Archives For PER

Your workplace mentor will play an important role in helping you to achieve ACCA membership. Not only will they be responsible for signing off the experience you have gained and recorded in My Experience, they should also support you in planning, achieving, and recording the experience required to become an ACCA member.

1. Who should be your workplace mentor?

Ideally, a workplace mentor should also be in a position to influence your access to experience. They should, wherever possible, be able to provide you with opportunities to gain relevant experience so that you can achieve your performance objectives. This may be through secondments, job swaps, or project work.

2. What if there isn’t anyone who can be your workplace mentor?

In most cases, your line manager should be able to fulfil that role. However, if your line manager isn’t a qualified accountant there might be another suitably-qualified person who you work with – either someone in another department or more senior in the organisation. It may be that your organisation’s auditor has knowledge of your work and is able to sign-off your experience.

3. More than one mentor?

It’s possible that you may have more than one workplace mentor, with different people planning, supporting, and reviewing different objectives. This might be the case if your experience is gained in more than one department or with more than one employer. Remember that experience in any sector – part-time or voluntary roles – may contribute to your practical experience requirements, as long as it’s in a relevant accounting or accounting-related role.

4. How to approach someone to be your workplace mentor

In order for the mentoring relationship to work, it’s essential that your workplace mentor is interested, willing, and committed. How you approach a potential workplace mentor can help to influence this.

A successful mentoring relationship is most likely to be achieved when both parties clearly understand the objectives and benefits of the process. An individual is more likely to agree to be your workplace mentor if you can specify what you require from them as a mentor. Consider the following before approaching a potential workplace mentor:

  • Plan what you are going to say and be clear about your key points. You will come across as more professional and more likely to get the support you want.
  • Be clear about what role you want them to play – do you want them to oversee all your practical experience or just specific performance objectives?
  • Be confident in the benefits your workplace mentor will receive. Sell the role to them by explaining what’s in it for them and why they should support you.

by ACCA

If you are waiting for exam results or are waiting to start studying for your next exams, why not take this time to think about your practical experience requirements (PER). Here are answers to some of the most common misconceptions held by students who talk to ACCA Connect about PER.

1. ‘All I need to do to achieve a performance objective is to tick the right box’

You must demonstrate your competence with each performance objective by answering a series of three challenge questions – to which there are no right or wrong answers (it depends entirely on your individual experience). These must be reviewed and signed off by your workplace mentor before counting towards your PER. It’s your workplace mentor who decides when you have achieved the performance objective – not you.

2. ‘I won’t need to prove experience when I’ve passed all my exams, I’ll be an ACCA member’

Exams are only half the story. By completing your PER, you demonstrate you have applied the knowledge gained through your studies in the workplace – exercising your judgment and identifying areas for future improvement, all key factors in your development as a rounded professional. Don’t forget you need to complete the Professional Ethics module too. Exams, experience and ethics are all needed to attain ACCA membership and use the letters after your name.

3. ‘I can only use permanent jobs to count towards my 36 months of work experience’

If your job includes only a small amount of accountancy and finance work, it can count, as long as you pro rata the time spent on these activities. Also, the experience gained doesn’t have to be in a single role or in one continuous period – experience can be gained in part-time roles, secondments, job rotations, project work or undertaking new responsibilities.

4. ‘Whoever I am working for can sign off my performance objectives – even if I achieved them in a previous job’

Whoever is your workplace mentor at the time you undertake the work must sign off the performance objective you are claiming for. So you may well have more than one mentor signing off as you progress towards completion – for instance, if you’re promoted, switch teams or change employer, or if you’re temping.

5. ‘I don’t need to do my PER’

Employers value the ACCA Qualification exams – but without relevant practical experience, you’ll be at a disadvantage compared with those who have passed their exams but continue to work towards achieving ACCA membership. Start identifying or asking for opportunities to achieve your performance objectives right away.

You can update any practical experience you have gained through myACCA.

Behind the numbers

soramsey —  15 January 2014 — 5 Comments

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by ACCA student blogger Adhitya Fadriansyah

Halo everyone, how were the December exams? I wish you all the best of luck and hope we all passed with flying colours.

Taking the ACCA Qualification while working does require extra effort, especially in terms of time management, but I found it advantageous since it gives me the opportunity to apply what I’ve learned directly in a real life office environment.

Theories in the exam papers give me an idea of how to challenge the existing processes and seek areas of opportunity to increase effectiveness and efficiency. In the past five years, I have progressed through five different positions within the finance department and particularly found the ACCA syllabus theory in financial management, performance management, and financial reporting very useful for my career development.

