Case Study: Aziz

Aziz Ali

Aziz Ali
Business Accountant , London Borough of Tower Hamlets

"The CIPFA qualification is providing me with the comprehensive accounting skills to become a successful public finance accountant."

Why did you choose to study with CIPFA?

Why did you pursue a career in public finance and accountancy?

I left ACCA to join CIPFA as they have a lot to offer to their members and most importantly, they are most aligned to my career aspirations of serving in the public sector. The key motivator was to serve the local community – and there is no qualification other than CIPFA's to best serve my purpose of a career in public service finance.
I have always wanted to be an accountant. This was reaffirmed during my business management degree, where I really enjoyed the accountancy modules. As a local resident of Tower Hamlets, I have a great affinity for the borough and I would like to make a tangible contribution to my community. In addition, I can reach my career goals whilst maintaining a good work life balance.

Full case study

How was your study route funded?

As part of the graduate programme I am on, my employer is sponsoring me to complete my CIPFA qualification.

Which entry route did you take to study the CIPFA Professional Qualification?

I have a 2:1 degree in business management. I am also part qualified with the ACCA (which I intend to complete once I have become CIPFA-qualified).

What does your job comprise?

I am part of a graduate programme and undertake bi-annual rotations across the key business functions of my employer, aligned with the modules I am studying for the CIPFA qualification.

Currently I am in a business partnering role, aiding budget managers and achieving mission-critical, transformation-saving targets, without adversely affecting much-needed front line services.

Which aspects/modules of your course have you enjoyed the most?

I really enjoyed learning the how the public sector reports on its finances, from central government departments to the NHS. These skills can only be attained by completing the CIPFA qualification.

Would you recommend the CIPFA Professional Qualification to other students? If so, please explain why?

Yes absolutely. The most significant boom of the CIPFA qualification is that it automatically gives you a market advantage: you possess public finance skills in addition to private sector knowledge. This is especially the case for those wishing to achieve senior posts in the public sector.

How does your qualification help you in your day-to-day tasks and long term?

I have taken more of structured approach to my day-to-day tasks, and certification has helped me to better understand the various nuisances and demands of the workplace. I have therefore been better place to handle these demands, which I would otherwise have struggled with.

In the long-term, the certification will stand me in good stead to achieve my objective of attaining senior posts and beyond within the public service arena. A good understanding of financial regulations and mandatory procedures in public sector organisations will enable me to achieve my goals.

What specific skills did you gain from the training?

The training has enabled me to widen my skills portfolio. Through it, I have both enhanced my quantitative financial accounting skills and gained more qualitative skills. My employer, the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, utilises the CIPFA Business Partnering Model as a key tool in organisational success. The enhanced interpersonal, communication, financial accounting and management accounting skills I have gained from this training have enabled me to settle into and succeed in my current role as a business partner in the Communities and Localities Directorate.

What are your ambitions for the future?

I have four modules remaining to complete the CIPFA qualification. I’m very interested in the combined audit qualification that is being offered from CIPFA and ICAS. I plan to undertake these additional exams to obtain a dual qualification.

Achieving these qualifications will enable me to move into senior management and become a director of finance.

Any further comments?

CIPFA is the benchmark for public sector finance and attaining such a qualification is a gateway of achieving success in the public sector arena.