Do you have what it takes?
It all depends on your circumstances, personality, attitude, ambition, and personal inclination.
It is difficult to study for ACCA while working. You will have less time for leisure due to the intense workload. If time-management is not your strong suit then you should not attempt working and studying ACCA simultaneously.
Studying full-time will be easier to handle and will help you in getting a deeper understanding of the course material. Studying at a university will enrich and broaden your horizons as well.
But having existing work experience will help you understand the practical aspect of ACCA better. This may help you in performing better in your ACCA tests. According to a renowned ACCA tutor: “relevant workplace experience can help you better understand how the theory and the practical side of the ACCA fit together”.
In most quarters, working and studying for ACCA is considered to be reciprocally advantageous. Your job helps you learn better and your learning improves your performance at work. It also elevates your résumé while conveying to your future employers that you are focused, committed, and have excellent time-management skills.
Another benefit of studying for ACCA while working is that you get to earn money. Working while studying for ACCA will assist you in obtaining your qualification sooner, which will help you in building your career at a swift pace. This can only be achieved if you are ambitious and focused.
On the other hand, if you cannot manage time properly or multi-task, you should focus on one task at a time, because it is likely that you will not be able to pass your ACCA exams if you try doing both together.
What are the challenges in studying ACCA while working?
The primary challenge faced by you studying for ACCA while working is time-management. Especially so if you have other commitments apart from study and work. You will be managing a very intense workload, leaving you with little time to yourself.
Students prefer to stick to a fixed schedule while studying the ACCA syllabus, so if you have irregular work hours, your study schedule would be of no use.
Balancing work and study pressure is very difficult. You will be under pressure at home while studying and you will be under pressure at work to perform well. Hence, you should have the mental strength to handle the pressure of studying for ACCA while working.
How to stay motivated while studying for ACCA?
Motivation is imperative if you have to complete a difficult task or succeed at something. If you are highly motivated, you can achieve or accomplish anything.
For most of you, the motivation to study and complete ACCA would be money. ACCA conducted a survey where they found out that 61% of their members receive a hike in their ACCA salary after earning their qualification. You can channel this to motivate yourself to study for ACCA while working. Working while studying for ACCA also helps you in paying the ACCA exam fees swiftly.
Having an ACCA certificate on your résumé can set you apart from the competition. When you are applying for a new job that has multiple applicants, you will have the chance to jump right ahead of the queue because of your ACCA qualification. It will also help in keeping your job secure when there is a crisis in the market and people are being laid off. In this scenario, thanks to your ACCA qualification, you can offer your employer assistance in audit, taxation, and corporate law matters.
ACCA being such an all-encompassing qualification, allows you to work not only in accountancy, but also in taxation, auditing, and budgeting.
Another advantage that should motivate you while studying for ACCA is that it enhances your critical thinking skills, which will help you in viewing situations and problems from a different perspective.
How does your practical experience help you with an ACCA qualification?
Relevant practical experience is compulsory if you want to complete your ACCA qualification.
Having practical experience will assist you to better understand the course and its modules.
To achieve ACCA membership a trainee has to complete the ACCA exams, the Ethics and Professional Skills module and the PER, which includes:
completing three years’ employment in an accounting or finance-related role(s)
achieving 9 predefined performance objectives to the satisfaction of a practical experience supervisor(s)
recording and reporting their PER progress through an online system.
It will also help in getting a clearer idea of the theoretical and practical aspects of the ACCA course. You will be studying modules and topics that you have already worked on and have a fair idea of. In most cases, having practical experience helps you in passing the exams and obtaining ACCA membership.
Tips for success in the ACCA exam
Some tips that you can implement while studying for ACCA and working are mentioned below:
Make a plan: Since you are juggling work and studies, it is extremely important for you to prepare a study plan or schedule. While making this plan, keep the ACCA exam dates in mind so that you leave enough time for revision of the modules. Ensure you also go through ACCA books and ACCA past papers to get a fair idea of the ACCA exam.
Keep the ACCA exam timetable in mind: While you are studying as per the schedule prepared, you must keep in mind the ACCA exam timetable as well. This allows you to study and revise the modules for the exam that are taking place first.
Find a good study spot: Having a good study spot is very helpful while studying for any exam. It should be a place where you cannot be disturbed and it should be quiet. Some may prefer studying in a library, or at the dining room in their house, or even in their own beds.
Listen to music: Making use of this tip depends from one individual to another. Some students may prefer studying while listening to classical instrumental music, while others may prefer complete silence.
Stay calm: Eventually, studying and working together starts pressuring you. In such a scenario, you must keep calm and take a break. Go out with friends, watch a movie, or even sleep. Relieving stress is of great importance when you are studying for exams.
The Toronto School of Management (TSoM) offers preparatory course for the ACCA examination . TSoM has been awarded with Silver Approved Learning Partner status by ACCA, which has over 3,800 students and members in Canada. TSoM also offers ACCA online courses to students.