Updated: Jan 20
Getting the balance right is hard. It’s never going to be easy working and studying, yet thousands have traversed this journey and succeeded in their pursuit for the acclaimed letters, ACA.
In this article I’ll be summarising what makes the ACA qualification stand out, the benefits of pursuing it and the help at hand to see you through the process.
My journey into Accounting
It was at 16 whilst studying it for my A-Levels that I was first exposed to Accounting, quickly excelling at the subject, I knew I wanted to pursue it further.
I opted to study Accounting for Management at Aston University graduating with a First Class Honours which I am immensely proud of. I took some time out after graduating to travel back to India, the country of my birth, to enjoy a break before I made the decision to study Accounting further.
I picked the ACA qualification
For one, I knew it had a level of prestige and a reputation respected worldwide and secondly I figured having such acclaimed letters in front on my name would provide a level of job security and affirm my competence to any prospective employer.
Once I had made up my mind to study towards the ACA, I wanted to find a firm that could offer me a training contract that would really build my skill-set and provide me with varied exposure to the different functions of Accounting. Having engaged in bookkeeping jobs for a smaller accountancy firm, I observed that the use of smaller teams in these firms required employees to be skilled in multiple disciplines, ranging from Audit, Accounts and Tax. This multi-disciplined job specification for smaller firms enticed me, I knew it would be a great foundation to start my ACA journey on.
The ACA qualification is particularly versatile
There is a misconception that Accounting is all number crunching and you therefore need to be good at Mathematics. That’s not entirely accurate, yes numbers are integral and basic maths skills (I’m talking addition/subtraction/multiplication and division) will be a prerequisite, but rest assured there’s hardly going to be any integration, differentiation and Pythagoras’ theorem (in case you’re worried!).
In fact, the ACA qualification takes you beyond just bookkeeping. You’ll be expected to study for 15 modules ranging from Accounting, Law, Auditing, Business Strategy, Finance and Tax to name a few. The breadth of content covered via the ACA qualification is a large part of the appeal to both prospective ACA members and employers alike.
It gears you up to be an all-rounded commercially and financially literate individual. Now that’s a great addition to your CV.
The ACA can take you anywhere
Post qualifying, I took a slightly unconventional career path. I knew I was good at Accounting and I enjoyed it (I even won a prize). However, I had also engaged in volunteering activities which involved helping students and it became apparent to me fairly early on that I relished the opportunities of passing on my knowledge. This gave me a real sense of purpose and reward. Thus shortly after qualifying as an ACA, I moved into the education sector, working for a renowned market leader in the delivery of professional qualification tuition. This enabled me to marry my two strengths in a relationship that really worked, my natural flair for Accounting and my passion for passing on knowledge to others.
Working for a leading tuition provider meant I was able to dip my toes into exciting projects, including exposure to the world of e-learning and also acting as a learning coach to a cohort of students for a big client.
My extensive experience of delivery in both the classroom and online for various ACA modules has enabled me to conjure what I believe is the equation for ACA success:
Hardwork + Motivation + Support = ACA success
Whilst hardwork and motivation must come from within, support can be at hand if you look in the right places.
Support can come in various forms, whether that’s a work colleague who has been through the process, who can guide you, a friend who might also be studying towards the qualification, a member of your family to provide comfort (even if that’s simply a case of your mum making you a home-made meal during revision period) or a tutor who may be able to assist you with exam technique and technical concerns.
Support is there if you ask
If you require additional support or guidance for your ACA exams get in touch with 'The Accountaholics' our services may just be the asset you need to balance your books and you’ll certainly profit from the knowledge.