For all the grand plans played out on the world economic stage, it is the quality of the accounting at individual companies that really makes the difference between success and failure, profit and loss. Often forgotten, rarely credited, I believe that accounts are at the heart of any business and I want to learn how to make a difference, by studying best practice and the advanced techniques required to make accounts as efficient and effective as possible.
Human behaviour fascinates me almost as much as numbers do, and I think that both are important aspects of accounting. I have had two work placements during my A-level studies and I have saved money for both companies, not by being smarter than their accounts team, but by suggesting changes in behaviour. All too often, companies buy from the same supplier that they always have, despite the fact that there are cheaper sources. It is human nature to stick with the comfortable and familiar.
To support this approach, I have combined my A-levels in maths and business studies with A-level psychology. This way I am able to not only understand the numbers in a set of accounts, but also some of the reasons behind them.
I am interested in a career in accounting since it not only matches my interests, skills and abilities, but also offers a solid career path. Whether the figures are good or bad, impressive or disastrous, there will always be a need for an accountant to process and present them. In fact, as times continue to be tough for business, I believe that the skilled accountant will become ever more in demand.
Another key skill of a successful accountant is the ability to communicate well and build good relationships with people, and I believe that my volunteer work with our local youth group has helped me to develop this. In this role I not only work with young people aged ten to fifteen, but also liaise with their parents, teachers, and where necessary, social workers, to solve problems, enhance opportunities and generally help these young people to gain confidence and self belief. I believe these skills are directly relevant to the workplace, where I will need to keep many different stakeholders onside during changes such as financial cuts or restructuring.
Outside of my academic studies, I am a keen film buff, and have worked hard lobbying my local multiplex cinema to show a more varied selection of films beyond the mainstream blockbusters. I was delighted earlier this year, when they responded to my campaign by showing the Future Shorts collection of short films. I made sure that I rallied as many of my friends and family as possible to attend to make the event a success.
While there are many opportunities to start young in the accounting industry, and learn on the job gaining qualifications along the way, I think that studying the subject to degree level is a more focused, and ultimately more rewarding path. I have ambitions to one day be a financial director of a major company and I believe that this course is a significant step in achieving that dream.