So Natalie, many congratulations on achieving your ACCA and Oxford Brookes BSc (hons) degree. Can you tell us what made you start studying accountancy in the first place?
I fell into accountancy, whilst studying for my A’ Levels. At school, I never really knew what I wanted to do but found an office job, working as an Accounts Assistant. In my new role, I started to learn from the very beginning and began my AAT qualification. At this point, I knew I wanted to continue studying further. It’s a great achievement when you pass an exam, knowing how hard you’ve studied and revised. This motivated me to keep going.
Why did you then choose to take on the ACCA degree programme?
I always wanted to obtain a degree. After becoming an ACCA member, I wanted to carry on studying but didn’t want to sit any more exams. I felt the degree programme was something that would really suit me, as I could achieve my degree without any more exams. At the same time, it would also help me to develop new skills and fit around my work and being a mum.
Can you explain a little about what’s involved in completing this qualification?
The BSc is a research and development report, along with a skills statement. Once you’ve chosen a topic, the research can begin and much of the required work is about researching data and analysing it. This is crucial to starting the report, as you need to make sure there is enough information to produce your report but not too much, so that you can keep it concise. The resulting report includes your findings and conclusions on the data. There is then a Skills and Learning statement, which is a reflection on how you feel the report went. I found this part the hardest, as self-reflection is not my strong point.
What do you think the benefits of completing this qualification?
Aside from achieving a degree in Applied Accounting, there are so many benefits to completing the qualification. It’s recognised worldwide which is a real asset to your C.V but it also develops new and existing skills. In comparison to obtaining a degree through the traditional route, the low cost is also a huge plus.
How do you think studying for your BSc has helped you or will go on to help you in your career?
I think that as this is a worldwide qualification, it will really help my career. In combination with the ACCA, it shows that I’ve gained the relevant skills required for certain accountancy roles. I’ve also found that it’s been beneficial in developing my existing skills, as well as some new ones too. You have to give a presentation on your report which developed my confidence, in being able to stand up and talk in front of people. It also helped me to plan how to discuss data findings with people outside of the accountancy industry, who may not necessarily understand industry terms.
My report was on the motivation of employees which helped me to learn lots about what actually motivates people. I got to feedback my research findings to a current client and to help implement changes within the workplace. For me this was a great achievement, as the completion of my report is now helping a client to keep their employees motivated, which in turn leads to them working harder.
How would you describe the support you received from First Intuition Chelmsford in studying for this qualification?
I had great support from my tutor, Rebecca Emson, from start to finish. We had the required mentor meetings, in line with the Oxford Brookes guidelines, but if I had any queries or problems, the support was always there at any time. I needed this to keep me motivated to finish the report. I couldn’t have asked for a more supportive tutor.
Thanks so much for taking the time to discuss this Natalie and many congratulations on a fantastic achievement.
First Intuition Chelmsford offer a full range of ACCA courses, find out more here
To find out more about studying for the ACCA and Oxford Brookes BSc (hons) in Applied Accounting, use the link below.