How to gain experience????

BHBBHB Settling In NicelyPosts: 23Registered
Hi everyone, any advice greatly appreciated.

I eventually qualified as AAT Technician in 2004 after resitting my costing exams. I have worked in accounts for 18years. I started a new job in August of last year (Accounts & Administration)£9.50 @ 33 hours per week covering PL,SL,NL, Vat returns, bank recs etc. After I had started it emerged that 3 members of staff had walked out just before the financial year end, the office was running on the casino staff filling in (no admin or accounts experience), the payroll was being done by a 78 year old retired accountant whose role was initially odd jobs. In late December of last year they did employ a wages clerk who had sage payroll experience. This wages clerk then embezzled the company(no internal audit procedures) and was sacked in April of this year (court case pending). Once a month we have a visit from a self employed accountant who produces the monthly accounts from the entries I have entered into Sage Instant Accounts for which he invoices the company £18.00 per hour(they hav been clients of his for many years). I feel that this is something I could be doing, would save the company some money and gain me some worthwhile experience and enable me to utilise all of the skills gained by doing AAT. What do I do???? Sorry to winge but nobody at home understands accounts and don't know what I am saying. Am I already qualified to do this or do I need further study.


  • JanJan Experienced Mentor Posts: 654Registered
    Hi BHB

    l also qualified in 2004 and have been doing similar work to you since then, so I know how you feel about utilising the skills you gained by doing AAT. If you have AAT at Technician level you should be qualified enough to produce management accounts, like me you just haven't done them in a "live" situation.
    It may be worthwhile asking your employers if their accountant would train you up to produce the monthly accounts. He/she may be keen to do this anyway - they seems to be offering a cut price deal.

    However, looking at it from your employers point of view - they have already had an employee in a trusted postion steal from them (the wages clerk) so they may be a little reluctant to do this. As a third party is seeing what you are doing, they at least know you are not able to embezzle them.

    You can only ask and if you don't ask you'll never know!

    PS My first reaction to your post was - gosh what a mess! Some companies think anyone can do our job - no wonder they get into a mess.
  • BHBBHB Settling In Nicely Posts: 23Registered
    How to gain experience???

    Hi Jan

    Thanks for replying to my post, don't you think it's really really difficult to move on and gain further experience. This is my 3rd position now since I qualified at Technician stage and I'm still no further forward although my hourly rate has increased. The accountant who comes in once a month is a really nice guy in his 60s so I think if I asked him he would show me the ropes. Though instead of using sage to it's full potential he prefers to transfer the figures to excel and produce the accounts that way, waste of time really but they've been done that way for many years now.

    Only trouble is that the chap who is helping out from the casino (has a maths degree) doesn't do any of the acccounts work but is thinking of asking the director if he will pay for him to do ACCA so that he can take over. The accountant doesn't believe he will take it on (says he has got to age 36 and still hasn't done anything with his life as he's too lazy).Comes and go's as he pleases (12 o'clock start and 5 o'clock finish).

    The only other option open to me to take my experience further is to work as a MIP part time, I have looked at ACCA but the workload scares the hell out of me as does the cost.

    What has your experience of AAT been like? Do you think doing it was worthwhile? Would really like to hear your feelings.

  • JanJan Experienced Mentor Posts: 654Registered
    Hi BHB

    Yes I do think it has been worthwhile doing AAT, although I sometimes feel I haven't utilised it as mush as I could have. I started doing it just to prove to myself I could really. I'd left school with A levels in 1976 and all my friends went on to Uni and got degrees. Only planned to do to Immediate, but once I started felt that I needed to do Technician and be fully qualified. Almost like the scarecrow (?) in Wizard of Oz, got the certificate in the end to show he had a brain!

    Like you I am in my 3rd position since qualifying. My husband says he's going to put me on Appleby market - it's a gypsy market held once a year - I've changed jobs so often :lol: . I've gone for a couple of Assistant Accountant posts with no joy. One was looking hopeful, till I realised with the extra travel/parking costs involved and the cut in hours it would have cost me about a £100 per week to take it! I'd rather be a better paid bookkeeper (which I think I am) than a poorer paid accountant :001_smile: I try not to undervalue a bookkeepers work - after all if we get it right it makes it a lot easier for the accounts to do their work.

    If I was in your shoes I'd definitely approach the accountant. You could do them his way first and then change when you know what needs doing. (You do know the old accountants joke - that's the way it was done last year). IMO I don't think you need ACCA in your position, the work load and cost wouldn't be worthwhile. You could also point this out to your employers. I take it like me you paid for your own study so far?

    Keep me posted - I'm going off now, spent enough time on here today!
  • BHBBHB Settling In Nicely Posts: 23Registered
    One Scarecrow to another???

    Hi Jan

    I left school in 1977 not knowing what I wanted to do. Married and divorced young.

    Yes I like you did pay for my own study, after being in my 1st role for 11.5 years and still feeling like the office junior I left. Was encouraged by my new employer to do some training so started AAT intermediate. Whilst part way through the year my old company offered me a new role and asked me back, went back (big mistake) was told if I wanted to continue studying that it had to be in my own time (eventually left for good after 1 year). Failed costing in Technician year and left it for a while. Went to see Fortune Teller who told me I had a good brain and I wasn't an imbecile (how did she know how I was feeling) and would pass my exams if I got my head down. She was so right.

    I'm with you on the book-keeper point, get it right 1st time, which I believe I do and what follows is so much easier. Sometimes do feel undervalued though and want to prove to myself and employer that I can do more.

    Anyway must get an early night as accounts auditors in this week.

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