I appreciate this could run and run and already the debate has moved on from the qualification itself to general problems with the accounting profession.
I am a recently qualified CIPFA accountant and I appreciate that there are aspects of this qualification which do not appear in the ones offered by other institutes.
The project is a practical demonstration of the application of knowledge built up over three years, however, success can be hugely influenced by your employer, the level of support received and the availability of suitable project areas. Also there is the obvious sector specific element, which is ‘unique’ to CIPFA. However, we did not cover taxation or commerce in the same level of detail as other institutes.
The fact remains, however, that whilst there are obvious differences between each qualification there are a great many more similarities. Each qualification sets out to produce well informed, capable financial managers. There are large sections of each institute’s syllabus which are the same, and equip the student with a sound financial knowledge. However, there are also a number of ‘softer’ transferable skills taught such as the ability to identify relevant information from large amounts of data, general people management, communication, judgment…I could continue. This means that regardless of the institute from whom the qualification has been obtained employment in any sector should be possible.
The constant sniping of the institutes does not succeed in elevating one above the others, it only undermines the UK accounting profession as a whole by making it look petty and childish. This is not fair, in my opinion, to all those people who have worked hard for three or four years in order to gain a well respected professional qualification.
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