Although still relatively new to accountancy, CAT student Shiraz Sarfaraz already has a variety of work experience on his CV: 'I was involved in various projects while at school, and when I left - in 2008 - I worked as a part-time field researcher for IPSOS, the market research company, and tried foreign exchange trading for a year, before the credit crunch meant that I had to move on. But I've always tried to stay within finance when looking for opportunities.'
Now working for Ranya Foodstuffs Co in Kuwait, Shiraz is able to fully experience the world of accountancy: 'As an assistant accountant I have to report daily to my boss on current stock levels and on what the production department will be working on. I also have to calculate buffer stock, deal with sales orders from major trading companies and help prepare financial statements.'
Shiraz began his CAT studies in 2008, shortly after finishing his A Levels. He currently studies for the qualification at evening classes and his dedication impressed his employers when he applied for his current post: 'I think most employers want their employees to develop their skills and Ranya Foodstuffs was happy to hear that I was studying for CAT when I was interviewed for my current position.'
Once he achieves his CAT qualification, Shiraz plans to continue with the ACCA Qualification and the BSc in Applied Accounting from Oxford Brookes University. A key benefit of CAT - and ACCA - says Shiraz, is its relevance to the everyday life of a finance office: 'When I enrolled on the CAT qualification, my professors emphasised that CAT was 'a professional qualification which directly reflects reality' and these words have helped me all through my studies.
'Any student studying for an ACCA qualification should understand that the topics you cover directly reflect the tasks you will face as an accountant, so you must concentrate.'
Photograph supplied by Shiraz Sarfaraz.