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Read about one of our newest CIMA students path to Reed Business School

Charles Farmer is former CEO at The Really Useful Group (RUG). Prior to that he worked at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. (MGM) for 21 years, most recently as EVP of International Television Productions from 2018-2021. Now he’s embarking on something new – studying towards his CIMA Certificate in Business Accounting at Reed Business School. We caught up with him to find out more about his career pathway to date, and what led him to CIMA.

Charles left school before completing his A-Levels, opting instead to get straight to work. He tried his hand at all sorts of entry-level jobs around London, but it was while working on a sheep and cattle farm in Australia during a year abroad that things started to click into place for him.

“Something about the great outdoors and being thousands of miles away from home gave me a new perspective and the time and space to think about what I wanted to do. It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life, and when I came back to London, I was ready to get stuck in to a new challenge.”

While his first couple of job offers on his return fell through, a call from one of his contacts led him to a temporary Receptionist role at RPTA, where he impressed his colleagues with his positive work ethic. He began to take on more responsibility in different departments, eventually finding himself in the Sales team.

“I helped with a bit of everything, but did well in sales, and soon we were hugely overperforming in some markets given the size of the company. I built up the central and Eastern European markets and was promoted to Sales Manager for the region.”

It wasn’t long before head-hunters came knocking at his door, and with an impressive track record and portfolio of clients, Charles was able to keep stepping up the career ladder at MGM.

But the more senior he roles he took on, the more it became evident that his financial vocabulary wasn’t quite where he wanted it to be, and Charles also wanted to have a more formal schooling in finance and business overall.

Deciding that an MBA might be too much of an undertaking, Charles’s research led him to CIMA, and he was delighted to find such a well-established and highly regarded school so close to him in Oxfordshire, without the need to go to London.

When Charles left the RUG in February this year, and with more time on his hands, he dived straight in to his studies, which he’s really enjoying so far.

“I thought studying towards a CIMA qualification would be a fascinating way to develop myself, but I’ve never really had the time to do it. It’s giving me an insight into the fundamental workings of finance and business, and while I’ve run businesses before and seen all the different areas, finance was the one aspect that always interested me, and now I’m really pleased to get more depth of knowledge in it.”

Charles is a big fan of the set up and structure of the classes, and all the online resources including class recordings that he can go back and revisit when he wants to.

The tutor is incredibly helpful, and it’s fantastic that you can always contact them with any questions. The online documentation and paperwork are all excellent, as is the access to practice papers and questions.”

The classroom environment at Reed Business School means Charles also gets to spend time and share knowledge with those from different industries and experience levels. He finds it interesting to get perspectives on how other industries work, giving him an even more well-rounded learning experience.

Throughout his career, Charles has learned that he succeeds best in a disciplined environment, so completes 1-2 hours of personal study at the same time each day to keep on track.

“I like to learn new things every day, and believe that we should always keep learning no matter how old we are. I’m fascinated by this course, and am really looking forward to the next module, and the one after that. When I go back to work again, the structure of classes on weekends will fit in with my lifestyle, and I’ll have much more confidence in the nitty gritty of numbers to be able to talk with finance teams on their level.”

Are you thinking of starting AAT? Read Mevish’s story …

We caught up with Mevish Naveed, who is currently studying for her Level 2 AAT Accounting qualification, while working in the Business Administration team at Cherwell District Council.

When Mevish finished school at 16, she was unsure about what to do next, and considered both sixth form college and apprenticeship options. While initially opting to go to college, she kept her eyes open for apprenticeship schemes, and soon spotted a business administration opening at her local authority.

“I thought I would give it a go to see if I liked it. I got the job and started working towards my Level 2 qualification in Business Administration. But then Covid hit, and suddenly everything was up in the air again.”

Mevish’s employer continued to support her through this difficult time, and she was able to carry on working and studying, achieving her Level 3 certificate. But as she got more exposure to the finance side of her work, which she enjoyed, Mevish began to consider this as an option and started researching possible courses.

