Archives For Practical experience

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!

Behind the numbers

soramsey —  15 January 2014 — 5 Comments

Image

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.

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 :)