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My ACA experience: Chloe

I completed the AAT qualification in a year and a half, which gave me good grounding to start the ACA. I got credit for prior learning, meaning I had four less exams to sit.

Chloe Eldridge

Chloe EtheridgeSaffery Champness

Location: Bournemouth

Chloe's story...

What route did you choose?

I finished my A-levels and wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do, and I didn’t want to commit financially to a university degree. I looked into accountancy as it’s a profession you can enter without having a degree.

I went straight in to work at 18 and got an apprenticeship to do the AAT qualification with a small local accountancy firm. I completed that in a year and a half and that gave me a good grounding to start the ACA. I got four exemptions from this.

I don’t feel I was at a disadvantage compared to the graduates, as the fact I had already been working put me at a good level.

How did this particular route benefit you?

When the opportunity came up to work for Saffery Champness I thought it would offer opportunities for the future and that I could get support from them through the ACA process, so I just went for it.

The work experience has really helped me in my exams as I can apply real life situations I have encountered to the questions. With exams like Financial Accounting and Reporting and Audit and Assurance, I can apply what I’ve read to work because I work in the audit department, but also apply what I’ve been doing at work to the exams.

What are your future ambitions?

I just want to finish the qualification initially. I’ve got two exams and the Case Study left to go, so that is my number one goal at the moment. I love what I’m doing; hopefully I can eventually reach audit partner level. After that, I don’t really know, maybe I’d become an executive in the City.

That is the thing; the qualification opens so many doors. I don’t really have a dream as such. It may not sound very exciting but I really  enjoy my job. People expect the profession to be boring, but because I work in audit I get to work on so many different things that it keeps it exciting.

How do you structure your time?

My secret is to take time off! I think little and often with the revision.

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