How I became a chartered accountant….(slightly more interesting blog than appears, but only slightly)
Author: Russell SmithMay 9, 2012
I don’t want to totally bore you but to illustrate my point for this blog, I’ve got no option but to give you my complete educational history of how I become a chartered accountant!
I started school at 5 and was the second cleverest child in my school. It was a small school and there was a girl called Jennifer Tucker who was cleverer than me (this probably is still the case). Jennifer went on to a grammar school. Yours truly, failed the 11+ (I actually physically cried in the exam no less) and went to the local comprehensive.
I didn’t particular enjoy school and at aged 15 decided to bunk most of the last year and study for my GCSEs by purchasing a load of revision guides (I remember staring up at them in WH Smith thinking ‘I can’t believe all the answers are in these books, I don’t need to go to school anymore’). I say ‘bunk’, in my defense, my mum had full knowledge. Amazingly, I didn’t get caught until the penultimate last day of school. Unbelievably, I still got told off.
Anyway, I passed my GCSEs well and went to the local sixth form college (NOT school, no uniform and we called the teachers by their first names). I had a great time there and I picked up 3 A levels a long the way. Unfortunately, nobody told me that to get into university you had to do well in your first year, so I was rejected by every university I applied to except for Leeds (including Oxbridge, a slight that I am planning to rectify by living my educational ambition through my son).
So I went to Leeds and studied Theology and Religious Studies. I subject that I adored and still do.
I worked really hard for my GCSEs, really hard for my ‘A’ levels and decided to work reasonably hard for my degree, which I got 3 years later. I then got a job at Grant Thornton as a trainee chartered accountant. The firm was fantastic. However, the exams were incredibly difficult but after 3 years I finally qualified as a chartered accountant in 2001.
I started school in 1982. It took me 19 years to qualify as a chartered accountant. You can’t qualify in less time. Do you know how long it took me to ‘qualify’ as a business owner? About 5 minutes (if that).
It’s impossible to be a success in business without the learning and education. This can take all forms but the person who just starts and then grows a business without the hard effort of learning, well, they are few and far between. The successful business owner realises that anybody can be a business owner but it takes a great deal of learning to be a successful one.