Always Last

I am almost always the last to finish in exams. After sitting my costing revenues exam, which I did pass, I wondered whether this is going to be a hindrance if I ever get a job in accountancy. As I seem to be twice as slow as everyone else am I less likely to hold onto a job (if I can get one) and does it make it likely that I will be held up professionally or passed over for promotion? From peoples experience, is being slow a 'no go' in the accountancy sector? Or has it never held you back?


  • Sharonjayne
    Sharonjayne Registered Posts: 12
    edited January 2015
    Does it take you a long time to get to the answer or are you a compulsive checker? Are you actually working in accounts at the moment or are you only studying accounts? Practice makes perfect! A lot of your fellow examinees are already working in accounts therefore they've had a lot of practice.
  • stevef
    stevef Registered Posts: 258 Dedicated contributor 🦉
    And some of your fellow examinees may have failed the exam because they did not spend enough time reading the question and preparing the answer.
  • Diddy Mau
    Diddy Mau Registered Posts: 238 Beyond epic contributor 🧙‍♂️
    I was the same in the exams. Most of the time I finished with 20mins to go, sometimes less.

    Like above have said, are you taking the time to ensure all answers are correct, or is it nerves.
    The best way to look at it is, do I take the time allocated and try my best, and passing or rush through, not reading the question correctly failing and having to pay to re-sit the exam.

    If your not yet doing accountancy work, then yes at first you will be slow, but you will get better and quicker with experience. This is the same with all jobs.
  • Captain_kebab
    Captain_kebab Registered Posts: 5
    Thanks guys. No I'm not working in accounts but I'd say I'm slow in class too when it comes to picking things up. When I put my mind to it I can understand the material, it's just that I'm worried that I could be trying to break into the wrong career if I am not as fast as processing information as quickly as others. Intelligence wise I think I am fine it's just I don't want to be so slow that it makes me unemployable.
  • Diddy Mau
    Diddy Mau Registered Posts: 238 Beyond epic contributor 🧙‍♂️
    I wouldn't worry to much, as it's far better to be slow and correct and rush something and to have it all wrong.
    Think of it this way, your boss gives you a task. Get the task done, but then spend the time double checking the work. Telling you now this is better than rushing something and having to spend even more time correcting the mistakes.
    Employers would rather have something a little late than something that's all wrong.
    The end of the day you future boss/bosses need to know your capable of doing the work. Speed comes with experience
  • ariadne
    ariadne Registered Posts: 218
    Having a natural ability will make it easier and quicker. I'm usually quick, except for one exam which I took late which I don't recommend, but I know at higher levels this natural apptitude isn't going to be enough and I'll be struggling with things I don't easily understand. But that's not a reason not to work hard, once you do understand it will stick with practice - little and often is best. Have a look for study techniques to help understand how we learn best. The only thing that would make me think someone was doing the wrong career is if they didn't enjoy it most of the time. Once you get in the work place you may find particular areas you prefer and fit best with your abilities, AAT covers a lot but many jobs, especially in industry, cover more specialised tasks.
  • alexmill2
    alexmill2 Registered Posts: 5
    I think in accountancy you are fine to be taking things slowly in the workplace as accuracy is essential in our industry! If you are going to fast then you can easily make mistakes so I wouldn't worry about going slow in exams or in class.
  • burg
    burg Registered, Moderator Posts: 1,441 mod
    What exams ask for can only be a starting point of what is needed in reality. In my experience you need the both together to compliment each other. Once you get a job within accounts you should find you can put some of your knowledge to use and you will find things you didn't quite understand before make more sense. Then you speed should improve.

    I've never worked in industry only in practice so can only comment on that side of things. In many practices including my own the emphasis is on efficiency rather than speed. I would be looking for someone who can get the work done in the quickest time but that is correct. If Joe Bloggs gets the job done and to me to review in 4 hours but I have to review for over an hour and send back for another 2 hours work and then another 30mins of my time before it is right whereas you may get all of the work done in 5 hours (same actual time) but I only have to review once for an hour. I've saved 30mins of my time plus you have taken an hour less. The job also hasn't sat around idle for some time whilst waiting to be reviewed a second time.

    With partners time in some practices easily near £200 an hour that small amount of saved time can make big differences.

    So yes in summary speed is important in practice but accuracy is too. so overall you just need to be efficient, finding the fastest speed possible whilst retaining accuracy.

    Good luck

Privacy Policy