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How to be our PQ of the Year

We spoke to our recently crowned PQ of the Year, Tyson Nsimbe, about what makes him tick

May 2018

Why accountancy and why ACCA?
Accountancy equals relevance – every business needs an accountant. Problem solver, solutionist, accountant, project manager, consultant – accountancy gives me superpowers to support the dreams and aspirations of family and friends, as well as improve my local community by sharing my expertise and experience.
ACCA is the platform/training ground where I have developed these super powers to one day move the world.

How have you found the exams? Any tips for studying?
Exams are incredibly tough. I won’t beat about the bush. Working full time and studying is mind blowing and regularly comes with post-exam stress disorder (I often find myself thinking I need to revise after an exam). On a positive note, with the assistance of BPP, Open Tuition and The ExP Group I have found a system of knowledge whereby I can compare workings and computation, extract knowledge and question more – learn in my own way.
My top exam tips are:
• To do the homework set by your tutors.
• Go through at least three past exam samples via ACCA.
• Accept you’re a human being, there is only so much you can do. Do not worry if you haven’t covered absolutely everything – just do what you can in terms of revision and reading.
• Manage your time during your exam – 1.8 minutes per mark and move on.

Like many accountancy professionals you have a full-time job. How do you find balancing work/study/life?
Speaking honestly, I don’t. I put work first, life second and study last.
Saying that, I do turn up to every lesson, read my quota of extra online lectures, ask my tutors questions I have pending, attend mock exam day and smash every exam. Maybe my method is what some may describe as ‘YOLO’, but I guess it works.
In the accounting or finance profession one must accept 9-5 is a myth and that working additional hours on occasion becomes the norm. I probably work in the region of 50+ hours a week – but I do ensure to leave on time at least a few times a week to spend time with family, for my extracurricular commitments, mentoring and friends. It’s important to me to remember where I am and where I came from and I do dedicate a lot of time outside of work to disadvantaged students – regardless of where you have come from, you can become anything you want to be if you work smart and focus on positive expectation of good.

Tell us a bit about your role at FairFX.
My main functions are:
• Maintain integrity of the general ledger.
• Perform month end activities including balance sheet reconciliations.
• Daily bank reconciliations – over 100 bank accounts.
• Investigating unusual transactions and proposing solutions.
• Journal entries.
• Develop improved processes, procedures and controls.
• Assist the payments team when required.
• Assist with management of accounts payable and accounts receivable.
• Assist with the preparation for interim and year-end financial statements.
• Assist with year-end audits.
• Ad hoc project work, business plans and systems development.
• Liaise with banks, suppliers, HMRC and international tax authorities.
• Conduct training and education programmes.
• Review, analyse and implement into procedures and business practices, applicable rules and regulations affecting the company.
• On-board customers in line with the firm’s customer due diligence (CDD) necessities.
• Keep up-to-date with, and understand, relevant laws and regulations.
• Highlight or escalate areas of concern.
• Contribute to robust and effective compliance controls within the organisation.
• Report directly to CEO, CFO, COO and CCO as well as Financial Controller.

Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
I hope to be with FairFX, managing a team of Tysonly trained geniuses taking finance, compliance and risk to the next level. I’d like to join the C-suite one day.

What has it been like being our PQ of the Year?
Being PQ of the Year is a tremendous achievement. I am still overwhelmed and humbled by this award. I know somewhere in the stars Mum is looking down on me and smiling – she never made excuses in life, she just got on with the job as I do myself and I am privileged to have won this award. Being up against such talented, wonderful and deserving candidates, it is truly an honour.
I was surprised to have won as I haven’t won many awards in my life.

What’s the best piece of advice you have ever received?
If you have a problem, share it. A problem shared, is a problem halved.
Grandma Chinwe told me that a job is just a job. Do not get attached to your job – never lose sight of your dreams. My Big Sister told me that the most valuable gift you can give anyone is your time. Spend it wisely. And Mummy told me to take pride in my work.

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