What skills have you developed by studying the ACA qualification?
The ACA qualification is designed to ensure students foster a range of skills from teamwork to communication. In particular, one of the key skills I have developed is problem solving. Often work may not progress in the direction originally planned, therefore it is important to be able to design efficient and effective solutions to ensure the work is completed to a high standard and within budget. Since every problem you may encounter at work is specifically unique to the client, I have learnt the importance of using techniques such as discussion, research and brainstorming to generate options and design new creative solutions.
Why should more students consider the apprenticeship route to chartered accountancy?
Real world experience is essential in any job role but particularly in accounting. You can learn masses of technical knowledge through studying and exams, however it’s your ability to apply that information to real life scenarios that makes you as a potential employee desirable to employers. For me, the practical experience I have gained through my apprenticeship has made the content I am learning not only more interesting, but also so much easier to understand.
What do you really love about what you do?
What I love about my role is that it can be so rewarding, for numerous reasons. Firstly, every exam that I successfully pass feels like such an achievement as it means I am one step closer to becoming a qualified chartered accountant. I also find that the practical work itself can be so rewarding, whether that involves assisting a client with a query, solving a complex problem or turning businesses data into meaningful information.
Is there more to chartered accountancy roles than you originally thought?
The role as a chartered accountant is far more diverse than I ever anticipated. I went into the role with the belief that each day I would be “number crunching” to produce financial statements. Little did I know, my apprenticeship would be able to provide me with the opportunity to engage in a vast array of work, from accounts, to assurance, tax and bookkeeping work. As a result, my day to day work is always so varied, which for me, makes the role far more engaging.
My advice to school leavers
My advice to any school leaver would be to do your research. The ACA qualification opens windows of career opportunities, in numerous industries. By doing your research, you will be able to find a role and a firm that is perfectly suited to you. This is so important because the apprenticeship itself is hard work. Therefore, if you can find a role you love, you will ensure success.