Name: Kamaru Aminat Omotolani
Job title: Senior associate, PwC Nigeria
Employer: PwC Nigeria
When did your ACCA journey begin?
I work for a professional services firm called PwC. As an ACCA Approved Employer, PwC are committed to employee development and as part of my training I was required to have a basic understanding of the relevant International Standards on Auditing (ISA) and International Accounting Standards (IAS)/International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRSs) so I could deliver a quality service to my clients.
In order to gain the expertise I needed it was necessary for me to achieve a professional accountancy qualification. ACCA’s global recognition and mutual agreements with other accountancy bodies around the world helped me decide that I wanted to study the ACCA Qualification.
What’s also good about the ACCA Qualification is that if you have a relevant degree or qualification, you can apply for exemptions from some of the exams. This meant because I studied Economics as an undergraduate I was able to skip the first exam, ‘Accountant and Business’.
What has been your experience of ACCA exams?
A year into working for PwC, I entered for my first exam, ‘Financial Accounting’ and scored 88%. And because I scored above 85% I was awarded a special certificate that recognised all those who excelled in their exams.
I then went on to complete three further exams in June 2017, and the following year I completed the next four exams including Advancement Performance Management (APM).
In September 2018, ACCA introduced their new Strategic Business Leader exam (SBL). A case study based exam designed to help students demonstrate the right blend of technical, ethical and professional skills needed in the workplace.
There was fear of failure throughout my ACCA journey, but with determination, zeal and staying away from negative vibes, I got where I am today.
How did you tackle the new SBL exam and what are you tips for success?
When the SBL exam was introduced I was about to enrol for the professional level exams. But after reading all the advice provided by ACCA I decided to defer my registration for SBL so I had enough time to prepare.
I quickly realised that 50% more study time was required to excel in the SBL exam. So I stuck a list of things I needed to do to prepare to my wall so I could assess my progress.
I used all the resources at my disposal to ensure I was fully prepared for the exam. I got the SBL workbook and practice kit from BPP (One of ACCA’s Approved Content Providers) which I read every day, summarising key points whenever I could – on the way to work or just in transit.
I also utilised all of ACCA’s resources which included articles on how to present your answers, tips from examiners, specimen papers and student support webinars.
Do you have any advice for future students tacking the SBL exam?
Firstly, quoting Brian Tracy “There are no limits to what you can accomplish, except the limits you place on your own thinking”.
The following tips will help students plan what points to make while reading the SBL case study:
- Understand your role
- Your intended audience
- Identify the format in which your answers should be presented
- Assign the timing for each question based on tuition providers suggested timing
For each point ensure you:
- Explain your point
- Relate it to the organisation
- Tailor it to the audience
Never say you can’t do it; never say it’s not achievable. Be ready to push yourself beyond your tolerance level to succeed. Now I can tell you authoritatively that SBL requires 50% more time than other exams to succeed. Tested and proven!
What benefits can you already see from studying the ACCA Qualification?
Studying the ACCA Qualification has made it possible for me to make meaningful contributions during strategic discussions. I understand why an organisation has a strategy, the critical success factors and how some organisations have been successful nationally and internationally, due to their strategic decisions. Even during client meetings, I can relate with the majority of what’s being discussed unlike before.
Overall, my ACCA journey has been long, tasking and demanding - but incredibly rewarding. Within a few days of completing the ACCA Qualification, the presence on my LinkedIn profile increased dramatically signalling the start of something even more positive.
I say: “Cheers to a brighter future, and I look forward to more opportunities from possessing the ACCA Qualification”.
Learn more about the ACCA Qualification