With university applications down for the second year running in the UK, people are clearly looking at other options to upskill and progress in their careers. Leeanne Ivey is an Assistant Accountant at car dealership Horizon Motor in the South West. Here she talks about how an AAT qualification helped her find a new job...
Being only 26 years old and looking back to what I have achieved in my career so far, I can say that I am very proud. I have worked in different finance related roles and I'm very committed to developing a career in finance and accounting.
I first started working as an Accounts Administrator for law firm Coles Miller Solicitors. I enjoyed my time there as it opened my eyes to accounting and I discovered my passion for numbers. It was there that my HR manager found the AAT Bookkeeping course for me.
I always pictured myself being an independent and successful business woman and since I was seeking a new challenge I wanted to do some form of training that would set me up for this type of career.
So after some online research and checking with a few colleagues who have done this qualification, I decided to do the AAT Bookkeeping course and signed up for it in January 2013 at Paragon Technology College in Boscombe.
After my first lesson I was blown away by double entry bookkeeping as I had never done it before. It didn’t take me long to get to grips with it though as the Level 2 was a nice easy entry into accounting.
The main hurdle here was trying to fit everything in; with working full time, running a household and trying to still have a social life. At first I struggled but although I was very tired I quickly managed to pick myself up and get on with it. I thought to myself, 'the hard work will pay off and it will be worth it'.
The AAT website was of great help and made things easier for me too, as they have guides, tutorials and various e-learning tools that you can do at your own pace.
Finding a job
I completed the 2 units in 6 months. Shortly after I got an interview for a finance role at Horizon Motor - a car dealership in the South West, and was offered the job. I don’t doubt that the knowledge I gained through AAT Bookkeeping allowed me to confidently tackle the interview.
I’m currently employed as an Assistant Accountant and my day to day work includes: preparing monthly accounts, analyzing car and accessories sales, coding purchase ledger, completing journals and tax returns and monitoring how the business is performing financially.
I plan to continue studying and am now close to finishing AAT Level 3 Diploma in Accounting with hopes to move on to level 4 and then full AAT membership. One day I would like to become a member in practice and be self-employed.
I’d encourage anyone considering a career in finance to consider AAT Bookkeeping. It gave me the skills, knowledge and confidence I needed to get my ideal job and helped me get to where I am today.
Latest opportunities for AAT studiers/qualified accountants include:
* Financial Controller, Wincanton - £35,000 to £40,000
* Assistant Accountant (Insurance), London £30,000 to £35,000
* AAT Transferee, London - £23,000 to £27,000 + full study package
* Trainee Accountant, Northampton - £21,000 to £23,000
* Finance Officer at Leading Trade Association, Manchester
Browse more jobs here