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Diaries of an oddball accountant acca cima aat

Diaries of an oddball accountant – Year 2 – Keep Going!

My ‘Diaries of an oddball accountant’ is me sharing my highs and lows to the emotional but very rewarding Accounting rollercoaster qualification that I know you guys are on.

Read and use it as a confidence booster (to know you’re not alone) – a motivational story (to prove it’s worth it) – and a fun read (yes, you have permission to laugh at me!)

Over the next six weeks I’m sharing my honest, candid, funny and inspiring six-year accounting journey (yeah sounds ages doesn’t it!).

I’d love to hear what you think and where you are in your journey, leave a comment below or send me an email – hello@prettysuccesfulcareers.co.uk


Just keep going!

Two ways to sum up this year before I go into the detail. Firstly, how I felt during the year – was emotional but focused. Secondly looking back on the year to write here, I was focused on the wrong things! (Hindsight is a wonderful thing isn’t it!)


So, this year I took 4 exams and passed …. One!


Why am I sharing this and being so honest with you?

Genuinely guys, if I had seen or heard of an Accounting coach I would have snapped them up! I didn’t quite realise I needed 1:1 support, but if I had then it would have made such a difference to my focus and study.

I remember this year well, because I really knew I was a great accountant, work was going really well and I was creating a real career and job role for myself.


When it came to my exams and studying, arrogance reared it’s ugly head!

I was still going to BPP, and took exams in both sitting (May and November). But clearly I wasn’t ‘getting it’.


One reason why I know I wasn’t passing is something I want to share with you (no judging me please), and I want to share the honest truth because I want you to not make this mistake, and trust me I think it’s an easy mistake to make.

I was signed up to BPP, but I wasn’t attending 100% of classes and I wasn’t submitting all of the work. My commitment just wasn’t there, well it was there for CIMA but not for the study piece and I just wasn’t doing enough work.


My BPP journey

Many of my BPP studies followed the same pattern, I struggled through the morning sessions and as soon as break and lunch were called I would sit on the steps in the corridor so on-one would see how stressed and upset I was (and on many occasions crying) – because I didn’t get the answer right in class, or because I really did not understand that topic or calculation.

How the hell was I going to pass this exam and be a real great accountant if I don’t get it!?

On one occasion I am embarrassed to admit that as soon as afternoon break was called, I went home. I ran out of that classroom, feeling super guilty for not making the ‘right’ commitment, but also smug that I was using my annual leave in a more fun way!

{Note to self and you guys – when you make the commitment, for goodness sake stick to it! There is no point wasting your time if you’re not committed}.


As we know these are tough exams, but they are not impossible, and it’s not only nobel prize winners that pass them and get their letters. ‘Us’ normal accountants can and do pass too!

I had worked so hard academically to get here, and I just forgot that I needed to dedicate real time and planning to these exams, I took my foot off the study commitment and I was kidding myself that I was working hard enough.


I looked like I was working hard!

Oh, I looked like I was working hard enough (Books all over the dining room and revision notes written neatly) and I talked the talk and sat exams every sitting … but honestly the mindset wasn’t there.

I was bored and tired and BPP was not helping with my motivation levels. Don’t get me wrong I genuinely wouldn’t have passed without my study courses at BPP, and it was my attitude that let me down this year.

I saw the whole study piece as a drain on my brain, and annual leave! And guess what – I failed my exams! Surprise surprise!


I’m not an A/A* kind of girl, I’m a hard worker, I only got my 1st Class honours degree because I was in the library every day for my final year and the ‘prize’ was so close in my reach, it was motivating me to commit and work super hard.

Being halfway through my CIMA exams was nowhere near the end, and this didn’t drive my motivation levels!

Luckily work did drive my motivation and I worked super hard here, building on my CV and carving out a niche in Management Accounts combined with Commercial Analysis. I loved my work and my work colleagues.


Sound familiar – right?!

If you are feeling in anyway similar to any of my experiences this year, then please reach out to me. I am qualified now and my super power as an Accounting Coach is being able to pull you out of emotional situations like this.


How? Because I genuinely have been there, I picked myself up and refocused to pass my exams!


I am one of the proudest CIMA Accountants in the World and I can coach and support you so that study is fun, we can build your confidence together and get ready for the passionate motivation I love to bring to my clients!


I won’t let any qualifying accountant bumble through with a half arsed attempt.

Let’s be IN and let’s get your exam PASS so you can get the pay rise or new job or new car and that holiday you desperately want to use your annual leave for.

Seriously, I’m not just saying this, but I know I ‘wasted’ this year and I won’t let you make the same mistakes as me.


So reach out for a chat about a bespoke coaching package that I can commit with YOU in 2019.


Well that’s the end of year 2, what do you think?

Would you class me as an oddball accountant yet or do you need to hear how crazy I was in year 3 to make your mind up? 😉


I hope the diaries are inspiring and motivating you. Please get in touch if you’re interested in having some coaching, here’s a link to my diary for us to jump on a call and get you one massive step closer to exam confidence and success! http://bit.ly/PSCChat

Until next week! Keep your head up guys. Helen x


P.S – Oh if you’ve missed any of the early diary years – then just click below!

Year 1 – Super Keen times!

Year 2 – ‘Keep going’ (You’re on it!)

Year 3 – ‘How have I not finished yet?!’ (Coming next week!)

Year 4 – My power year (coming soon!)

Year 5 – Putting CIMA 1st (properly) (Coming soon!)

Year 6 – Having that smug feeling & what I’ve done next (Coming soon!)

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