Distance Learning the ACCA in UK

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  • Avatar of stevet
    stevet
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    Hi all, I’m thinking of studying for the ACCA by Distance Learning in the UK and wondered if someone can help me out.

    I currently work full-time in Payroll using Payroll only software and have no experience of actual accounts work or systems other than knowing that departments have budgets and staff costs are chargeable to these departments (in a nut shell).

    If I was to study for ACCA I’d no doubt have to start at the beginning with no exemptions(?) – (I’ve been working in payroll for over 10 years). I’m presuming that the books/modules I’d buy from my Distance Learning provider would give me most of the background knowledge to help me pass the exams as well as study guides/notes on this website plus others out there. I know this is probably an impossible question to ask but how difficult would I find it without already working in accounts? I’m hoping that once I was part qualified I’d be able to move into an accounts type role to start gaining the practical knowledge and experience and then carry on with my studies.

    If I did decide to sign up, I would also like to know when the best time to start studying would be. I’ve read that exams are in June and December every year. If I started studying now, could I enter the December exams or would I have to take the first exams in June? I’ve also noticed on Kaplan that material/modules they sell is only valid up to a certain date, for example, up to June 2012 – if this is the case should I wait until June exams are out of the way or would the books/materials be valid for years to come?

    Would anyone recommend any particular Distance Learning Provider in the UK and also, is anyone aware of any funding I could take to help with the costs? I think that Student Loans may be changing in September 2012 to accept people studying by Distance Learning (I may be wrong). I’ve also heard of a loan banks do where you pay no interest for 2 years (I think)? Lastly, would anyone know roughly how much the whole course would cost by Distance Learning assuming that exams are passed first time.

    Sorry for all the questions, it’s just quite a big step and I want to make sure I’m going to be doing the right thing with not actually having any accounts (other than payroll) experience already. Any help is greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance,

    Steve


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    natashanazeryousuf
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    Hi Steve

    I was a science student in school and had no idea what debit or credit was. I had never heard the terms “balance sheet” or “income statement” before. I took up AAT right after school in 2007 (with no experience in any field) and ACCA in 2008 after receiving exemptions from f1, f2 and f3 thanks to AAT. I completed ACCA about a year ago. I’m guessing you are in a better state than the one I was in when I started. Point is: you can do it!

    Regarding registration: you can register with ACCA now and register for december exams. Registering with ACCA as student and exam registration are completely different. You will have to pay acca subscription fee every year (even after you complete the course. Subscription fee for “members” is almost twice the amount). Hence its better you join at the beginning of next year.

    Regarding classes: I did start off with classes because I had no idea about the subject. I am from Bahrain and there is no single platinum approved tuition provider here (unlike uk). The classes weren’t worth the fee and I thus switched to self study. If you are finding it difficult to pay your fee, I suggest you do study yourself after taking classes for the first few papers.

    Regarding course materials: tuition providers generally charge higher for the books than the publishers themselves. Find out your local publisher and order the books from them. (Or borrow from an ex student) Books are usually for a semester, although you can use it for the next semester unless the syllabus changes. Never use any book which is more than a year old.

    You must be ready to work really hard to pass your papers. It is going to be time consuming and expensive. Full time students take about 3-5 years to complete ACCA. If you are unsure, do AAT first and take membership. You can also get a practicing certificate from them and start your own accounts/tax firm. You cannot prepare financial statements for clients though. With AAT, you can only do accounts up to drawing up trial balance. You can do ACCA later when you find a job in accounts and know for sure that the benefit of studying ACCA is worth the cost.


    Avatar of stevet
    stevet
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    Hi,

    Thanks very much for your reply – it’s very helpful so thank you :)

    When you mention “members”, is a member someone who is already ACCA qualified and is membership cheaper whilst studying for the qualification? Not that that part really matters, I’m just trying to understand the terminology with being new around here. You also mention it’s better to join at the beginning of next year (Jan 2013?). Do you mean to register now with ACCA as a student and then change membership in Jan to something else?

    Thanks for the tip on course material. I’ll have a look around the internet and see what I can find. I may just stick with a Distance Learning provider but will weigh up the costs.

    Thanks again for coming back to me, I’ve made a note of email address should I need it :)

    Steve


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    natashanazeryousuf
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    Affiliate-a person who has completed the papers

    Member-a person who has completed the papers and has three years of acca approved work experience

    Fellow member-a person who has completed the papers and has five years of acca approved work experience

    You have to pay annual subscription fee every year starting from the year after registration. It is something like maintaining registration.

    I meant registering as a student next year instead of this year.

    If you register this year, you pay registration fee and get to write exams only for one semester after which you have to pay subscription fee (on 1 jan 2013). If you register at the beginning of next year, you get to write exams for two semesters before your annual subscription is due (on 1 jan 2014).

    Whether you join next semester or next year, take your time and go through the materials and past papers to decide whether or not to join, how much time you require per subject, how you will find that time, how many papers you can afford to do each semester (in terms of time and money), research about the various tuition providers etc.


    Avatar of stevet
    stevet
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    Ahhh, thanks, it’s a little clearer now. I’ll probably do that then, at least I’ll get more for my money that way ;-)

    You’ve been very helpful :) I’ll do a bit more research in providers/course material and weigh up costs.

    Thanks again and have a good day and weekend,

    Steve


    Avatar of admin
    admin
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    Hi Steve
    well, there is a cheap option for you :)
    watch, say some F3 lectures on this site, and then try and do tests in the notes (which are exam standard) and see how well you do..

    you never know, maybe you do not need to pay for distance learning. and are capable like other students to just rely on opentuition for your exams,

    (it is advisable though, to buy study text and revision kit is a must, to practice as many exam questions as possible!)


    Avatar of stevet
    stevet
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    • Topics: 1
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    Hi,

    Thanks for the suggestion – I’ll have a look into doing that too! :) Seems quite a good idea with funds being a bit hard to come by at the minute. (I would have replied sooner but for some reason, I don’t get emails when someone posts to a topic I’ve commented on).

    Thanks again.

    Steve


    Avatar of tajrinjahan
    tajrinjahan
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    yeah getting email/notificatins through my posts on this site..would be a lot easier

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