Nick’s Diary – August 2012

August has played host to both ends of the enjoyment spectrum for me. As I ran hot off the heels of a Bradenham visit in July, I found myself with two weeks to get my CTA knowledge firing on all cylinders for another link exam. This time, the internal exam was for Awareness which is arguably the “easiest” of the four CTA exams I have to sit. For me, it involves having a broad understanding of corporation tax, inheritance tax and VAT as well as the ability to fire out 36 questions in three hours ? no mean feat!

From the moment I applied for my role, I had always accepted that CTA was the ultimate goal and that it was sure to be a momentous challenge. Now that I’m in the thick of it, it feels more challenging than it ever has previously and it’s clear to see why it’s such a highly regarded qualification. The training and support is superb, and I couldn’t pass the exams without them, but the personal sacrifice is something that has continued to surprise me ? the saving grace is I have that support, and a network of around 20 other trainees who are going through the same experience as me.

August also plays host to results day for ACA finalists and the Southampton office had a 100% pass rate to those sitting their final ‘case study’ exam. This then is a vital part of my development, as it is possible to be reminded regularly by my peers that the hard work will pay off. To those who have recently qualified as chartered accountants, congratulations!

Aside from the exams and studying, I’ve enjoyed gearing up with the Spilling the Beans team for the launch of the next round of applications where we’ve focused our attention on our location blog special blogs ? I hope they’ve helped you in your career choices. Other than being interesting, this is a welcome distraction and helps me to reaffirm why I chose this role back in 2009. Though this blog may give a more gritty insight into the challenge that is faced by completing these tough professional qualifications, take it from me, as a man surrounded by books, it’s worth the leap and it’s worth the effort. I only need to look at my peers to realise that.

I’m writing this blog on 3 September, which is launch day for our 2013-14 applications. I’d like to take this opportunity to reiterate what I say at every careers fair, apply early, know what you’re applying for and be yourself. I wish everyone luck in their applications and encourage you to use the Spilling the Beans website and team where possible. No question is too modest and we’re always here to help, all you have to do is ask!

For the record, I passed the link exam and there are another two in September before I head off for five weeks of study leave, so it’s heads down as always and another reminder that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

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