Professional Qualifications

The Progression Playbook Recommends: Professional qualification resources

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I have completed the Associated Chartered Accounting (ACA) qualification in the UK and passed the CFA Level 1 Exam. With that in mind, please find below my recommendations for these qualifications:

ACA qualification


When I undertook the ACA qualifications, I was sponsored by my employer at the time but my experience with the BPP tuition provider was excellent. Some of the teachers I had for certain modules were up there with the best I’ve ever experienced.



As the ACA exams are now done via online software, a physical calculator is not required for the exams. However, a functional calculator is a good idea for the learning and revision phases and my recommendation is below. This calculator has the financial functions built in which is useful for checking your work in modules such as ‘Financial Management’ which contains a lot of working out future and present values. It’s expensive but if it makes it more likely you will pass ACA exams on the first attempt, it’s well worth the cost in my view.

Link: (aff)

My blog posts on the ACA qualification

  1. ACA, ACCA and CIMA – what’s the difference?
  2. How hard are the 15 ACA qualification exams? Exams ranked by difficulty
  3. Learn DEAD CLIC to quickly master double entry Accounting (Essential reading prior to starting the ACA!)
  4. Everything you need to know to learn accounting step-by-step in 1 hour

CFA qualification

Mark Meldrum

For any topics I struggled to understand during my studying of CFA Level 1, I turned to Mark Meldrum on Youtube for guidance. He explains complex topics in a way which makes them easy to understand. Mark now offers full courses for all three levels of CFA which I have been told are excellent.




When I studied CFA Level 1, I didn’t purchase a classroom course but rather an at-home study pack. I found the Schweser resources reasonably priced, helpful and thorough.



As part of the CFA qualification, you will need a financial calculator. A choice of two is permissible under the CFA institute guidance. I preferred the Texas BA II model which I found easy to use and get to grips with.

Link: (aff)

My blog posts on the CFA qualification

  1. Is it worth doing the CFA after CA / ACCA / ACA / CPA qualifications?
  2. CFA Level 1 – how long you need to study for in order to pass