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  1. #1
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    Accounting Qualification help!

    i am currently an audit trainee in PwC Pakistan. I have done my CA intermediate in pursuance of the CA course of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan.

    I need help regarding other accounting Qualifications. I intend to do CIA which is short for Certified Internal Auditor from the IIA Usa.

    Is it worthwhile to do CIA and will it add value to my CV?

    i intend to settle in UK or Far East after my training. and i would like to join the consultancy/ internal audit field.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by cynical View Post
    Is it worthwhile to do CIA and will it add value to my CV?
    Yes and yes.




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  3. #3
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    Thanks Shehryar Bhai!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by cynical View Post
    i am currently an audit trainee in PwC Pakistan. I have done my CA intermediate in pursuance of the CA course of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan.

    I need help regarding other accounting Qualifications. I intend to do CIA which is short for Certified Internal Auditor from the IIA Usa.

    Is it worthwhile to do CIA and will it add value to my CV?

    i intend to settle in UK or Far East after my training. and i would like to join the consultancy/ internal audit field.
    US qualifications have no standing in the UK when it comes to finance.

    Finance jobs here require you to be a member of a CCAB-recognised body - namely ICAEW, CIMA, ACCA or CIPFA.

    Indeed, even your CA will not allow you to practice in the UK. You will need to sit some conversion exams that are relevant to UK company law.


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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaspa888 View Post
    US qualifications have no standing in the UK when it comes to finance.

    Finance jobs here require you to be a member of a CCAB-recognised body - namely ICAEW, CIMA, ACCA or CIPFA.

    Indeed, even your CA will not allow you to practice in the UK. You will need to sit some conversion exams that are relevant to UK company law.
    Thanks! that helps, Jaspa

    yeah! in order to practice in UK one has to be a member of the local accounting body. The uk company law and tax law and of course the training duration will be suffice to claim the ICAEW membership.

  6. #6
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    Conversion is not that difficult, as it is only 2-3 papers you need to sit.

    If you wish to become a UK auditor, you need to sit specialist AQ qualifications - the US one is irrelevant here.

    Your best bet is to determine your eventual destination first (UK, US or Middle East) and then design your qualification requirements around that location.


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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaspa888 View Post
    US qualifications have no standing in the UK when it comes to finance.

    Finance jobs here require you to be a member of a CCAB-recognised body - namely ICAEW, CIMA, ACCA or CIPFA.

    Indeed, even your CA will not allow you to practice in the UK. You will need to sit some conversion exams that are relevant to UK company law.
    Quote Originally Posted by jaspa888 View Post
    Conversion is not that difficult, as it is only 2-3 papers you need to sit.

    If you wish to become a UK auditor, you need to sit specialist AQ qualifications - the US one is irrelevant here.

    Your best bet is to determine your eventual destination first (UK, US or Middle East) and then design your qualification requirements around that location.
    Bhai he was talking about working in Internal Audit.

    Your posts are talking working as an External Auditor or working in public practice and signing off on accounts!! Very different things. He said he wants a career in consultancy and/or internal audit - hence your remarks, whilst true, may not apply in his case? If they do, then my apologies.


    If the OP wishes to work in Internal Audit, that means either in the Internal Audit department of a Corporate or in the 'outsourced' internal audit and Business Risk consultancy type departments in Big 4 and other professional services firms.


    For both of that, the CIA from the US is indeed a very valid and valuable qualification in the UK and elsewhere. I have come across many Pakistani CAs working in these departments at Big Four firms.

    However, my suggestion to you would be that the CIA alone may not be sufficient - you will normally need some other US or UK qualification too, eg the CPA ideally or maybe the ACCA. Many US CPAs work in London Big Four departments and UK Corporates, no issues with that either. As long as you are not signing off on accounts etc, you don't need to convert to UK qualifications.
    Last edited by ShehryarK; 30th November 2010 at 11:51.




