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My ACA experience: Jonathan

Although interested in finance, Jonathan was still undecided which career path to take when he was at university. After researching the various options he chose to study the ACA because it wasn’t focused on number crunching, but on offering advice to businesses. After training at a smaller accountancy firm, he suggests that they offer opportunities to gain a wide range of experience, that might take longer at a larger company.

Jonathan Gold, ACA Student, Bright Grahame Murray

Jonathan Gold Bright Grahame Murray

ICAEW route: Non-finance degree

Industry: Various

Location: UK

Jonathan's story...

I have always been passionate about business and finance, but while I was studying at University of Birmingham I was still unsure about what direction I wanted my career to go in.

I decided to research accountancy further and I was attracted to the countless positive testimonies that supported the ACA and the success that follows. One thing that they all tended to focus around was that accounting is not just number crunching and more acting as a business advisor.

Possessing a university degree is no longer a benchmark for academic excellence and the ACA qualification offers longevity in terms of skills and employability.

I now work at Bright Grahame Murray (BGM), a medium-sized firm and I have been able to gain an insight into a number of different sectors, from property firms to high profile entertainers.

The diverse client base really helps to build genuine commercial awareness and with weekly duties comprising of accounting, audit and tax, I have gained a great breadth of experience which may have taken longer to get at a large firm.

Smaller firms tend to give greater responsibility from an earlier stage and as a result I have worked on all aspects of an audit, as well as having the opportunity to work more closely with clients.

Regularly processing detailed sets of figures has helped improve my analytical skills and attention to detail. This really comes in useful with the management of my own finances and with my career in general as being numerically comfortable is invaluable to many roles within a business

My biggest challenge so far studying the ACA; has been the initial learning curve as it requires a lot of effort to get to a stage where you feel comfortable with the material.

However, it isn’t difficult to find the necessary motivation as you can really see the value to the information that you are studying. 

The element of the job that appeals to me most is that there is no prospect of monotony or sense of routine; every day brings its own unique challenges. 

The fact that I am not limited to working for one department means I am constantly learning and developing. As each client requires some form of tailored approach it means there is significant job satisfaction from performing a real value-adding job. 

I am yet to encounter anyone who’s regretted choosing to study towards the ACA. Regardless of whether or not you want stay in accountancy long term, the versatile nature of the skills and knowledge that you develop, really make you an asset to all industries.


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