Meet some of our students, affiliates and members, and find out why they chose to study ACCA.
After achieving my BA in Finance and Accounting with Heriot Watt University, I deliberated on the next step of my career progression being whether I should pursue qualifying as a Chartered Certified Accountant or Chartered Financial Analyst.
While I deliberated my options, I was reminded of my initial interview with Aegis. The interviewers explained that Aegis, an ACCA Platinum Employer supports ACCA students, by training and mentoring them on the job. They also provide support to students pursuing ACCA exams through, flexible study and exam time off plus financial support.
To gain the ACCA, a universally recognized designation, while having the support of my employers was definitely a sensible option to me, plus I like that the ACCA qualification encompasses ethics, technical skills and experience which for me has an element of rigor and thoroughness that I fully endorse. As I advance to the end of my student journey I am able to successfully incorporate the lessons learned from my studies with reality.
ACCA has contributed significantly to my career development. I now have the option to function as a Chartered Accountant and have the foundation knowledge required of a Financial Analyst. The career opportunities for me remain limitless as I continue to embrace the challenges of professional life.
In my formative years I was unsure of a career path. My only certainty was the fact that it had to be in finance specifically accounting since this offered career options not restricted to any one industry. I completed an Associate Degree in Accounting and Economics, and then proceeded to University of the West Indies (UWI) Cave Hill campus where I successfully completed a Bachelors in Accounting with Honors.
There were many bodies offering accountancy qualifications around the world but exposure to ACCA revealed a body that ticked all the boxes. The ACCA designation is so much more respected globally than ever before. It served to help in securing a post in the field that I enjoy, even prior to completion. In addition, the program provided the flexibility of working and studying as well as a payment plan that suited my budget. ACCA is certainly challenging, and it should be, as completion of the ACCA designation is an indication that you have successfully completed one of the highest standards of excellence in the field.
With the knowledge gained during course of ACCA study I have exceeded what I originally had planned myself and I now see that there are no limits once a strong foundation is set and you remain focused on excellence. The flexibility of accounting as a career path ensured I was not restricted to any single industry and over the past 12 years I have worked in accounting related fields in the Caribbean in the retail, public sector and now energy sector.
During my study I gained experience as an Accountant, and shortly after I received my ACCA designation was promoted to Financial Controller in The Sol Group; the leading provider of petroleum based energy solutions. We currently operate in 23 territories in the Caribbean and South America and I have fulfilled my dream of being engaged with multiple business units across the Caribbean. In this role I am responsible for the Sol Group’s corporate entities including Investments, Trade, Management, and Consolidation companies. The Sol Group is a forward thinking and results focused company; this setting is perfect for the purpose driven ACCA student/ graduate and has allowed me to flourish in my chosen career path.
Khalil S.A. Patel acquired an Associates Degree in Accounting and Economics at Barbados Community College in 2007 and then went on to acquire a BSc Economics (Major) Accounting (Major) (Hons) at the UWI Cave Hill Campus.
I chose ACCA as it is the one designation that tailors a student to become more than just an accountant. This designation entails a progressive means in covering all aspects of accounting, emphasizing integrity within those levels. It builds one’s character to become highly ethical in addition to being dutiful to a global society. ACCA takes a step further in educating the importance of nonfinancial instruments such as regulations and policies as well as innovational and environmental factors.
Doing ACCA and simultaneously working at BDO Barbados has provided me with remarkable experience in the management of businesses in various industries and has allowed me to fuse theory gained in my ACCA studies with practice at BDO. I have been able to see and perform financial statement area test of controls, substantive and other substantive procedures, which cover areas such as bank reconciliations, trend analysis, reasonableness test and much more. I have also gotten the opportunity to communicate with client’s work force at all levels within the entity. In all, ACCA is helping me to become an exceptional accounting professional.
In the not so distant future, I intend to acquire my ACCA, become a Managing Partner at BDO Barbados and hopefully expand the firm within the Caribbean region.
I studied at the University of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus for a Bsc in Accounting. I subsequently joined EY Barbados where I have been for 8 years, currently as an Audit manager. Studying ACCA and working in a professional services firm has opened up several opportunities for me. It has increased my professional network in meeting and discussing pertinent Accounting issues with other ACCA affiliates and members.
I chose ACCA because to me it was the most widely recognized accounting qualification in the world - from Barbados to Australia. This was linked to my desire to want to travel and work in different places to expand my professional experience and network.
In the future I see myself at the top of my field and taking time to discuss the benefits of a firm background in audit and accounting.
Mark studied Bachelors of Business Administration at the University of Technology, Jamaica – with a major in Accounting and minor in Banking and Financial Services. He graduated in 2012 as University Valedictorian with First Class Honors. He is currently employed at PwC Caribbean, Kingston Office in Jamaica as an Experienced Associate, working on audits of large companies in Jamaica operating in the communications, manufacturing and distribution, insurance and financial services industries.