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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShehryarK View Post
    Bhai he was talking about working in Internal Audit.

    Your posts are talking working as an External Auditor or working in public practice and signing off on accounts!! Very different things. He said he wants a career in consultancy and/or internal audit - hence your remarks, whilst true, may not apply in his case? If they do, then my apologies.


    If the OP wishes to work in Internal Audit, that means either in the Internal Audit department of a Corporate or in the 'outsourced' internal audit and Business Risk consultancy type departments in Big 4 and other professional services firms.


    For both of that, the CIA from the US is indeed a very valid and valuable qualification in the UK and elsewhere. I have come across many Pakistani CAs working in these departments at Big Four firms.

    However, my suggestion to you would be that the CIA alone may not be sufficient - you will normally need some other US or UK qualification too, eg the CPA ideally or maybe the ACCA. Many US CPAs work in London Big Four departments and UK Corporates, no issues with that either. As long as you are not signing off on accounts etc, you don't need to convert to UK qualifications.
    You are correct in that he may get a job with a Big Four, but only as a contractor on a fixed contract.

    I know from personal experience that the Big Four tend not to hire anyone without a UK-CCAB qualification - especially in an employer's market that we currently have, where they can afford to be choosy..


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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaspa888 View Post
    You are correct in that he may get a job with a Big Four, but only as a contractor on a fixed contract.

    I know from personal experience that the Big Four tend not to hire anyone without a UK-CCAB qualification
    I worked for many years in a leading UK Big four in London and my experience of hiring experienced hires is different to yours, so I guess maybe there isn't one right or wrong answer.




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  10. #10
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    Shehryar Bhai, Do you still work in accountancy and what route did you take to become one?

    Which is the best route for the British students living in UK to become a chartered accountant?

    What is the salary like outside London?
    what type of departments are there in accountancy that a chartered accountant can specialise e.g. tax, audit, finance etc...

    How hard are the ACCA, ICAEW exams compared to University exams?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by defender View Post
    Shehryar Bhai, Do you still work in accountancy
    Nope, I don't.
    Quote Originally Posted by defender View Post
    what route did you take to become one?
    Degree and then ICAEW at a big four.
    Quote Originally Posted by defender View Post
    Which is the best route for the British students living in UK to become a chartered accountant?
    Depends which institute - each have their own rules / routes etc. ICAEW, ACCA, CIMA, etc
    Quote Originally Posted by defender View Post
    What is the salary like outside London?
    There are some very good surveys on this done regularly - depends on number of years of experience and type of career one goes for. Do have a look onlin and google etc.
    Quote Originally Posted by defender View Post
    what type of departments are there in accountancy that a chartered accountant can specialise e.g. tax, audit, finance etc...
    Audit / financial reporting / tax / consultancy / internal audit / corporate finance / M&A etc / management reporting & control, etc etc. There are a LOT of specialisations, depending on what you like. More interestingly, can also work in a number of other fields and areas which are not directly related to accountancy.
    Quote Originally Posted by defender View Post
    How hard are the ACCA, ICAEW exams compared to University exams?
    They were quite straight forward enough.
    Last edited by ShehryarK; 30th November 2010 at 14:49.




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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShehryarK View Post
    Nope, I don't. Degree and then ICAEW at a big four.
    Depends which institute - each have their own rules / routes etc. ICAEW, ACCA, CIMA, etc
    There are some very good surveys on this done regularly - depends on number of years of experience and type of career one goes for. Do have a look onlin and google etc.
    Audit / financial reporting / tax / consultancy / internal audit / corporate finance / M&A etc / management reporting & control, etc etc. There are a LOT of specialisations, depending on what you like. More interestingly, can also work in a number of other fields and areas which are not directly related to accountancy.
    They were quite straight forward enough.
    Thanks, it helps when you get the info from an experience man

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShehryarK View Post
    I worked for many years in a leading UK Big four in London and my experience of hiring experienced hires is different to yours, so I guess maybe there isn't one right or wrong answer.
    Agreed mate. Different horses for different courses...

