by ACCA student blogger Mike Tye
I’ve found that studying ACCA has not only taught me a tremendous amount about Accounting and Finance, but it has helped me in my general work life – and personal life, for that matter.
Firstly, the audit part (F8) to ACCA has made me look at the majority of my work with a more ‘professionally sceptic’ approach and has been passed onto my colleagues. Even though I’m not in an audit role, I enjoy explaining to colleagues just why they have to do that seemingly pointless extra bit of paperwork which in turn, helps them to understand why it’s needed and also, how to do it in a better way. One specific area was writing out cash receipts, I was able to explain how everything in business needs to be on record and how signing that cash receipt was part of the overall paper trail.
I genuinely do enjoy being able to help my colleagues and friends when it comes to things that they don’t understand, for instance one guy had an annoying habit where he could never remember which way round gross and net amounts were, until one day I just drew a simple picture on our whiteboard showing a fishing net beneath a box saying ‘commission’. This made him realise that the net was the amount after other discounts have been applied. He’s never forgotten since.
Learning about Corporate & Business Law in F4 was a huge help, topics such as ‘offers have to be specific’ (Guynthing Vs Lynn, and no I didn’t have to look that up!) help me when I’m reading through contracts, I really get down to the nitty gritty (the detail) because I don’t want it to become an issue in the future after I or someone at the company has signed it.
How this extends to my personal life is, any plans I make with friends are always quite specific so that we don’t get mixed up and end up ruining those plans because of silly things like wrong timings.
The cash flow forecasting you learn in exam F9, again applies to my, and I believe should apply to everyone’s, personal life. If you know that you’ll have a big bill to pay in the near future, preparing for it now is the best way to go about it. Christmas, a major expense for a lot of people, comes around every year. So I can quite happily just plan out roughly what I’ll need and effectively save up for it throughout the year.
Obviously my own personal cash flow doesn’t go into as much detail as the exam papers would. I certainly wouldn’t go as far as doing discounted cash flows, but a little bit of planning can go a long way!