Introducing ACCA student blogger Elyse Burns-Hill

soramsey —  4 April 2013 — 27 Comments

I have just found out that I am officially part qualified. It’s taken me a while to find myself at this point because I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life when I left university.

My Dad said for years that he could see me being an accountant, but I resisted because I didn’t want a ‘boring office job’. However, I enjoyed maths at school, and being the entrepreneurial type, I find business a very interesting subject. So while I was living in Malta, I realised that pursuing a career in accountancy was a way of gaining a better understanding of business.

I studied exams F1 and F2 by distance learning (so I could learn at my own pace at home rather than attending classroom sessions) and a few short months later received my first two pass marks. Around the same time I was offered a place on a new full-time training course at one of the Big4, which I gladly accepted.

During the following few months I studied and passed the exams for F3 and the Maltese variant F4 (my fellow students were also studying F1 and F2; I was a little ahead). I have to say, learning the Maltese case names was fun as I knew very little Maltese! I have a new found respect for all students who take these exams in a non-mother tongue language.

Due to a relocation to the sunny island of Jersey, I missed an exam sitting. However, studying was soon part of my life again when I started a new job in the audit department of a small (medium by local standards!) firm of chartered accountants that September.

Going from full-time student to full-time employee/part-time student was quite a shift and with the steep learning curve of a new job, it meant that unfortunately I failed F7 the first time I sat it. I learnt my lesson from that and worked harder, so have passed everything since, first time.

I am now one and a half years into my Practical Experience Requirements/PER (3 years’ work experience in a relevant role undertaken either along side or after completing the exams) and just starting my professional level papers. I’ve enjoyed learning all of the material I’ve studied so far, and I’m looking forward to expanding my knowledge and understanding in the coming papers.

Please feel free to ask questions or comment below, I will always reply :)


27 responses to Introducing ACCA student blogger Elyse Burns-Hill

    Saihou sama Drammeh 4 April 2013 at 3:03 pm

    I really like such fascinating points stated


    hello. which professional level paper you are going to sit in this June?

      Elyse Burns-Hill 4 April 2013 at 4:33 pm

      Hi Wong, I’m doing P2 this June. I usually sit two each sitting, but because we are very busy this Audit season, I’ve only really got time to study for one.


    This is interesting.
    So what advice can you give to students to ensure they pass the first time?
    Also, I am currently studying F1, F2 and F3. What tips can you give me?
    Thank you!


      Hi Raynell, thanks for your comment.
      A one word answer to your question would be “practice”. Get every exam style question you can get your hands on and do it. You might find my next post quite interesting… :)


    Intresting. how do u balance in work and studies?

      Elyse Burns-Hill 5 April 2013 at 12:00 pm

      Thanks for your comment Ghareer! You do have to work quite hard to balance the work and study, especially if the work is a full 9-5/6 job. I’ve talked to some other students about how they find it best to balance, and it seems people have different ways of dealing with it. I’ll be writing a whole post on this subject soon, so keep an eye out for it!


    Hi, I’ve just read thru your articles and know about your stories. So, may I ask about the PER ? Part time job in accounting is it included in the 36months ? Plss answer, thanks.
    Let’s put in effort and gain the achievement together. :)


    U are Genius!! and best of luck for your up coming exam.


    i am stuck at skill level.
    i am good student but i don’t know what is happening to me.
    i can not focus.
    i think i should stand up again.


      Hi Muhammad, I know how you feel, I find it difficult to focus sometimes. The trick is to remember why you’re doing it, think about your goals and aims, what you’d like to do with the qualification when you’ve achieved it.

      Where are you having difficulty? Is it in finding the motivation to do the study to pass the exams? or are you studying hard but not achieving the pass mark?


    HI Elyse,
    How are you getting on with P2?

      Elyse Burns-Hill 9 April 2013 at 6:45 pm

      Hey Gabriela, I think I’m finding my way alright with it! I’m probably about a third to half way through the course now, it’s quite nice because a lot of it is familiar from F7, but with a bit more depth. I have a strange relationship with financial reporting, I find it very challenging so I have to work hard at it, but I also quite enjoy it (when I get it right anyway!!)

      Are you studying/have studied P2? How have you found it?


        Hey Elyse,

        I studied P2 last year and just like you, I have a strange relationship with financial reporting as well (difficult but enjoy it – must say P2 is my favorite subject). I am now preparing for my last 2 exams ( P4 and P5 – they are tough so be prepared to study a lot for these two in case you’re considering them).

        Best of luck with all your exams (you’re nearly there as well :) ) and congrats on sharing your story with us.
        If you ever need a bit of advice don’t hesitate to contact me :)



    I am impressed the way you are trying to help the students. I also would like to be a student blogger. Kindly can you tell me the process through which I could request ACCA about my interests in being a student blogger?



      Hi Sameer. I am a member of ACCA’s marketing team and I will respond to your query by email. Kind regards, Sophie


    best of luck for u r p2


    Good work Elyse! indeed it’s very useful.


    How did you find F5?

      Elyse Burns-Hill 22 May 2013 at 1:00 pm

      Actually F5 is my best subject so far, I got about 20% higher score on F5 than I did any other F level exam. How about you?


    I have been part qualified since 2007. I tried to get into accounting but I got frustrated with being turned down on the basis of lack of experience and or being over qualified. That make me question the value of ACCA and I know so many people in the same situation. I have tried every avenue of getting in including registering with voluntary organisation. It is just not happening.

    Now I am contemplating weather to carry on doing the professional papers and just getting it over. The question is if being part qualified is Over- qualification than what is full qualification is?


    Does anybody know that if we work for big4 less than 3 years, do we have to complete the 13 objectives of ACCA? Further explanation for solution is highly appreciated. Cheers – Tommy

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