Mature student


I am currently studying for the CIMA exams (certificate level), however I am currently assessing my options.

As a New Zealander, I am planning to go back home in around four-five years time. I have been told that the CIMA does not hold nearly as much weight as the ACA (Chartered Accountants of NZ), therefore I am wanting to atleast try to go down this route…if I can.

Problem is, I am 28, I have little experience in Accounting, and have an unrelated degree in Marketing from NZ (marks were around B average). After looking at all the training vacancies for ACA online, it seems you need to have very good marks to get in, particularly with a big four firm.

I have been told be ICEAW, that it will be difficult to get an ACA contract. Doing the CFAB qualification (“bridge”) course could be an option, because I can use three CIMA papers as cross-credits. I would only need to do three CFAB papers to complete it.

Before beginning down this challenging route, I would like a bit of advice from any of you!

After completing the CFAB, what are my chances of getting an ACA training vacancy? I am currently working as an accounts assistant for a small industry firm. I have only been doing this for two months.

I was thinking about getting my company to apply as an ACA training provider, is this possible?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.


Getting an ACA training contract can be hard enough at the best of times - but nowadays it is even harder

I think the CFAB is just the knowledge modules of the ACA professional stage

It is difficuly to gage how your prospects would change if you had CFAB

Are you planning to stop doing CIMA? employers may ask why you did this

Your company could apply to be a training organisation - but their would need to be an ACA qualified person in the company to supervise you and they probably have their reasons for wanting you to study CIMA

Also until a little while ago you could only do ACA in a practice firm and very few have switched to it in industry - that is why most of them offer ACCA and CIMA

ACA is more of a general accounting/business qualification and allows you to be a registered auditor
CIMA is more focused on management accounting and the internal accounting procedures of a firm (i.e. the finance department) and does not allow you do be a registered auditor

Have you looked at the type of jobs in NZ that you would be interested in doing? what are their requirements? Have a look at the website for the NZICA

CIMA is not a reciprocal organisation for them

Maybe write to some NZ accountants and ask them for their opinion of CIMA and job prospects in NZ - or maybe someone you know their could try and find out for you


Thanks for your reply. I have researched into the situation and I believe my firm could apply to be a training organisation as long as there is a CIMA or ACA qualified person who is training me in house. I dont think this a dead cert at all so I have to look at my options.

I have been told the CIMA has little relevance in New Zealand and not many people have heard of it, so the ACA is what I need to strive for. All the CIMA papers I am currently studying towards thankfully get cross-credited to the CFAB so I feel I should atleast complete them first before I make a decision.

ACA training vacancies are scarce but i’ve gotta give it a go I feel.

Thanks again,


It has to either have an ACA person in house or an external ACA person available so you could have a CIMA inhouse and someone from outside the organisation as an ACA

"The QPRT needs to be someone who holds a CCAB or nationally-recognised professional accountancy qualification (ACCA, CIMA, CIPFA, ICAEW, ICAS and ICAI), accepted by the ICAEW, as well as being in a senior position in the organisation.

Where the QPRT is not an ICAEW member, then they must appoint an ICAEW member to be an adviser. This ensures close links to the ICAEW and access to member support services and information, which in turn can help with support of students."

Good luck with whatever you decide to do!


also the CA qualification from the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Scotland is the same level as ACA (ICAEW)