and what would be best for the future. Any advice would be appreciated.