I started as an accountant in september but my firm doesn't offer ACA. instead they offer ACCA or CIMA. i'm in the UK if that helps

i don't particularly want to stay in accounting and want to move into investment/Asset Management or something like that (less back office, essentially).

what would the better qualification be for this decision?


Comments (7)


Which ever one you take you're going to get branded as an "accountant" so in that sense there's really not much between them. That's not necessarily a bad thing but CFA will always be more applicable to finance oriented jobs.

Having said that, I'd be inclined to do the ACCA. You won't be looked at any differently from someone with an ACA whereas CIMA is often associated with more back-office type roles due to its focus on enterprise management/operations.

Financial Modeling


thanks for the reply. yeah i understand that i will be branded as an accountant having done ACCA/CIMA but i'm hoping it'll show that i'm good with numbers, happy to work long hours, etc etc as well as just "yep he knows accounting"

i'm definitely going to do a CFA too. most likely after this qualification. i'm sure i'd be better positioned then.

do you know of anyone who has made this transition (accounting -> investment/"less back office" roles)? or do you have any advice/guidance on this? i've only just started this job a few months ago so if there's anything i should bare in mind or do over the next few years? or just generally gearing myself towards a move into that branch of banking in a few years time?

appreciate your help, thanks


I would not do ACCA/CIMA & only do CFA.

To transition, GPA must be really really really good, strong pedigree, and experience/effort/story to move to a more investment role. (case comp, thoughtfulness, stock/investor analysis are some ideas off top of head)


i will definitely do a CFA but seeing as i'm expected to do one of ACCA or CIMA i think it's best i do it seeing as the company is fully paying for it too.

it's just deciding which one out of these two would better equip me for an investment role in 4/5 years time.


Those who do make the transition do it sooner rather than later. If I was you I'd be on the look out for part qualified jobs when you're 18 months in as there's plenty of financial based jobs out there for PQ's.

I understand it's highly unlikely your firm will also support you for the CFA too but even if you could get Level 1 under your belt that'd be a good way to demonstrate your financial capabilities.


thanks for the reply.

so it's possible to move from accounting to investment while i'm part qualified? i don't need to wait until i'm qualified?

i may self-fund a CFA and do this alongside my ACCA/CIMA.

would i be applying for entry level roles or will i be able to join at an associate level or something similar?

edit: realistically, is there much of a difference between ACCA/ACA? i would have done an ACA if offered but unfortunately my workplace isn't a licensed ACA place. i'm definitely capable of doing a challenging qualification. not in a braggadocios way, but i went to a very prestigious university here in the UK (ranked consistently in the top 5 nationwide, top 10 worldwide and i did a STEM) so hopefully it shows on my CV that i am more than capable to do an ACA despite having chosen an ACCA (assuming this is what i go through with)

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