On my current assignment, I do a lot of evaluation of investment opportunities. Therefore the theory on cash flow, NPV (Net Present Value) and IRR (Internal Rate of Return) from the Financial Management paper helped me a lot in doing my job. Especially in providing management with the options and information required to make well-informed business decisions.

On my previous assignment, I dealt with capital budgeting and cost control – this is where the Performance Management – exam paper F5 comes in handy. The Financial Accounting – F3 exam paper gives me the fundamental knowledge of how the transactions end up in the financial statements. Accounting is not only about the numbers – it’s also about what lies behind the transaction and how that is reported to the users (investors, managers, owners, government and others) – substance over form.

If you think professional certification is only about the exams, you are incorrect – there’s actually much more to it than meets the eye. The three components; Exams, a Professional Ethics module and Practical Experience Requirements are established to better equip us in becoming fully-fledged accountants.

One of the requirements to achieve the ACCA Qualification is to achieve 13 out of 20 Performance Objectives. The Options objective gives you the technical competence while the Essentials objectives are intended to equip you with the right attitude to excel at your job.

Consider yourself building a house – the exams stand as the foundation, the Professional Ethics module as the location and the Practical Experience Requirement (PER) as the furniture.  Our house wouldn’t be complete if we miss any one of the components, and the same goes for our careers.

So what are you waiting for? Start to build your dream house by successfully completing the ACCA Qualification.

by ACCA student blogger Hafeez Adeboye

I started my ACCA journey four years ago. Since then, I have grown a monster-sized set of proficiencies, skills and competencies in accountancy, especially in the area of audit and assurance. Because of it, I was able to secure a Chief Audit Executive (Group Head, internal audit department) role where I work.

I emerged the most favourable candidate for the job because I had demonstrated the ethics, governance, audit and assurance knowledge I acquired in ACCA exam F8 (I attempted the paper twice before succeeding at it the third time) while I was as an assistant to the CFO in the finance and accounts department. I now look forward to taking exam paper P7 and am excited by the possibility of passing it first attempt.

I changed employment last month, moving to a more senior role in my new place of work. My job function requires competency in ethics, professionalism and corporate governance. Exam F8 has provided me the platform needed to achieve my deliverables as a Chief Audit Executive (although I had to take other relevant qualifications too).

Applying theory in the work place could be a daunting task, largely due to human behaviours, work place structure and management control overriding potential action. It is the reason why emotional intelligence is important to the success of an audit practitioner, and of course possessing a discerning mind, especially in this part of the world (Nigeria and by extension the rest of Africa). My slogan is “changing them all, one standard at a time”. I just have to remain resilient.

Part of achieving ACCA membership is Practical Experience Requirement (working in a relevant role and meeting performance objectives within that role) I have recorded achievement of 9 out of 9 Essentials and 7 out of 4 Options in my Performance Objectives (ACCA students are required to achieve any 4 from 11 Options in their Practical Experience Requirement).

It is my hope that I have passed across essential information to students out there to help them excel, as I did in my career.

Catch you all for my next blog post.

 

By ACCA student blogger Diksha Jeswani

The best thing about studying the ACCA Qualification is its accessibility. The fact that it can be pursued anywhere in the world makes it an attractive qualification for students. But as there are so many tuition providers around the world, it’s sometimes difficult to judge who you should study with, which is where ACCA’s Approved Learning Partners (ALPs) scheme steps in.

I study with an ACCA Approved Learning Partner in the UAE – and the best part of it is the support that they extend to their students. Topics are explained with clarity, which really helps, not only in relation to approaching exam questions with confidence, but also in terms of applying knowledge to workplace scenarios and so helping us to fulfill our Practical Experience Requirements (PER) objectives. By using examples and posing problems from real life scenarios, our tutors manage to effectively bridge the gap between theoretical knowledge and practical application.

Another advantage of studying at my Approved Learning Partner (ALP) is that they keep me on track with my study goals. They advise on what stage of preparation I should be at, by what time.  They also create an environment conducive to study by offering good facilities. My ALP has a comprehensive library, classrooms free for when we need a place to study and high quality tuition that helps us understand even difficult areas of the syllabus.

My experience with my ACCA tutors has been really positive. They have helped me pass all my exam papers first time by always giving me extra time and guidance if there is something I don’t understand.

It’s been a great experience interacting with fellow students from similar backgrounds. My classmates have helped me learn from their experiences and I find it really useful to discuss any questions I have from our classes with them. I feel my peers have positively contributed my personal and professional growth.

All in all, I would definitely advise my fellow students to study with an Approved Learning Partner for a quality learning experience. You can search the tuition provider directory on the ACCA website to find one in your country.