Accounting Career Advice Please?

So, I am after some advice and guidance.

I have recently started working for a company as their business manager. Its a small company and I manage everything day-to-day from marketing, invoicing, HR, H&S, finance and forecasting… If you can name it, I more then likely have a finger in it.

I love doing it but I really enjoy the financial side of the business and have at many times in my career thought about becoming an accountant. Personally, I think that management accounting is better suited for my skill set and interest and like the idea of working for a company and driving their financial strategies and forecasts rather than the traditional route of financial accounting and looking into the past.

A bit more about me, I am 25, I did not go to university (when I had the option, I did not think it was right for me at the time, I learn and retain information far better by doing the job and have a far more pragmatic approach rather then theoretical.). I instead completed an apprenticeship. I am also married and we are looking to start a family soon and we live by ourselves.

I have been looking at different ways to become a Chartered Accountant and came across the CIMA FLP, I thought that it had everything that I needed as it is designed for people who are working in the job, is more flexible for someone that has a full time occupation, but it also has the option to choose the premium subscription for class based learning (something I think would benefit me). However, the large cost and the fact that it must be paid in full has put a rain cloud over my plans.

As I said earlier, I work for a company that is still small and therefore does not have lots of free cash to put me through a course, and even if they did, I would imagine there would be a clause keeping me with the company for a set amount of time after I complete the course so they see ROI (I deal with all the employment stuff anyway, I know I would put that clause in there if the shoe was on the other foot).

I have also looked into AAT and ACCA, the AAT seems good as they are courses that are smaller and cheaper but in my opinion they are geared more towards the traditional financial accounting routes. However, as I said earlier, I have no recognised accounting qualifications or even a degree and would need to start at the bottom.

I would appreciate any advice from anyone that may have felt them same/been in the same position or anyone who has any alternative routes for me to look into.

Thanks all in advance for reading.

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