Independent ACA study


Hi guys
Well like most people on this forum, I’m in the process of applying for graduate jobs for 2010, specifically in audit. I graduated from university back in june and I realised that it would be over a year till I up took a position, that is assuming I manage to secure a contact (which I haven’t at present). So immediately after I graduated I signed up to do the ACA independently because I wanted to make good use of the time I had in hand. However I have yet to do any papers because I worked between September and January, but i am now in a position were I can devote most of my time to studies. My question is this: Can I study successfully for an ACA and do the knowlegde based modules without going to college? If I dont manage to secure a contract this year, should I continue studying independently for the ACA or seek out an accountant assistant job? realistically speaking, up to what stage can I self teach (I’ve heard that the knowlege based modules are self taught but after that tuition is required)
Any advice / tips or any moral boosting comments from people who are ,or were, in my position would be great :slight_smile:


A few thoughts.1. Is your degree in accountancy? If it isn’t you may find some of the accounting concepts tricky and in fact that is one module of the knowledge papers that I believe is partially or wholly taught. 2.How far on are you with the job applications? Any chance you could secure a place to start in April. If so then just enjoy yourself til April.
3.Procrastination and lack of motivation are the two main hurdles. Courses are expensive but to book on one with a good ACA tutor (Kaplan or BPP) may just get you going and through the first 6 papers. They probably have distance/internet learning courses which may interest you.
Right now I think your priority is to get a contract. If that fails and you do manage to get yourself through the knowledge papers you may be an attractive candidate to a small firm who doesn’t have a huge training budget and would be happy to take you for the remainder of your ACA.
I wouldn’t go beyond the knowledge papers unless you’re with a firm of accountants. If you pass the 6 knowledge papers you get the CFAB qualification.


Hi ,
Yes my degree is accountancy related and has enabled me to gain 3 credits for prior learning, so essentially I have to do 3 papers to pass the the knowlegde base of the ACA. My aim, regardless of if I get a contract this year, is to pass the knowledge based papers because I’m aware that working full time and studying is extremely difficult. My brother (auditor at E&Y) says that the knowledge based moudles are self taught and do not need tuition.

As for my applications; I have an assessment centre for Deloitte London in March and have a first round interview with Mazars (also in march). I have yet to apply to PWC. Other than that, I really dont have any other firms I can apply to (I have been rejected by a few of the Mid-teir firms).

Is there any truth in firms not liking independent studying students? If I do not secure a contract this intake, what should I do with my time?


From students I know at Deloittes and PwC London their study blocks are quite distinct from client work so when you study you are not working on clients. It’s fairly pressurised with all the work to get through during the study block but I don’t think there is an issue with working and studying.
At Deloittes you would have a three week course/self study block for three knowledge modules. The Kaplan tutors run a pretty tight ship and everything is timetabled for you daily. So you work through each section then do the online tests, then the next sections etc. Very well structured.
I don’t know who said firms don’t like independent studying students? What you do in your own time is up to you. Sure, once you join a firm then you go to college with the rest of your year group.
It would be a good idea to apply to PwC and E&Y. If your brother is a doing well with E&Y then they’ll be delighted to have another from the same gene pool!