“I looked online and saw that Reed Business School offered AAT courses. It was fairly local to me, and had really good student reviews so I gave them a call. Collette was really helpful and answered all my questions, so it seemed like the perfect choice.”

When Mevish presented the idea to her employer, they couldn’t have been more supportive. Both her direct manager and department director have been very encouraging of her development, giving her all the time she needs to attend classes, and allowing her to spend time with the finance team to get more exposure to that side of the organisation.

Mevish’s experience of her studying at RBS so far has been very positive.

“I think it’s been very straightforward and well organised. The weekly structure of classes gives you time to plan your week to get everything done that you need to.”

Time management is always challenging for those who work full-time while they are studying, and Mevish is quite strict in the time she sets aside, to make she retains some balance in her life. Now she’s passed her first exam and is into more of a routine, she’s more confident of her process.

Mevish is also a fan of the Mindful Education platform, where all the lessons are released and learning resources are stored.

“I really like the videos for each class, then afterwards the essential practice and optional practice resources help solidify the learning for each area. After that, you have a knowledge test, where you can log tickets for your tutor to get extra support on that area, and they can see exactly where you are struggling.”

While much of the early part of the course is delivered via online workshop, Mevish was really impressed by our manor home, and the supportiveness of all the staff.

“We went to The Manor for our first exam. Everyone so nice and welcoming, which really put me at ease. I’m really looking forward to going back!”

Mevish admits that she was very nervous prior to her first exam – especially as it had been years since her last one at school. She put in extra hours of revision, and made sure she asked her tutor for support in the areas she needed it.

“I wasn’t doing as well as I would have liked in the practice papers and mock exam, so I didn’t think I’d do particularly well in the exam. But I managed to pass, which has given me a real boost as I work towards my next one.”

Now she’s passed her first exam, Mevish has her sights set on the next, and then the remainder of her level 2 papers. She knows that an AAT qualification will open a lot of doors for her and she’s excited to see where it will take her.

Are you starting your AAT journey?

We recently caught up with Jitka Evans a mother of two who is currently studying towards her AAT level 2 while working part time for Karndean Design Flooring in their customer finance team.

Jitka grew up in her native Czechia, and having completed school and realising that university study wasn’t for her, she began working in admin’.

After moving to and settling in the UK, Jitka’s admin experience led her into junior accounts roles, before she joined her current employer, Karndean, in their customer finance team. Jitka has been with the Karndean for six years, and is now studying towards her AAT Level 2 bookkeeping qualification.

“I’m really happy with my employer and they’ve been very supportive with me wanting to develop myself though my studies.”

When researching training providers, Jitka knew she wanted to join a college, rather than self-study, so she could get all the necessary support and expertise to help her on her journey. Reed Business School’s locality, well-equipped manor building, and extensive online resources were just what she was looking for.

So far Jitka has been impressed by the structure of the course, with teaching workshops scheduled every two weeks, and further learning materials available on our Mindful Education platform to use in between.

“I really like the videos that I can re-watch in my own time, and having set things to complete each week ahead of the next workshop to be able to participate in it fully. Doing a little and often works perfectly for my lifestyle.”

Time management has been one of the biggest challenges for Jitka, with a job and two small children to consider, but she manages to make it work and still give herself evenings to spend with her family.

“I work part-time in the mornings and look after my children in the afternoons. When I have my workshops, or I need more time for independent study, I arrange extra childcare if my husband can’t help at those times. I try to make time to do everything I need to do during the day so studying doesn’t take over my whole life!”

Reed Business School’s Mindful Education platform not only contains all the relevant learning materials for each unit, but a huge range of practice and mock questions for students to complete in their own time. Following each workshop, students can practice what they’ve learnt straight away, in addition to making the most of additional resources on the AAT website.

