“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.”
― Dr. Seuss
Having spent 2 years now studying the AAT's Advanced Diploma in Accounting, and the Professional Diploma in Accounting, it was a great feeling on Friday to walk out of my (hopefully) last exam. Starting work on Monday morning knowing I did not have to schedule several hours of study each week, and I could focus entirely on my clients and growing my business, was a very exciting feeling!
So far I have secured 9 units of study at an average of 91%, with 2 results left to come in from the markers. I was disappointed with the Advanced Synoptic and the Personal Tax results, but in the context of them being right in the middle of the pandemic, I'm not too concerned with them upon reflection.
Advanced Diploma in Accounting:
Advanced Bookkeeping - 97%
Final Accounts Preparation - 96%
Management Accounting: Costing - 97%
Indirect Tax - 93%
Synoptic Assessment - 87%
Professional Diploma in Accounting:
Personal Tax - 79%
Business Tax - 89%
Management Accounting: Budgeting - 88%
Management Accounting: Decision & Control - 89%
The Pandemic certainly did not help, but luckily I had managed to complete all but one before March 2020 of the Advanced level. I was hoping to achieve over 90% in all exams at that level, (and over 80% in the Professional) but i fell just short, but at least I have a valid excuse. Not that it really matters what scores you get as long as you pass the exams and get the qualification and license in the end. I guess it is still the teacher in me that puts a-lot of value in the highest grade possible.
I found the exam structure generally good in all 11 exams, the AAT have a clear and concise layout and you can get an idea of what will be contained within each set of questions/tasks. I found the almost instant feedback of the computer marked exams brilliant, as by the time i caught the H37 back from the exam the grade was available so i could start planning my next topic. The 5/6 week wait for the synoptic and the Professional results were painful, especially as i felt unsure how to proceed with the next topic whilst still awaiting the result from the previous. To plough on, or to wait for the result incase i have to resit were the choices. I always chose to move on on the belief that I had probably passed and it would be alright in the end.
The next step is to consider what to do after I have achieved MAAT status.
I am considering stopping there. I would be a licensed accountant and for the type and size of clients I want to attract, and the type of work I currently enjoy doing I don't really need anything more than that right now. It would give me the opportunity to focus on growing my business and providing my current clients a better service.
Having a break from studying, it has been 2 intense years with everything that has happened. I might take 12 months off of studying, and give myself some time to process everything, and pick up again next year depending on my decision
If i was to carry on studying it would probably be with ICAEW as the research I have done suggest it is a better suited qualification for those in practice. There are 3 levels, and this needs to be complimented by formalised working experience at approved organisations. This would be a huge undertaking, as I would probably need to scale back or give up my business.
Lots to ponder over the next few months, whilst I await my final result to arrive on Thursday 6th January!