Tom Burns studied the ACCA at Newport City Campus and is a Senior Accounts Assistant at JoJo Maman Bebe Ltd.
What route did you take to get into accounting?
I didn’t go to university after school; instead I started my AAT qualification in September 2007 and studied at Ystrad Mynach college. I progressed to ACCA in September 2011 and passed my final paper in December 2014. I am proud to say that they were all first-time passes.
What attributes do you think you need to succeed at ACCA?
You definitely need to be self-motivated and driven. You’ve got to be organised to stay on top of your workload and be able to manage your time effectively.
Finding the time to study can be difficult when you’re busy in work and you’ve got to prioritise revision over your social life for a few weeks leading up to exams.
You also need to have patience, because when you first pick up a text book it can be overwhelming to see the volume of work that needs to be covered. You’ve got to be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel, take a methodical approach and break down the syllabus step by step.
How has the ACCA qualification benefited you?
It has given me the confidence to grow and develop as a professional. I have been fortunate to be part of a company (JoJo Maman Bebe Ltd) that has enjoyed rapid expansion in the UK and overseas. This has allowed me to utilise the knowledge gained from ACCA and apply it to real-life scenarios.
What would you say to others thinking about accountancy?
It’s hard work but very rewarding. If you’re willing and committed to go the extra mile, then there are plenty of opportunities for people looking to get into the industry.
Studying the ACCA course at USW has given me the confidence and knowledge to set up my future and I will hopefully go on to accomplish more. A wise man told me that getting the ACCA qualification was your meal ticket for life! It’s a massive achievement to be able to say that you’re a qualified accountant and it’s a sign of all the hard work you’ve had to put in to get there.
What has been the highlight of your studies?
Passing my final exam and becoming ACCA qualified was the highlight for me. Although this was topped off nicely with winning a PQ award for ‘Accountancy Team of the Year’ just three days after passing!