Saturday, 19 January 2013

Decision Made.

Today I finally made the decision to continue with my studies and to follow CIMA rather than ACCA.

After spending the last three and a half years working full time and studying part time to complete my AAT I was unsure as to whether I wished to continue.  You do have to give up a lot of your time, and I knew CIMA/ACCA would be even more time consuming and intense.

I also knew that if I did want to continue my studies, it would have to be sooner rather than later; for one thing, the longer I left it, the harder it would be to get back into the discipline of studying.  

And for another thing, there is no way that I could afford to pay for the course myself.  Luckily my employers are able to cover 75% of the costs (excluding subscriptions and any resit fees) and will also give me 50% of the time needed for tutorial attendance and exams (in other words, for every day I take to go to a tutorial, I only need to make up half the hours, similarly if I attend a weekend study day, I get a half day off in the week).  The downside to this is that I must remain in the employ of my current, well, employers, for at least two years after I complete my exams, otherwise I would be required to pay everything back, potentially almost £10k.

Do I want to be tied down for this long?  Especially as I tend to get itchy feet after two years.

Well I decided to bite the bullet and go for it, my recent pay rise will just about cover my share of the course fees which will be deducted from my wages on a monthly basis (hopefully before tax is deducted so that I can save a little).

It has been a shock to learn that although my AAT qualifications exempt me from 5 exams (that just leaves the 11 to do then!), if I actually want to be exempted I have to pay £49 per exam, a total of £245.  Surely the certificates I hold should be enough for the exemptions, or even an email from the AAT, I would be happy to pay an admin fee of £10 or so for this.

So Monday I have to go and see the Boss Man, shouldn't be any issues as he was encouraging me to continue, I  have costed up three different methods of study ranging from no tuition/books only to a guaranteed pass course.  Once I know how much my employers are willing to spend I can register and get started.

Wish me luck!

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