Nick works as a Corporate Finance Manager.
After studying Maths at university, he worked as an Accountancy Assistant for North East Lincolnshire Council.
What made you pursue a career in finance and accounting and why public services?
It was a logical progression from my Maths degree. I enjoy working with numbers and wanted to continue that relationship. I managed to get a job at North East Lincolnshire Council as an Accountancy Assistant, and really enjoyed the workload. It was so diverse having to work with different services, and helping them understand their budgets, rather than just plain number crunching, which is what I perceived the private sector accountants would be.
Why did you choose to study with CIPFA?
Working in the public sector, I saw the CIPFA qualification as being the most appropriate qualification to further my career. Although there are general modules that would also apply to accountants in the private sector, there are specific modules which are specific to public sector accounting.
Which entry route did you take to study with CIPFA?
I took the normal entry route into the qualifications, although from my previous AAT studies, I was exempt from the Financial Accounting and Management Accounting modules.
Which aspects/modules of your course have you enjoyed the most?
The main part of the course I have enjoyed the most is the networking opportunities that day release allows. Meeting colleagues from other authorities and being able to talk through issues and solution helps back at the office.
I enjoyed the Public Sector Financial Reporting (PSFR) module the most, as this meant getting your hands dirty with producing statements in a public sector setting, which is what I am most comfortable with.
What specific skills did you gain from the training?
I have gained skills in understanding why entries go into specific places within the Cash Flow statement, which is prepared as part of the Final Accounts process. This statement is by far the most difficult to produce, and understanding the logic of it, means that issues can be resolved easier.
In the short-term, CIPFA’s qualification has given me various skills on building financial statements, and rather than the “This is the way we do it as we’ve always done it this way” approach, the modules provide an in-depth understanding and logic of how things are constructed, subsequent issues, and how these can be ironed out easier. Long-term, I am hoping the strategic stages would give me more of a sense of perspective in my current role as I do feel I’m still too detailed and like to get involved in the ‘nitty gritty’, rather than taking a strategic approach and delegating responsibility to others.
Would you recommend the CIPFA Professional Qualification to other students? If so, please explain why?
Yes, I would recommend the CIPFA qualification to other students as I believe it’s a valuable tool to build your skills and awareness of all aspects of the public sector, from local government to the NHS and central government.
What are your ambitions for the future?
There are no limits to my ambitions, I’d love to go as high as my potential will allow. Over the short- term, I am happy gaining the experience in the role I’m in, and understand that I need a lot more experience in strategic elements before I can move on to the next level.