“I like how much practicing you can do, and the revision workshop at the end of the course allows you to ask questions about parts you might have been struggling with. You can do as much as you want to, and I did every practice paper available to help me feel ready for the exam.”

Jitka has passed her first Level 2 exam, and plans to enrol onto the Level 3 course next month if all goes well with her second. Longer-term, she hopes to develop within Karndean towards a management accounting role. She is currently able to spend time with that team once a week to learn more about topics such as bank reconciliations and balance sheets, and values this as part of her professional development.

“My colleagues are all really supportive, and many of them have been through similar journeys, so it’s great to know there is a pathway there if I choose it, but I just want to get through my next exam first!”

My ICAEW apprenticeship journey with Dominic O’Sullivan

Next up in our series on accountancy apprentices for NAW23 is Dominic O’Sullivan, trainee accountant at Richardsons.

16-year-old Dominic was very much into economics and finance, and so opting to study Maths and Economics at A-Level was a no-brainer for him. But after receiving disappointing results in his first round of exams, Dominic had to dig deep if he wanted to gain a place at his university of choice.

“Those results were the first proper stumbling block I’d faced in my life. I decided that I had to get my head down and re-take some papers, and thankfully I was able to achieve the results I needed.”

Dominic had an enjoyable three years studying for his Economics degree, but was still struggling to uncover a particularly clear career goal. He definitely hadn’t considered accountancy due to the ‘boring’ reputation it had!

However, it was a placement he did one summer at a pension fund, that opened his eyes into the kind of work he could be doing.

“That placement gave a glimpse of the real world of business and what it would be like to work in an office environment. I had the opportunity to talk to fund managers and graduates of a similar age to me who were on various training pathways that I could research.”

So, research he did, and while he graduated in 2020 into a period of great uncertainty, Dominic was, by this point, certain that ACA training was the path for him. He discovered trainee opportunities at local firm Richardsons, and knew straight away it was the right fit for him.

As a graduate, Dominic was really keen to dive in and start his Level 7 apprenticeship with Reed Business School. He initially struggled with the time management aspect, but once he found his rhythm, he was even impressing himself with how much he was learning!

“It has been hard, but I’m able to apply my learning at work, and I understand it so much better and can feel myself improving so much. It feels really rewarding.”

Dominic has passed all his exams first time so far, and believes Reed Business School’s classroom set up is a key factor in this.

Being there engages you in the studying so much more, especially for the revision period. Having a group of classmates from different firms you can chat to and use as a support network is really useful, and having dedicated revision time with a supportive tutor is so rare and special. You wouldn’t get this at another provider.” 

Throughout his apprenticeship, Dominic has also been developing his critical thinking skills with the help of his business coach, Rob. He’s been learning how to view situations from multiple angles, and speak up in the right circumstances to apply his questioning mind.

Dominic’s advice to those starting out?

Don’t keep things to yourself. Talk about anything you’re unsure of – in class or at work. Not speaking up doesn’t help you, or anyone else. Continue to ask questions and have conversations, and you’ll progress much faster.”  

And a word from Dominic’s manager

“At Richardsons Chartered Accountants, we want our staff to have the best possible experience whilst studying towards their exams. Reed Business School has excellent teaching staff, a strong record of pass rates along with fantastic facilities for our students to study and relax. The support staff have been brilliant with enrolling the students on to apprenticeships, dealing with our queries promptly and accommodating for any changes. We have been using RBS for many years now, with lots of students successfully completing their qualifications.” Jack Armstrong, Associate Director, Richardsons Chartered Accountants

My ICAEW apprenticeship journey with Lily Gammon

At the end of 2022 Lily Gammon completed the final three Advanced Level papers of her ACA apprenticeship with Reed Business School. Her average mark over the three papers is nothing short of astonishing – making her the second highest performer in the world. We caught up with her for National Apprenticeship Week 2023 to see how she did it.

