When I started my accountancy journey, (I chose the ACCA), I was exempted from the foundation stage on the basis of having a degree in economics. This was my first big mistake.
I was thrown straight into the intermediate stage of the ACCA, learning how to audit a balance sheet and a profit & loss statement when I didn’t even understand what they were or how they were constructed. I failed audit three times before eventually passing on the basis of rote learning and set plays rather than true understanding. After struggling through another couple of exams I ran out of steam and quit.
I convinced myself that it was ok to be a part qualified accountant. It isn’t.
Years later I came back for ‘round two’. I passed tax on my second attempt but then ran into my ‘demon paper’ F7 Financial Reporting. I failed 4 times and felt like I had run into a brick wall. I quit again.
Fast forward a few years and I got a new job that I really liked. I decided that if I was going to be in Finance for the rest of my career then I had better be qualified rather than accept being a ‘second class’ member of the Finance team. Also I started noticing that many people who were qualified and paid substantially more than me were not actually that good at their jobs.
So I resurrected my ACCA journey in anger and determination. This time I had a policy, an attitude and a mind-set that was altogether different. The exam that I had previously written off as ‘impossible’ fell my way and the remaining five exams of the qualification followed quickly thereafter.
I only wish that the pack which I have written for you was available to me when I set out on my accountancy journey. It would have saved me many years of struggle.
James Wordie ACCA.