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Woman on a mission

Meet Rebecca Gilmour, a woman who took a different route to land the ACCA qualification

December 2016

At the tender age of 21, Rebecca Gilmour has passed all her ACCA exams at the first time of asking. It has taken her just three years to pass all 14 papers, after she decided to tackle the ‘problem’ of becoming a qualified accountant in her own way.
Gilmour had a place to study an accountancy degree at Newcastle University, which included a year out in industry. This would have given her nine exemptions, leaving just the ‘P’ papers to complete. But she worked out that this would mean studying for six years, and she would be left with a hefty student loan to pay off.
Her mum, Tracy, is also an accountant and together they started to look at alternative, faster and possibly cheaper routes to achieving the same objectives.
Gilmour decided the best way forward was to study ACCA full-time at Leeds BPP, along with the international students. She started studying in September 2013 and passed 12 papers, completing three papers at each June and December sitting.
In September last year, Gilmour began full-time work at Capita, where she completed her last two optional papers. She works in the firm’s fund accounting arm, where there are a lot of technical quirks, which she admits can be challenging. However, she loves the fast pace, dynamic environment.
On top of all this, Gilmour submitted her dissertation to Oxford Brookes University, so will get a BSc Honours degree in Applied Accounting to add to her ACCA qualification.
Gilmour told us it was while at school she decided to opt for accountancy. And it was the ACCA’s international credentials that attracted her to the qualification, giving her the option to work or live abroad.
Looking back over the exams she felt F1 was the easiest paper, with P4 deemed ‘the hardest’. F1 contained a lot of concepts already familiar to her due to the economics she had taken at ‘A’ level. P4’s calculations around derivatives was the real challenge.
Her top tips for passing the ACCA exams is question practice. You can read the content over and over, but if you don’t learn how to apply it in different situations then the exams can be very challenging, she stressed.
So Gilmour is now fully exam qualified, with a full year’s work experience under her belt, and this has all been achieved in three short years. It may an unusual at the moment, but as university fees climb this may become a more popular route to becoming a qualified accountant.

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