Lily works as a Senior at Francis Clark – a role that gives her exposure to a wide variety accounting work, including accounts preparation, corporate tax and personal tax. She believes that this range of work has helped her understanding of how different elements of the profession fit together:

“My studying and my job have worked really well alongside each other, especially over the last year – what I do in one has helped me with the other – so now I have much more awareness of how everything intertwines.”

When it comes to her studying, Lily is the master of planning and hard work. She balances her time very well, and isn’t afraid to put the hours in revising – up to three hours in the evenings and more at weekends. Then when exams are around the corner, she somehow finds the time to do even more!

“I’m someone who panics a bit when it comes to exams, so I work really hard to get through it and make sure I can feel confident on the day. I don’t want the one topic I haven’t revised to be the one that comes up on the paper!”

As someone who lives quite far way away from The Manor, Lily opted to do most of her studying with us remotely and enjoyed being able to follow her own schedule surrounded by her home comforts. But that didn’t stop Lily making the most of time with her tutors, asking questions, and getting feedback on her mock questions and papers.

“I would spend the first few weeks going through my notes to make sure they were as good as possible, then I’d move onto completing practice papers and questions. I tried every single one available, and went through the mark scheme and tutor feedback carefully to see where I went wrong and what I could do better.”

It’s certainly a method that works for Lily, and her impressive results are more accident than intention: “I just wanted to pass, I wasn’t aiming to be the best in the world!”

As part of her apprenticeship, she’s also been successful in the Skills and Behaviours element, which she’s been working on with her coach throughout. Lily believes her confidence in talking to clients is what has improved the most.

“When I look at what I can do now compared with three years ago – I’m amazed at how far I’ve come. I’m more confident on the phone, sitting in on more meetings, and feel like I can help our clients much better.”

Lily is now helping to design and deliver an improved training programme for all new trainees at her firm. She’s really happy in being able to pass on what she’s learnt over the past few years, while the process has also helped solidify her understanding of various technical elements of the course.

Lily’s main advice to those starting out in their training is to ask questions to clarify anything they don’t understand.

“There’s no point sitting and struggling, so stick your hand up and ask. It will help everyone in the long run.”

And a note from Lilly’s manager

“We use Reed Business School as they are a well respected training provider and our students have always achieved excellent results studying with them.” Vicky Clancy, Technincal Learning Manager, PKF Francis Clark

 

My AAT apprenticeship journey with Simon Lockwood

Simon Lockwood is a trainee accountant at Crowther’s, and his just completed his Level 2 AAT qualification on an apprenticeship programme with Reed Business School.

Simon knew he wanted to be an accountant from the age of about 14 – with a natural aptitude for Maths and an enjoyment of his Business Studios classes at school. When coming to the end of his A-Levels he started considering his main options: university to study accountancy; or an apprenticeship to earn and learn at the same time. It was his career advisor who recommend the apprenticeship route:

My advisor said that as I was so sure that this was what I wanted to do, it made sense to start doing it straight away, so he encouraged me to follow this path – and it’s the best decision I’ve ever made!”

Simon took the summer off after school, and then began looking for relevant opportunities, where he came across his current trainee role with Crowther’s. He was keen to start studying for his AAT qualification, which he believes will be a strong stepping stone towards an ACCA qualification -something he hopes to start as soon as he’s finished his AAT Level 3 this time next year.

“ACCA is really well respected in the industry, and a lot of my colleagues (including directors at my firm) have this qualification, so that’s my next goal.”

The mindful education programme that Reed Business School offers has worked really well for Simon, allowing him to engage in workshops and access online content when he wants to. He has found the consolidated approach of mini assessments after each subsection and fuller tests after whole modules to be invaluable for retaining information and helping him apply it correctly.

Simon believes our classroom structure also works really well for maximising his learning opportunities – giving more access to his tutors to get answers to his questions and additional support where required. He’s also looking forward to more of our famous lunches at the manor when he returns for his next block of classes!

