ACCA Accelerate!

12 Oct 2017

LSBM was pleased to welcome Orrin Thomas (right of picture), Senior Business Development Manager at the ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) to LSBM on Tuesday 10 Oct 2017 to talk about the ACCA Accelerate programme, which gives our LSBM accounting and finance students a unique head-start on their peers.

(This is the second of our LSBM Lighthouse Events.  You can read the write-up from the first one 'How is the World Changing and How Can I Change With It?' here).

The event was held in collaboration with, and was ably supported by members from the LSBM Accounting Society and its President Mihaela Neata (next to Orrin in the picture), who spoke to the gathered students (most of whom are studying accounting and finance at LSBM) about the many benefits of joining for the low, low price of just £5!

 

If you would like to join, or would like to get involved, then you can email the society at accounting.society@lsbm.ac.uk

Orrin is an old friend of LSBM, having visited us last year to have a chat about the benefits of a Professional Career with ACCA, and we were delighted to welcome him back to a packed auditorium to hear about 'ACCA Accelerate!' and how it is benefiting our students.

Usha Mistry (second from the left), who as well as being the Head of Programme Development, is also the Course Leader for our BA (Hons) Accounting and Financial Management degree programme, was on hand to introduce Orrin.  Usha has done a great job of sorting out nine accreditations and exemptions to ACCA courses (which is the maximum allowed). So, students who choose elected modules based on this can find themselves much of the way to an ACCA qualification at the completion of their studies. In practice this means that many LSBM Accounting and Finance students don't just leave with a great degree, they also leave as 'partly qualified accountants' with 9 out of the 14 parts of the ACCA qualification completed.

(Usha is standing next to Dabir Ahmed, Senior Lecturer, Accounting and Finance at LSBM).

That means that our accounting students (dependent on which modules they take) can be 60% of the way to being fully-qualified accountants as soon as they have graduated from LSBM!

This is a big advantage in a competitive job market, and also naturally shortens the time that it takes to become fully-qualified accountants after the degree is over. Typically, students who apply themselves seriously to studying the remaining five ACCA papers (at their own expense), can expect to become fully-qualified within a year or two of completing the degree. But even if they have less time, or do the remaining exams on a more casual basis, three years is a very realistic timeframe. This compares very favourably with other accounting degree programmes, where, without the exemptions, students would have to study a further 9 papers to become fully-qualified ACCA accountants AFTER their degree had completed!

The other big advantage that LSBM offers over most other Universities, is that we pay for an ACCA Accelerate! membership for our students.


What is ACCA Accelerate? (You might reasonably ask!) 


ACCA Accelerate is a programme that introduces students to the ACCA and gives them a range of benefits, that Orrin spoke about.

Crucially, it is only available to students if the institution where they are doing their course is signed up to participate.

This is a key distinction with 'normal' ACCA membership that a student might sign up to on their own.

One of the critical reasons to get involved with ACCA Accelerate is that LSBM really is handing you an opportunity on a plate, from both a financial and learning perspective. 

Sometimes it can be easy to think everything is 'marketing'. All fluff, no substance. This isn't true here.

A search for 'accounting' on UCAS brings back 1,259 courses (as-of 12 Oct 2017).


And yet LSBM is one of only 20 providers who pay for their students to be in the ACCA Accelerate! program.
 

There is nothing for our students to pay for the ACCA Accelerate program while they are studying Accounting and Finance at LSBM.
 

We have picked up the bill.

 

What does this mean in practice?


It is worth repeating, that this really is a substantial benefit, and one that our Accounting and Finance students should take full advantage of.

Many people reading this will have aspirations to become accountants, so let's talk numbers!

 

Here is a comparison of ACCA costs both with, and without the ACCA Accelerate program, based on 9 exemptions (which is what you get through the LSBM course if you pick the right modules) over a three year degree.


WITHOUT Accelerate 

Cost of Exemptions - £798
Subscription Fees - £255 (3 x £85)
Registration Fee - £79

Total Cost = £1,132


WITH Accelerate

Cost of Exemptions - £216
Subscription Fees - £0
Registration Fee - £0

Total Cost = £216

So, a potential saving to you of £916! (£1,132 - £216)

The way this works is that LSBM has paid the costs for you to be in the Accelerate program while you are a LSBM student (remember, we are one of only 20 institutions in the country that does this and you can only join if your INSTITUTION has joined Accelerate).
 

So, there are no 'upfront' costs to you.

You study your BA (Hons) Accounting and Finance degree as you normally would. You choose your modules and you enjoy the many benefits of the ACCA Accelerate program as outlined below without charge or cost to you while you are studying.

If you choose your modules based on getting the maximum amount of potential ACCA exam exemptions, then you could end up with 9 exemptions by the time you have graduated.


 

At this stage you have two choices:


1/ Do nothing with regards to the ACCA qualification - This is entirely your choice. You may decide to do something entirely different from accountancy after your degree. So may not be fussed about registering the exemptions with the ACCA. That is fine. If so, your ACCA Accelerate membership will simply lapse after you graduate.

At this stage ACCA Accelerate will have cost you nothing for the three years of your course, but you will already have saved £334 on what it would have otherwise cost you to be a member of ACCA during the three years of your course (3 x £85 yearly fees, plus £79 registration fee) (and remember... you will have had free access to all the resources, exam papers, community etc during your time as our student).


