There is no secret formula to achieving ICAEW prizewinner status. However, we asked Thomas to share his study technique with aspiring prizewinners, and his best advice for new accountancy students.
Congratulations on becoming an ICAEW prizewinner. What made you choose a career in Accountancy? Was there anything that triggered your decision?
“In 2016, I started working at FTI Consulting in the Economic and Financial Consulting (EFC) division after studying economics at Oxford and the LSE. We mainly work on business valuation in contentious settings; such as litigation and international arbitration. The partners at EFC regularly give evidence in court as expert witnesses. I find this work very interesting as it’s at the intersection of economics, accountancy and law. It allows me to apply the accountancy rules and concepts that I learned during the ACA in a very practical setting. For example, the way different companies account for leases (operating leases or finance leases). This significantly affects the way you would compare the value of different companies”
How did you approach your studies?
“I followed taught and revision classes at First Intuition. FI provided helpful Corporate Reporting notes, which accurately summarised the material. I revised these notes in detail and did practice questions in my own time. The timed mock exams in class helped too.”
“The tuition at First Intuition is good. The notes are very helpful in that they are more concise than some of the other providers. This makes them very useful in open book exams. The general atmosphere at FI is very nice, which is helped by free hot drinks and snacks such as brownies!”
Which qualities would you suggest a new learner looks for in a tuition provider? How can a new learner get the best experience from their studies?
“New learners should look for a tuition provider that provides high quality teaching, useful and concise notes, and responds quickly to questions. To make it a better experience, I would also recommend choosing a provider with a good atmosphere and teaching environment.”
For someone thinking of starting their studies in accountancy, what advice would you give?
“First, make sure you properly research the professional qualification you want to complete, so that you know what to expect. You need to take 15 exams for the ACA, so it is good to know what you will be learning before you start. Also, know what it will take to complete the qualification. It is also good to think about how accounting relates to the real world. For example, accurate financial reporting is crucial to make informed investment decisions.”
What was the most important factor that lead to you becoming an ICAEW prizewinner?
“I imagine it was a combination of doing a lot of practice questions (including timed mocks), the FI notes being helpful, and luck. Out of those, luck was probably the deciding factor.”
We are sure there was no luck involved with Thomas’ success, but admire his modesty! We wish Thomas the very best of luck with the rest of his ICAEW studies.
If Thomas’ success has inspired you to start your journey towards a professional qualification, get in touch with the team today. We can’t wait to see who our next ICAEW prizewinner will be.