In terms of his favourite elements of his training so far, Simon has enjoyed bank reconciliations the most, especially as he’s able to apply that knowledge directly to his job. Working in a smaller firm means he gets quite a broad range of experience across different areas:

“I’m lucky to be able to work on everything from personal tax returns, year-end accounting, bank reconciliations and bookkeeping, and the more I study, the more I understand about each aspect, which makes me enjoy it more.”

Simon would absolutely recommend the AAT apprenticeship with Reed Business School to those with an interest in accountancy.

“I find it really enjoyable, I’m really happy with the path I’m on, and I can’t wait to start my Level 3.”

And finally a word from Simon’s manager

“As an ACA Reed graduate myself, I am familiar with the way the business school works; the high quality tutors – and the lunches! The support on offer is fantastic, and I hope Simon continues to thrive during his studies there.”

Sarah Medcalf, Manager, ACA, Crowther’s

My ACCA apprenticeship journey with Katie Moran

Katie Moran is currently working towards her Level 7 ACCA qualification on the apprenticeship programme with Reed Business School. As a mature student, who started her training in her 40s, her story is a little different to most…

Growing up, Katie wanted to be a teacher. She trained for it at university, but found herself in a banking job shortly after graduation. After returning to teaching some years later, she realised that the profession wasn’t for her after all, and that banking and finance were perhaps a better fit.

Securing a new job with Cheltenham Borough Council, she immediately felt encouraged to develop professionally, and began considering her options. Like many people, Katie assumed that apprenticeships were designed for and aimed at school-leavers, but was pleasantly surprised to find that anyone looking for a new career could start one – and her employer was very supportive of this.

“I’ve worked in various companies in various roles related to finance, but I never had the official qualifications or technical knowledge. Now I’ve got this fantastic opportunity to learn and get that knowledge while earning money at the same time.”

Although CIPFA might have been the more obvious choice for a public sector organisation, Katie’s line manager, as well as several colleagues, all had ACCA qualifications, and their experiences (including a couple of Reed Business School alumni) swayed her towards ACCA.

One of the features of the apprenticeship route is the focus on developing the necessary skills and behaviours to succeed in the professional environment. As someone with a lot of business skills and experience already behind her, Katie has considered (with the support of her coach) how she can improve these further to meet the objectives of the programme.

“A school leaver with minimal work experience might want to develop their professional communication skills and confidence in working with various systems. I knew these were already strengths of mine, so I thought I could help guide others in these skills, using my teaching experience, and develop myself at the same time.”

Katie really enjoys her classes at our school, as she can have direct access to her tutors to answer questions, and connect more personally with her classmates in the break-times. She likes being able to work on practice questions in her own time, while also benefitting from direct feedback from her tutors following her mock assessments.

As a former teacher, Katie is very diligent when it comes to planning ahead and preparing for each class, but also in undertaking the independent study element of the programme, making the most of the resources available to her.

“The resources provided are excellent. To support your learning you get copies of books, a bank of practice questions, mock papers and access to a CPD training site where you can take bitesize courses whenever you like.” 

Katie’s advice to people seeking a career change a little bit later in life?

Don’t be afraid to take the leap – it’s never too late to try something new. The two or three years this qualification takes are going to pass anyway, so you may as well spend that time doing something you’ve always wanted to do, then you’ll always have your qualification.”

My AAT apprenticeship journey with Isabel Godfrey

Isabel Godfrey is an Outsourcing Associate at Wenn Townsend, and is about to start her Level 3 AAT apprenticeship, having just finished her Level 2 exams with us.

Isabel didn’t have a clear career path once she’d left school, so took on an admin job at Wenn Townsend once she’d finished her A-Levels to get some office experience. She enjoyed the work, and following some time away travelling, she was welcomed back to the team, and started to consider progression within the firm.

