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My ACA experience: Emma

Emma discovered that she could start working towards a career in finance after her A levels by completing the AAT while working at a local accountancy firm. She then went on to study the ACA and now, as a qualified Chartered Accountant, she leads teams going into client organisations to perform their annual audits.

Emma Fitzpatrick, Audit Associate, Cooper Parry Group

Emma Fitzpatrick Audit Associate, Cooper Parry Group Ltd

ICAEW route: AAT-ACA Fast Track

Industry: Audit and assurance

Location: UK, Ipswich

Emma's story...

Throughout school I was unsure of the career path I wanted to take.

It was only after further research into possible careers after finishing my A levels and deciding that I didn’t want to go to University that I came across the AAT qualification.

I contacted a local accountant for further information and found out what accountancy was really about. The combination of maths and understanding more about businesses really appealed to me.

After completing my AAT, I chose to progress onto the ACA qualification because it is so widely respected and I could undertake the qualification while learning on the job.

I qualified as an ICAEW Chartered Accountant last year and am now working towards an Assistant Manager position.

One of my highlights so far was being named on the order of merit for my Financial Accounting exam and attending the prize giving ceremony at Chartered Accountants’ Hall.

I have been working at Cooper Parry for six years now and am currently an Audit Associate. I typically lead a team of between two and five people at the client’s premises. We undertake their annual audit, while understanding their businesses and aiming to add value to the client where ever possible.

My most challenging moments in the job so far have been assisting a client with a group debt reorganisation, managing their expectations and having a difficult conversation with a team member who had underperformed. Both were extremely worthwhile – the client was very grateful for the help and the team member was able use the feedback to develop and improve

Overall, the ACA has given me a great grounding in learning to understand how businesses function. It’s not just about learning historic information of the actual financial results, but also how you can help to grow and assist a business in the future.

I have developed so many skills as a result of the ACA training, from general accounting, organisation and time management skills, through to managing a team and giving feedback.

Find your route

There are a number of different routes to becoming an ICAEW Chartered Accountant. You can start your journey straight from school, while you're at university or after you have graduated. Find out which route is right for you.

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