The class of 2015 - recent Accounting and Finance graduands at the University graduation ceremony in November.
Aspiring accountants can speed up the time taken to become fully exam qualified by studying at the University of Chester.
The BSc Accounting and Finance course offered at the University, which recently achieved 98% for student satisfaction in the latest National Student Survey, has been awarded the maximum amount of exemptions from exams of the following key professional accounting bodies: the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA). Exemptions from exams are also now available with the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA). This means that students have even fewer professional accounting exams to sit before they become fully qualified as professional accountants following their degree studies.
This is a significant development for the University as it demonstrates the recognised level of professional integrity embedded within a course that is at the very forefront of accounting and finance training.
Professor Ruth Ashford, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Business and Management, said: "The University of Chester is in a fantastic position of being able to boast of our outstanding relationships with the accountancy professional bodies. Our courses enjoy the maximum exemptions from the professional examinations and, as such, we are adding value for our students in preparation for their professional careers in such a very competitive arena."
On the path to professional accounting – Chester students inspired by workshops and talks with ICAEW and CIMA
Year 3 (Level 6) students enjoyed visits from both professional accounting bodies ICAEW and CIMA recently and had the opportunity to take part in business games. Students working in teams had to analyse business and financial information relating to companies in both the jewellery and mining industries in order to decide on their future strategy.
These events provided an excellent opportunity for students to learn more about the accounting profession from those who work within it, to apply technical knowledge and to develop the soft skills such as presentation, negotiation and communication which employers are so keen to see.
Prizes were awarded for teams that worked best together and for those teams that devised strategies for the companies that maximised profits. Here are some pictures of the winning teams enjoying the glory of their success!
Valuable talks were also given by Claire Du Rose from CIMA and Rebecca Crowther from ICAEW to provide students with information and advice on careers in accounting and the best route to becoming qualified.
Claire Du Rose from CIMA
Rebecca Crowther from ICAEW
Mr D. Randhawa, the Director of Finance at the Bank of America, attended one of these talks and inspired students by giving highlights of his varied and successful career, including roles at Arthur Anderson and Goldman Sachs.
D. Randhawa, Director of Finance at the Bank of America, giving an insight into his career
Students during the activities
Interview tips from KPMG
A talk from Christopher Lofthouse and Laura Mitchell of KPMG tackled the important issue of how to approach and deal with interviews. A valuable insight was given on how to stay calm and to present the best image of yourself in a pressurised interview. They also gave top tips on the skills and attributes that accounting and finance companies are looking for when recruiting graduates.
Where next for two of our recent graduates?
From Afghanistan to Accounting, Raphael shows that University can be a career changer
Name: Raphael Ametepe
Course: Accounting and Finance
Where now? Exchange Trader/Derivative Analyst at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch in Chester.
In his early twenties, Ghanaian-born Raphael came to the UK and was soon serving as a private with the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, who were then based in the Dale Barracks in Chester. Over four and a half years, he undertook two tours of duty in Afghanistan, two in Kenya and was also based in Cyprus. On his return to the UK, Raphael decided to settle in Chester and to come to the University here.
“I felt it was time for a change and I chose a degree in Accounting and Finance because I wanted to play to my strengths. It was good for me to do something that I could build on and which would be beneficial to me after University, putting me in good stead for future job prospects.
“I am competitive and I wanted to do a course that challenged me. I was also motivated as I had received a scholarship from SSAFA, the armed forces charity, which was based on my academic performance so I had to keep my grades up to make sure I had my fees paid!”
Raphael was motivated throughout his degree, and spent his sandwich year working on a number of key projects at the CSA Group (SIRA) based in Eccleston, near Chester, which saw him liaising with colleagues around the world. On the support he received, he says:
“I loved my time at Chester, and the help I received, including the support from my lecturers, and from Student Support and Guidance too. They were a great help to me from a welfare point of view, especially with me being ex-forces. I knew I could go in and have a chat. Because I didn’t come from a formal educational background, it was more important for me to tap in to that help and support. There was always help - if you needed it, you would get it!
“I want to become a fully qualified accountant in the next year or two, and develop my career in that respect. I see my career as a managing accountant within the investment banking sector. I have high aspirations in the corporate world. I want to develop my career, to try to be the best I can be in whatever I do.”
Degree study equals success for accountant Catherine
Name: Catherine Broadhurst
Course: Accounting and Finance
Where now? Murray Smith Chartered Accountants, based in Northwich.
Recent graduate Catherine is enjoying the triple success of achieving a first class honours degree, the highest results of all the students on her course and securing a job whilst studying.
Catherine Broadhurst with Helen Clayfield
Catherine, aged 22, from Hartford, who studied Accounting and Finance, received the Liverpool Society of Chartered Accountants Award, which is designed to encourage excellence in accounting. A number of universities in the area are involved in the awards with a prize available for a student from each.
Tutor Helen Clayfield nominated Catherine for the award on the strength of her results. She said: “I am delighted I was able to nominate Catherine for this prize. She has demonstrated a commitment and enthusiasm to learning throughout her studies at the University of Chester. She has been an excellent student and I wish her every success in her future career in the accounting profession."
Her new employers are also proud of her achievements. Murray Smith Chartered Accountants, based in Northwich, employed Catherine on a summer internship in the second year of her degree and were so impressed with her work that they offered her graduate employment on completion of her degree.
Catherine said: “This is by far my greatest achievement to date and has proved to me that hard work can get you to where you want to be.
“Also, studying at the University of Chester and having such wonderful tutors throughout my time there pushed me to look for an internship during my second year, which has subsequently enabled me to secure a position in accountancy.”