    I think the present downturn in economic conditions may actually help foreign candidates, but only if they already have the pre-requisite experience. In the current market, I have found experience to be more valuable as a commodity than qualifications, and where the candidate has originated from.


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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaspa888 View Post
    I think the present downturn in economic conditions may actually help foreign candidates, but only if they already have the pre-requisite experience. In the current market, I have found experience to be more valuable as a commodity than qualifications, and where the candidate has originated from.
    Precisely. To be honest, this was my conclusion of how things worked even 6 or 8 years ago, at least in London - ie not just a recent phenomenon after the economic crisis hit, IMHO.




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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShehryarK View Post
    Precisely. To be honest, this was my conclusion of how things worked even 6 or 8 years ago, at least in London - ie not just a recent phenomenon after the economic crisis hit, IMHO.
    I was working in London from 1999-2007, and found it to be the opposite.

    In boom times, companies tend to invest for the future (i.e. invest in and train up the indigenous population), but in downturns they look to the present and will employ anyone who can do the job with minimal supervision and training.

    I think Finance is a different proposition to most industries too. Because of legistative and regulatory concerns, corporate ar5e-covering managers want someone CCAB-qualified to indemnify themselves if something goes wrong, i.e. providing a layer of protection.


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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShehryarK View Post
    However, my suggestion to you would be that the CIA alone may not be sufficient - you will normally need some other US or UK qualification too, eg the CPA ideally or maybe the ACCA. Many US CPAs work in London Big Four departments and UK Corporates, no issues with that either. As long as you are not signing off on accounts etc, you don't need to convert to UK qualifications.
    Thanks shehryar bhai for replying in detail!

    How about doing ICAEW? As things stand now, Pakistani CAs will have to give only 3 papers in order to become an ICAEW member.
    Last edited by cynical; 30th November 2010 at 19:40.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaspa888 View Post
    Agreed mate. Different horses for different courses...

    I think the present downturn in economic conditions may actually help foreign candidates, but only if they already have the pre-requisite experience. In the current market, I have found experience to be more valuable as a commodity than qualifications, and where the candidate has originated from.
    Thanks for your valuable input!

    how helpful (in order to land a job in uk) is the experience gained from big 4 firms based in pakistan? I am currently on rotation in my firm. For 6 months i get to do Basel and internal audit stuff and the other 6 months is audit and assurance.

    from what i've seen seniors in my firm usually end up in the middle east. Only few get in to the UK firms.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by cynical View Post
    Thanks for your valuable input!

    how helpful (in order to land a job in uk) is the experience gained from big 4 firms based in pakistan? I am currently on rotation in my firm. For 6 months i get to do Basel and internal audit stuff and the other 6 months is audit and assurance.

    from what i've seen seniors in my firm usually end up in the middle east. Only few get in to the UK firms.
    Your Big Four experience would certainly be transferable in the UK. The quality training will be excellent, as would the type of blue-chip clients you would be dealing with.

    It may be controversial, but my friend - who was the UK Training Partner for a Big Four firm - considers there to be a bias against Muslim candidates in the UK. And he is Jewish!

    I would say that ICAEW would be a great qualification to get, because there is still a feeling (snobbery?) in the UK that this is the premier accounting qualification. It would certainly make you more marketable.


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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by cynical View Post
    How about doing ICAEW? As things stand now, Pakistani CAs will have to give only 3 papers in order to become an ICAEW member.
    Definitely worth getting if you can, and the premier qualification in the UK.




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  20. #20
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    SK Bhai, if you don't mind me asking are you auditor?

    Also did you do Masters after degree or you just went into ICAEW?

    PS: Answer only if you are comfortable otherwise its fine.

    JazakAllah Khair


  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cover Drive View Post
    SK Bhai, if you don't mind me asking are you auditor?
    No way! Am not, sorry.




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