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Why ACCA? My Association of Chartered Certified Accountants story

Katarzyna JAWORSKA
Accounting Manager at RSM Poland

If not for Facebook and some extremely nice gentleman who exactly a year ago talked me into taking up ACCA accredited studies, I wouldn’t have passed 9 ACCA exams certifying my professional qualifications and giving me the feeling that I have taken a great step forward in my professional life. I’ve decided to invest in own development and I don’t regret taking up this challenge.

I knew quite much about ACCA long before I started my studies. Some of my friends already have the certificates, are currently studying or have completed their ACCA accredited studies. I’ve always been aware that holding such a certificate opens the door to a good job in desirable companies. I might as well say that whenever I was among such successful people I felt I was not educated enough, less professional. I also had the impression that potential employers had some misconceptions regarding my accounting and finance knowledge gained during my studies, training courses and, most of all, about my extensive professional experience. It was only when I took the job that I could finally prove that I work efficiently and that I often “go beyond”, which some saw as a potential threat and finally I would end up resigning from the job.

Thus, I was very ambitious about the whole thing and decided that I had to do something for myself, so as to make others perceive my professional qualifications in a different way, and to achieve professional fulfilment.

First step is always the hardest

I had my share of concerns – I didn’t know if I would manage and be able to balance my work, family duties and a lot of studying for the exams before I could finally get my precious ACCA certificate. To be honest, I didn’t believe that I could ever do that. After my very first exam in Taxation I decided that if I was going to fail it, I would definitely quit. And yet, I passed my exam and was back on track. I owe a lot to my family – if not for their support, I wouldn’t have been successful.

Life revolution and efforts that won’t come to naught

I had with me my course books even when I was staying in Austria for skiing. If you have your mind set on the ACCA certificate, you can be sure that there will be a lot of studying. You have to be really tenacious, make regular efforts and be extremely well organised to be able to juggle studying and your everyday obligations. There will be plenty of stress and adrenaline, however, I believe that’s what gave me a good kick.

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I even bought my husband a Thermomix so that he could instantly replace me in the kitchen. My children stared with their mouths open every time I would pore over my books. Surely, how anyone could study that much was beyond them, luckily, they were supportive and never bothered me. I hope that I was able to set an example for them and that they will know that with enough effort they also can make they dreams come true. I’d like them to know that if you really want to achieve something big, you just have to get your head down.

Experience matters

I often wondered why I hadn’t decided to start my ACCA journey earlier, e.g. just after my graduation. There could be a bunch of possible answers I suppose – I had other priorities back then, my employer was not supportive, I wasn’t that aware of its importance. Today I’m positive that my professional expertise makes it easier for me to pass all the exams. I believe that anyone who wishes to face ACCA should have some professional experience gained in various business sectors to be able to compare practice with the studied theory, systematise this knowledge and, above all, not to waste it. Mature and experienced mind sees the process of gaining knowledge differently. It shouldn’t be only about studying for the exam, but most of all about getting satisfaction from gaining new skills that can be put to use at work.

Thanks to the fact that I’ve completed a number of professional training courses in finance and accounting, including post-graduate studies, I certainly can say that  ACCA studies is a whole different – and in my opinion the highest – professional quality in terms of practical approach and teaching. Not to mention the level of English. No course can be a match for ACCA as the finance and Accounting vocabulary is definitely the richest and most prestigious.

More than just knowledge and qualifications

During ACCA studies you come across plenty of interesting people, share opinions, expertise and discuss a number of financial and accounting issues. You can also find new friends – nothing makes people come together better than joint efforts and struggling to achieve same goals.

I’m aware that ACCA is a renowned organisation in the international business environment and the benefits springing from having the qualifications can’t be overestimated. As I have already mentioned, passing the exam is one thing, yet skilful analysis of the knowledge, sifting through it to find what is valuable, implementing a given solution to a problem or creatively adapting it to own company – now that’s what I call a true mastery.

Next step for me is the Professional level, and I would like to pass the exam in the near future, subsequently, I’ll be making another of my dreams come true by struggling to gain the ACCA Member status. I hope that soon I’ll be able to achieve these goals and furtherly increase my self-confidence on the labour market.

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