We caught up with Emily to discuss her ACCA journey at First Intuition, how it feels to be a Global Prize Winner, and what the future holds for her career in accountancy and finance qualification.
So Emily, please could you tell us a little bit about your background and why you chose to study accountancy. Was there anything that triggered your decision? Can you explain why you chose ACCA?
After leaving sixth form, I knew I wanted to pursue a rewarding career whilst continuing to study. Having looked at different industries/business sectors, I decided accountancy would suit me the most. After completing my A-Levels in 2015, I applied to one of my local accountancy firms, Whiting & Partners, where I started my role as a Trainee Tax Technician at their office in Bury St Edmunds. I started my studies with the AAT, as I didn’t have any accounting experience. My employer supported me studying levels 3 & 4 of AAT whilst working in my firm’s tax department. I then transferred over to our General Practice team, preparing payrolls, management accounts and year-end accounts for a variety of clients.
I chose the ACCA qualification because it flows nicely after AAT. The ACCA have also partnered up with Oxford Brookes, meaning I can do the BSc in Applied Accounting which appeals to me after my ACCA exams.
Tell us a bit about your studies. Did you find anything particularly hard? Did you have any challenges that you had to overcome?
I found learning all the different types of tax such as IHT, Income Tax, Capital Gains Tax particularly challenging. Especially being able to incorporate these into individual questions. However, my tutor, Ali Ryder, taught me how to break questions down and use different methods for remembering trickier areas of the syllabus. All the lecturers are really supportive and you are able to contact them via phone/email outside of class too.
Yes, the different types of tax can often catch students out! What advice would you give to anyone thinking of starting their studies in accountancy?
Starting accountancy studies can be quite a daunting process, but it’s really helpful working with a tuition provider such as First Intuition who are really supportive and available for one-on-one assistance.
Thank you, that’s great to hear. So, congratulations on becoming a Global Prize Winner! Were you surprised? Were you hoping to become a global prize winner?
I’m very surprised! I can’t believe I’m a Global Prize Winner! Never even dreamed that I would be able to achieve it! I was shocked when I received my result showing 90%, but even more shocked a couple of days later to see my Prize Winner email!
I bet! It’s a fantastic achievement, well done! What do you think it takes to become a global prize winner?
I think to become a GPW you have to really put in the hard work. Question practice is key with the ATX exam and it takes a lot of determination and commitment to achieve!
We totally agree. Can you pick out any highlights from the ATX course? What did you like the most about it?
The course is quite intense – there’s a lot of content and different areas to the syllabus. I really liked how my tutor, Des Hanna, broke the course down so that I could gradually build on my knowledge. I was shown how to approach different exam-style questions in a methodical manner.
So, what are your plans for the future?
I hope to complete my ACCA at the end of this year/beginning of next year. I only have two exams left, so this should be achievable. Hopefully, with the support of First Intuition, I would like to undergo the BSc Applied Accounting with Oxford Brookes. In terms of my career, I hope to pursue a managerial role where I can manage a portfolio of clients. It would also be nice to have a team of trainees I can offer study support to during their qualifications.
This all sounds very exciting, we wish you all the best with your remaining exams and for your future! Is there anything else you’d like to mention?
I’d like to say a big thank you to all of the support I have received throughout my studies from my FI lecturers and my employer, Whiting & Partners.
Thanks Emily, you have been a pleasure to have as an FI student and we’re incredibly proud of what you have achieved!
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