Q&A with Ashley Holland Newly Qualified in ACCA
Our latest employee blog brought to you by Ashley Holland, one of the Account Seniors based in our Bicester office. He gives his story on what it was like to study for his ACCA qualification.
Ashley started at Clark Howes in 2016. His passion is working with early stage and start-up businesses and finds watching clients' businesses grow and succeed to be particularly rewarding.
When did you start your ACCA qualification?/When did you qualify?
"My first sitting was in June 2012, finally qualifying in June 2017."
Why did you choose ACCA?
"I chose ACCA as it is a qualification recognised throughout the world, it will give me so many opportunities to progress with my accounting career and to be recognised as a professional individual."
When studying for ACCA, what was your experience like?
"Rewarding and hard work. Having young children and a full time job along with studying it means that you have to manage your time really efficiently. I made sure I worked hard at studying so that family time wasn't missed, you do have to sacrifice certain days/events but it is very much worth it in the long run. The study support I received was invaluable, the taught classes I attended were great and there was always a tutor available for any questions I had."
What did you most enjoy about studying for ACCA?
"I enjoyed the development of my knowledge, with ACCA a lot of what you learn helps you develop within your job and gives you more tools to use in your day to day role. The feeling you get when you have passed an exam, it’s great to get confirmation that what you have worked hard for has been worthwhile and then applying it to my working environment."
What advice would you give someone looking to study ACCA?
"Be prepared to work hard and do not give up! There are really tough parts to the qualification don’t let that knock your confidence. If you put in the hours you will reap the rewards. Find your own way of revising/studying as this can be very different for different people. I found using cue cards and pocket notes were great to remember key areas rather than getting bogged down in pages and pages of text books. There are also lots of online courses/tools available so take advantage of these as well."
How long does it take to complete?
"3-10 years depending on personal circumstances."
What's involved in the qualification?
"Currently 14 x 3 hour exams based on subjects covering all aspects of accountancy.You can be exempt from some of the foundation exams if you have the relevant qualifications. A Professional Experience Record needs to be completed, this is made up of various questions based around your everyday work experiences. An online professional ethics module needs to be completed."
Written by Ashley Holland