An insider’s guide to employer accreditation 5

Krzysztof Wach, ACCA student and tax senior at H W Fisher & Company in London, talks to Student Accountant about the benefits of working for an ACCA Accredited Employer

Krzysztof Wach’s accountancy career started in his native country, Poland, where he graduated from the University of Opole with a masters degree in economics. Keen to gain as much experience as possible, Krzysztof decided to move abroad.

Krzysztof moved to London, and first spent two years gaining a postgraduate diploma in management studies. While writing his dissertation, he was offered a position in the House of Lords as a trainee research assistant: ‘This was a great opportunity to learn about life in Westminster, and I also gained experience of disciplines such as marketing and PR. But I soon realised that this life wasn’t for me so I decided to join a small accountancy firm as an assistant accountant – a decision I believe was one of the best I’ve made in my professional career.’

While in this first post Krzysztof started his ACCA studies and soon proved to be an outstanding student and accountant. In 2004 he was runner-up in the Trainee Accountant of the Year competition, and this year gained the Top Achiever award from the London Vocational and Management Training Centre (LVMT), where he was studying at the time. With such a boost to his CV, Krzysztof decided to find a more challenging role in a larger firm, where he would have more opportunities to progress his career: ‘I wanted to move to a more demanding environment – I had developed an interest in personal taxation and knew that only a large accountancy firm would have a department specialising in this field. But I must admit that study support was also at the top of my list as I looked at potential employers.’

Not surprisingly, it didn’t take long for Krzysztof to land his ideal job: ‘In January 2005 I was appointed tax senior at H W Fisher & Company and I have never looked back. I have a portfolio of around 180 clients who are mostly journalists, artists and authors. I ensure their tax affairs are up to date, and that tax planning and legal issues are taken care of. I have much more responsibility, and a much more challenging role – exactly what I was looking for.’

Just as important for Krzysztof is H W Fisher & Company’s excellent study support package for ACCA students: ‘My tuition and exam fees are paid and I also receive substantial study leave together with on-the-job training. This is common practice throughout the firm. The support I received in the run-up to my final exams demonstrates the firm’s commitment. From March to May I regularly attended all-day classes at BPP before I went on full-time (and fully-paid) study leave from mid-May until mid-June, when my exams finished. During this time I attended two weeks of revision classes, and had study time at home. I could not have wished for more. However, just before I was about to sit my first exam I received a ‘best of luck’ card, which really made me feel as though the whole company was behind me!’

Krzysztof is also unstinting in his praise for ACCA: ‘I would not be where I am today without my ACCA studies. The qualification has become more of a standard than just a requirement: ACCA is a critical tool if one wants to succeed in the accountancy profession.’

"My tuition and exam fees are paid and I also receive substantial study leave together with on-the-job training"