2/ Register your exemptions with the ACCA - If you have taken the right modules then you may graduate with potentially 9 ACCA exemptions. This puts you more than 60% (9 out of 14 modules) towards becoming a fully-qualified accountant. You will already have saved £334 on what membership of the ACCA would otherwise have cost you. You will, however, need to claim those exemptions with the ACCA in order to have them recognised (you have up to a year after you graduate to do this at the reduced rate). This will cost you £216. Had you NOT have been in the Accelerate program (paid for by LSBM), and had simply joined ACCA as a 'normal' member, independent of being a student at LSBM, then registering the exemptions would have cost you £798.

So, at this stage, you will be a 'part-qualified' accountant! You will have registered your 9 exemptions with the ACCA, and only have 5 more to do in order to become a 'fully-qualified' accountant.

 

You will have saved (up to this point)...
 

The £334 cost of yearly fees and registration.
 

AND...


The 'extra' £582 that you would have had to pay to register your 9 exemptions with the ACCA.
 

So you will have saved £916!

 

At this stage you would need to become a 'normal' ACCA member to take the remaining 5 exams to become fully qualified. So you would have to pay for that (this normally takes from 18 months to 3 years, though can be done more quickly, according to Orrin).

Remember though, that all of this is a choice on your part.

If you don't wish to join the ACCA after the Accelerate program has ended (when you graduate from your LSBM Accountancy and Finance degree), then you don't have too. 

You will, however, have had all the many benefits of the ACCA Accelerate program during your time with us, which include.

 

The 7 Big Benefits of ACCA Accelerate Membership


1/ Access to learning resources for each of the modules you are studying at LSBM - So, for example, you will get access to related articles and revision resources so that you can fine-tune your knowledge and give you access to additional information that can help you to gain more insights from your course.
 

2/ Access to 5 Years of Past Exam Papers - One of the biggest benefits is that you will also get access to five years of past exam papers for the courses covered. Practice makes perfect, and this means you can really hone your knowledge and make sure you maximise your potential and your grades.
 

3/ Download study resources via iTunes - Sometimes it is easier to consume information electronically, so this easy access to accounting resources through iTunes means that you can explore and learn at times and places that suit you. For example, on your smartphone on your train journey into college.
 

4/ Exclusive Webinars - Throughout the course of the year ACCA has exclusive webinars that allow you to build your employability skills, such as for example how to approach job hunting, teambuilding, presentation skills and how to structure your CV for maximum impact etc.
 

5/ Exclusive Job Offers - People who are members of ACCA Accelerate also get quick access to exclusive job offers via email. Orrin gave the example of McDonalds Head Office in North London who recently approached the ACCA about some internship opportunities for accounting students. Those opportunities were sent out to ACCA Accelerate members through email, so they essentially had access to a job opportunity that wasn't otherwise widely known. In a world where access to information is so important, this is a useful leg-up for our students who are looking to quickly gain accounting work experience.
 

6/ Start Networking Early! - The platform on which the ACCA have built ACCA Accelerate not only offers you the opportunity to learn new things. It also allows you to interact with other members of the ACCA learning community. This can be invaluable in five important respects:

  • It can allow you to gain knowledge about jobs before others (friends tell friends first!)
  • It can give you insights that you otherwise wouldn't have (many perspectives, not just your own)
  • It can give you support when you need it (community is also about support, not just gaining knowledge)
  • Let's employers know you are serious (if you keep talking to them throughout your studies, then you will naturally stand out when they are looking to hire interns for example)
  • Helps you with developing 'Soft Skills' such as communication skills and working with others
     

7/ The MASSIVE Cost Savings! - See above :-)



Orrin also emphasised that by joining you aren't under any obligation to complete any ACCA training, but that Accelarete opens up the possibility at no cost, and at no risk to the student.

So, that even if you choose to go the CIMA route for example (where LSBM have also negotiated exemptions from 7 CIMA papers), there is no issue.

Orrin is a representative of ACCA, so is clearly biased! But he did say that he felt that the main benefits of an ACCA qualification over their main rivals (such as ICAEW and CIMA) are broadly that he felt the ACCA is more global, flexible and offers more scope to service a broader spectrum of industries.

Naturally, if you asked ICAEW and CIMA they may refute that and could no doubt come up with benefits of their own!

But the key takeaway is that being a member of ACCA Accelerate does not in anyway restrict your career options. It simply gives you more resources, more opportunities and someone else (LSBM!) picks up the bill.
 

So being actively involved is the proverbial no-brainer.

If you did have any questions about the scheme you can contact Usha Mistry on usha.mistry@lsbm.ac.uk or Orrin Thomas directly at orrin.thomas@accaglobal.com. (Please include your full name, your LSBM course and year of study in any communications so that they can identify where you are studying and who you are, so that help can be more swiftly offered).

 

Finally, a few thanks...


Thanks to Orrin for coming back to talk to our students, thanks to the student helpers from the accounting society for helping out, Usha for getting Orrin back to talk to us,  and Cal Courtney, Director, Student Engagement, Wellbeing and Success for filling in time informing everyone about the benefits of getting on-board with our Peer Assisted Learning Programme (PAL) while Orrin was running a few minutes late!

Thanks to everyone who came along and we look forward to seeing you at the next Lighthouse Event!

As always, you can see details of all future Lighthouse Events both on the Lighthouse and LSBM Events pages.

 

Stuart Brown
Media and Content Manager

 

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