After obtaining an admin qualification, Isabel was encouraged to consider the accountancy route, and having heard great things about Reed Business School from her colleagues who also study with us, she was pleased to start her Level 2 AAT apprenticeship.

“I chose AAT because I didn’t have much relevant experience, I and wanted to start at the bottom to learn everything properly. It feels like a really good stepping stone along a pathway that’s becoming much clearer now.”

Isabel’s learning has mostly been online so far, with regular workshops and revision sessions to help her prepare for her exams. While she initially struggled a little to get to grips with the workload and study pattern, she’s now found her groove, and can’t wait to get stuck into her Level 3 classes at the Business School.

“If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that planning ahead really helps. I plan my time much better now, especially in the run-up to exams, and feel much more in control of my work-life balance.”

Isabel has been really impressed with the quantity and variety of resources available to her to support her learning, and is a big fan of the blended learning methods Reed Business School provides.

“The workshops are fantastic for being able to discuss areas I’m struggling with and to identify what I need to work on. We also get given practice papers which get individually marked with feedback, while the flexibility of being able to access online resources when I need them is really useful.”

Starting a new role within the accounts function a few months ago has really helped Isabel’s learning, and vice versa. Her work involves managing payroll journals, reconciliations and invoicing, and while it can be quite repetitive, Isabel now has a much better understanding of what it all means and why it’s important.

“I used to process the invoices just because that’s what I had to do, but now I understand what the invoices are, how they are constructed, and how to interpret all the information on them.”

As Isabel is still in the relatively early stages of her career, she’s unsure what path she’ll choose after completing her Level 3 qualification. She’s open to continuing with AAT or switching to ACA like some of her colleagues, but whatever she does, we’re sure she’ll do really well!

and finally a word from Isabel’s manager

“We choose Reed Business School as our preferred training provider due to the school consistently achieving pass rates higher than the national average and the excellent support the RBS team provide to the students. Our students completing their studies on the apprenticeship scheme at Reed also benefit from the support of an RBS learning coach and as a result our students are consistently qualifying as Chartered Accountants at Reed Business School. “

Jane Bull, FCA, Director of Accounting, Wenn Townsend

My ICAEW apprenticeship journey with Ajay Gohil

Ajay Gohil, Accounts Senior at Wenn Townsend, recently qualified as an ACA chartered accountant via Reed Business School’s apprenticeship scheme. We spoke to him to find out about his training journey.

After completing A-Levels in Maths, Further Maths, Physics and Chemistry, Ajay went on to study Physics at university. However, upon graduating, he decided to move into accountancy, and obtained a junior role at a firm where he could earn and start working towards his ACA qualification at the same time.

Ajay hadn’t really considered the apprenticeship route into accountancy before, but once he’d passed his certificate level papers, he was encouraged to join that pathway for the final two levels, with Reed Business School as the firm’s chosen training provider. Immediately he connected with the structure and pace of the programme and began to excel.

“The classroom environment at Reed Business School really suited me – being able to ask questions and get support on things I was struggling with. The feedback and marking of the mock exams also helped influence my revision, so I knew what areas I needed to focus on in the run up to each paper.”

When Ajay decided to move firm part-way through his studies, he asked his new employer whether he could continue with his apprenticeship with Reed, and they were very responsive to the idea – so much so that’s it’s standard practice for all their trainee accountants now!

In his current role, Ajay gets exposure to a lot of different areas of accountancy, and this has helped him get a broad understanding of the profession, while his softer business skills and behaviours also developed in line with the Skills & Behaviours element of the apprenticeship training.

“I was quite lucky to be able to have the role I did and the support of my firm to assist in my development, they’ve been fantastic throughout, and now I hope to be able to use my experience to guide and mentor the new apprentices my firm takes on.”

When it comes to support from Reed, Ajay believes the collaborative teaching approach we use for the Advanced Level papers is second to none:

“Talking openly with classmates and tutors about how to prepare for these exams was really useful. Reed facilitated these discussions and brought us all together in a professional and focused way, where we all felt supported and encouraged. I don’t think I would have passed the exams if it wasn’t for this.”