I learned about the ACCA qualification while having a conversation with my father in his capacity as Financial Controller of the then Sugar Company of Jamaica, Frome Division. It was introduced as a major achievement for Accountants that only a few in his department ever dared to attempt. I chose the ACCA qualification because then and now, I understood it to be the evolutionary equivalent of sprouting wings, allowing me to rise above the crowd and soar to the boundless opportunities that being a member offers!
My way of thinking and approaching business problems pre-ACCA were, in contrast, poor and limited compared to how I think now while studying ACCA. While working at PwC, I am always challenged by team members and clients to think on my feet and be up-to-date with happenings in the external environment. Most, if not all, of the people I interact with while at work tend to assume that I have knowledge of all matters relevant to the business environment and ACCA gives me that edge!
ACCA excels in challenging me to approach real-world problems that real individuals face in their capacity as decision makers. Risks and opportunities are inherent in what I do, and being able to discern the difference and respond to them appropriately is a key skill of any aspiring professional. As such, ACCA has proved to be an invaluable experience, and I truly believe that membership will successfully position me to being able to realize my dream of being a distinguished professional, delivering value-adding services to businesses and my community.
I initially pursued a Bachelor of Business Administration degree with a Major in Accounting and a Minor in Banking & Financial Services at the University of Technology, Jamaica. I am currently employed as an Auditor at the Auditor General’s Department. This role involves performing value for money audits on Government Ministries, Departments & Agencies to determine if the resources are being used in an efficient, effective and economical manner.
It has always been my dream to become a Chartered Accountant. After earning my Bachelors degree and entering the accounting field, I was introduced to the professional certification, ACCA. This certification has widened my knowledge base and has taught me a lot about the Accounting profession. I chose this certification because I saw it as a way to open opportunities that were previously unavailable to me as well as a way to achieve growth prospects in my career.
In the future, I see myself being at the top management level and possibly starting a business venture.
My journey began after completing high school in 2008, I enrolled in the University of Technology, Jamaica where I read for a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration majoring in Accounting, and Finance and Banking. Upon completion of that undergraduate degree, in May 2012, I was offered a Junior Auditing position at BDO Jamaica. It was at this point where I was first introduced to the ACCA qualification and opportunities and benefits involved in becoming a member of one of the world’s largest accounting bodies and a registered chartered accountant in Jamaica.
I registered with ACCA in January 2013 with guidance of the firm and sat my first two exams in June of that year. I employ the self-study method of preparation where I obtain study texts from an approved ACCA Learning Partner. The Technical Articles provided by Student Accountant are integral in any preparation as they provide in depth and necessary information on some of the most important accounting and finance topics. My preparation starts either July or January which allows for 5 months to cover all the areas, practice as many past papers as possible and review online articles and journals on difficult and 'interesting' topics. I find working in the accounting field and preparing for exams an efficient combination, as you are given the opportunity to apply new knowledge immediately.
I am currently sitting the exams two at a time, with the expectation to complete all 14 in June 2015, and becoming a registered chartered accountant then. Accounting is the language of all business and to me, ACCA provides the most effective tools to speak that language properly.
My ultimate career goal is to gain an MBA in International Banking and Finance which will assist me further with becoming one of Jamaica's leading Financial Accountants.
I attended the University of the West Indies for three years (2009-2012) where I graduated with Upper Second Class Honours with a BSc. Accounting Special. I then commenced the ACCA Qualification in 2013. Given my Degree, I was awarded six exemptions. I am currently within the Professional level.
I embarked on the ACCA Qualification because I have always heard my elders speak highly of the course and the opportunities of being an ACCA Qualified Accountant. I have always had a special interest in numbers and a thirst for continuous learning. I even encourage many peers to pursue ACCA. I believe it sets you in a calibre apart from others. I wanted to join the global community of ACCA Qualified Accountants and I am well on my way to becoming a member of this elite group of ACCA professionals.
I have been employed with KPMG since July 2012, where I am currently a Staff Accountant within the Audit Department. This has provided me with the opportunity to gain a hands-on approach to the field of auditing, where I am exposed to various industries.
I strongly feel that the work/study lifestyle has furnished me with the ability to simultaneously apply the knowledge learned with the ACCA studies to the real life work scenarios, especially in such an environment as KPMG. It enhances the learning process while gaining a better understanding of the work processes to advance my work performance. This has proven to be a great launching pad into my career as an Accountant, I enjoy what I do, and feel a sense of belonging and comfort with this career.
I believe that I can see myself within the audit profession for the foreseeable future.
I chose to do ACCA based on the fact most of the major heads of the financial departments and companies in my country were held by persons with ACCA designations. Many business persons I admire also have ACCA qualification and as a consequence I viewed ACCA as being a major contributor to successful businesses in my country. Being ACCA qualified will help me to successfully develop the relevant skills and aptitude necessary to function practically in the workplace.
Farah Erskine-White graduated with first class honours in Management Studies (Accounting) from the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus Jamaica. Farah currently works for PricewaterhouseCoopers Jamaica as an external auditor and would like to one day become a financial controller.