ACCA Affiliate Happiness Watimanywa shares her ACCA story, speaking about what made her take up the qualification and her experience writing the Strategic Business Reporting examination; highlighting how real life experiences are relevant to exam success.
Where are you currently working?
I’ve been working in audit for over a year and I’m currently an Audit Assistant for KPMG Tanzania.
How did you decide a career in accountancy was for you?
My background has been firmly invested in accounting – although it wasn’t actually intentional. But I ended up excelling in my IGCSE exams so I went on to continue with the subject at A-level and then eventually through to my university studies.
What made you decide to study ACCA?
I knew I definitely wanted to obtain a UK degree, and because ACCA has a partnership with Oxford Brookes University, I jumped at the chance to do my professional studies and obtain a BSc in Applied Accounting at the same time. When you study with ACCA you also become part of a network of over 200,000 members and 500,000 students – and I’m incredibly proud to be part of a network that allows for such diversity in its members' backgrounds
Tell us a little about your journey so far…
I think it’s a great bonus to be able to study two qualifications in tandem – but the biggest lesson I learned is that you cannot succeed at ACCA without putting the work in. ACCA wants everyone to pass – which is why they offer resources beyond the syllabus.
I now know thanks to experience, that intelligence and study alone are not enough to be a successful finance professional. Consistent practice is essential along with the crucial element of acquiring knowledge relevant to, but outside the syllabus.
Having relevant experience can also go a long way in enhancing the exam experience especially the practical aspects of the papers that require you to personify what a professional would do in the real world.
How did you find ACCA’s new Strategic Business Reporting (SBR) exam?
I recently passed the SBR exam, and one thing I really liked was that it incorporated, leadership, governance and the soft skills you actually require in the workplace – so it’s something that’s very relevant.
ACCA will be rolling out computer-based exams for Strategic Professional, and as you’re expected to be conversant with the digital working environment, it’s just brilliant practical experience especially for students who have not worked yet.
What do you feel are the benefits of studying the ACCA Qualification?
Employers want hard working and dedicated individuals on their workforce. ACCA is a fantastic place to start preparing the right mind set to become a world class professional. The newly introduced SBR and SBL exams are catering to the professional skills needed by employers. Accounting is no longer simply a number crunching profession but one that requires the individual to move beyond the traditional calculations.
ACCA has married the recruitment needs of employers by including elements of strategy, innovation, governance and leadership in its syllabus. It’s preparing students who attain the qualification to become more than individuals who are just skilled for jobs in finance and accounting. It is cultivating competent leaders that are able to continually adapt to changing industry trends.
I personally think ACCA should be seen to be more than just exams and a route to achieve a title. It is and should be, in my view, treated as a way of life. This means embodying a constant pursuit of self-improvement. ACCA monthly magazines, articles and research gives us a look into such things as where the future of our profession is headed and the implications of fast changing technology - a great starting point!