Now he’s fully qualified, Ajay admits that although his work/life/study balance was a little tricky to manage in the final year of his training, he’s very glad of the sacrifices he made to pass all his exams, He is now looking forward to working towards a new set of goals in relation to his career progression.

and finally a word from Ajay’s manager

“We choose Reed Business School as our preferred training provider due to the school consistently achieving pass rates higher than the national average and the excellent support the RBS team provide to the students. Our trainees largely stay at the manor whilst completing their courses, enabling them to study with their peers whilst benefiting from the expertise of the tutors in an environment away from the day to day responsibilities of work and home life. Our students completing their studies on the apprenticeship scheme at Reed also benefit from the support of an RBS learning coach and as a result our students are consistently qualifying as Chartered Accountants at Reed Business School. “

Jane Bull, FCA, Director of Accounting, Wenn Townsend

My ICAEW apprenticeship journey with Shaun Kailla

Today we’re sharing Shaun Kailla’s apprenticeship journey with Reed Business School. Shaun is Accounts and Audit Associate at Wenn Townsend and is coming up to his final round of professional level exams in his ACA qualification.

Shaun excelled at Maths as a child, and his love of the subject saw him through a Further Maths A-Level and then a Maths degree at Birmingham University. Unsure of which pathway to take after this, it was Shaun’s mum who first recommended the accountancy profession, and a friend directed him to the ICAEW website, where he spotted a job advert for a trainee position at Wenn Townsend.

Having researched thoroughly, Shaun knew that the ACA qualification was the one for him, and although he hadn’t previously considered an apprenticeship, he liked the look of the apprenticeship pathway and the structure of the course Reed Business School offers, which seemed to suit his personality and goals.

As part of the cohort affected by Covid, Shaun has experienced both our classroom teaching and the online learning and resources, and he has great things to say about both:

“I loved going to the classroom – it was a great opportunity to get involved, ask questions, and develop friendships with other people in my cohort. The online resources have also been amazing and I really like being able to view the notes, chat to my tutors and classmates online, and rewatch the class recordings when I want to.”

One of the key elements of the apprenticeship programme is the focus on learning the skills and behaviours to succeed in business, as well as the technical knowledge. Accountants, in particular those in client-facing roles, must have a well-rounded skillset to be able to communicate complex information and manage professional relationships, and this is one area where Shaun has really developed during his apprenticeship.

“When I started, I wasn’t particularly confident in being able to communicate technical information with clients. But a combination of studying to understand it better, experience on the job in a client-facing role, and working with my coach to improve my confidence now means I can do this with ease, which will really help me in my career going forward.”

Shaun admits that his determination not to fail any of his exams has meant a lot of hours spent on his study, occasionally at the detriment of his social life, but believes it’s absolutely worth it. He’s now even looking forward to supporting the next intake of trainees at his firm.

“All the trainees at Wenn Townsend now follow the apprenticeship pathway with Reed Business School, and I’m really glad I get the chance to guide them, and be able to pass on my knowledge and experiences so far.”

As for the future, Shaun is currently just focused on passing his remaining exams first time to get the qualification under his belt.

We believe in you, Shaun, you got this!

and finally a word from Shaun’s manager

“We choose Reed Business School as our preferred training provider due to the school consistently achieving pass rates higher than the national average and the excellent support the RBS team provide to the students. Our trainees largely stay at the manor whilst completing their courses, enabling them to study with their peers whilst benefiting from the expertise of the tutors in an environment away from the day to day responsibilities of work and home life. Our students completing their studies on the apprenticeship scheme at Reed also benefit from the support of an RBS learning coach and as a result our students are consistently qualifying as Chartered Accountants at Reed Business School. “

Jane Bull, FCA, Director of Accounting, Wenn Townsend