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Accountancy Training – Common Myths Dispelled

Results day is our favourite time of the year and we’ve not been disappointed yet‼

As some of our students become finalists this time around, we want to make sure the opportunity is there for those who’d like to get started with a career in accountancy....


FAQ & common misunderstandings relating to accountancy training

(CIMA & ACCA qualifications)

1) Do I need to be good at maths?

The surprising answer to this is no! Although the role of an accountant is primarily working with numbers– there is less mathematic ability required than you'd imagine! Favoured skill sets tend to be more logical thinking, ability to apply principles and reasoning. It doesn't harm to 'sense check' the figures before submitting them to the boss - but nobody is going to ask you any complicated mental maths‼ A calculator is fundamental to all accountancy examinations and your ability to use this and understand the output is what is most important.

2) Do I need prior qualifications – such as A’levels or a degree?

Again, no not at all. CIMA in particular are able to recognise that school was a long time ago, for most and that a lack of GCSE’s/ O’levels doesn't mean that a person will be lacking in ability or competence. For CIMA you don't need any prior qualifications to start at their certificate level. It's a level playing field and those with non-accounting degrees will start at the same point as you!

However, those with finance, business and accounting related degrees may find they are awarded a fast track route to the qualification. CIMA and ACCA recognise there is little point re-assessing learning that has already been examined. Therefore you should always check the exemption calculator if you feel that you may have some credit given for previous qualifications you have taken.

3) Do I need to be employed in an accountancy or finance based job?

Guess what? No not at all. Anybody can start their training with ACCA or CIMA regardless of their current employment (or even if no employment at all). We've seen many people in non-finance roles excel at these qualifications and become chartered accountants in minimum time frames! Often its hard to get a first role in finance if you are lacking the qualifications that employers are asking for. However, once you have a few CIMA or ACCA exams under your belt and a whole new employment market will open up to you.Why not try googling ‘jobs for part-qualified CIMA’or ‘vacancies for ACCA trainees’– you’ll be surprised what a different those first few exams can make.

Obviously, towards the end of your qualification you’ll be keen to practice your skills outside of the classroom – and indeed there is a requirement to gain 3 years experience before you can receive the full chartered title – but to start studying, there is no 'relevant employment' requirement at all.

CSSC Tuition are active members of the Staffordshire business community and regularly liaise with local accountancy and finance managers – we are often asked for recommendations of suitable interview candidates -so we can sometimes help with finding your first role. In addition to this, you’ll be in class with other students who have different roles and experiences in the local finance sector. They may be able to advise and recommend ways to get that first accountancy-based position.

4) Is there funding available for ACCA or CIMA?

Unfortunately, I have to say no to this one too. ACCA & CIMA are professional qualifications and are not eligible for grants or student loans or government support. The market value of your worth once qualified means you’ll never have to worry about this type of question again – but if you are not employer sponsored it may mean you have to make that initial investment in yourself.

We do find that most of our students eventually do find employers that sponsor their training. This can mean paying their course fees, exam costs and membership subs as well as giving them time off work to prepare for exams.

In return for employer sponsorship, CSSC Tuition offers regular progress updates (assuming we have student consent, of course). This provides employers with vital feedback on attendance, engagement and progress to date. Employers appreciate the two way communication which allows us to offer something extra for their investment in your training.

Finding a sponsoring employer (or persuading your current one to sponsor you) can seem difficult, CSSC Tuition offers competitively priced courses which are also good value for money ( be sure to compare number of hours in class and tutor contact time if comparing fees with other tuition providers). however most employers consider this particularly when you have 'proven' your commitment by passing one or two of the exams through self-financing.

We want our students to pass and the more work you put in, the harder we work to support you! Its true – we do care about your results as much as you do‼

Get in touch today to find out more!! (

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