Case study

Thomas Bateman

Assistant Accountant
CIMA student  
Studied BSc Mathematics at University of Leicester

"I will be gaining the skills and knowledge required to advance myself up the chain of authority earning more responsibility and new challenges."

Langham Hall supports its graduates in their ongoing professional studies. The below is an interview with the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), published in February 2016. 

How did you start out in your career?

I started out in my career as an Assistant Accountant at a large manufacturing company. Due to this role only being temporary, the company could not offer me any support towards studying CIMA and so I invested my time into finding a role that could do so. Once I moved on into a more stable, permanent position, I started studying towards the CIMA qualification.

Why did you choose to study CIMA?

Holding the CIMA qualification shows that you have a high level of understanding in various areas, such as accounting concepts and have been able to demonstrate so by passing the relevant exams at each level. Combining this with the prestige that comes with the qualification makes you a very strong candidate to an employer.

How has your organisation supported you through your CIMA studies? 

Langham Hall offers a support package that is very useful in helping you make your way through your studies. This support comes in the form of financial aid, meaning all expenses are paid for, and time off to revise for, and sit, the exam. This helps by taking some of the weight off your shoulders from what is a relatively stressful event.

Tell us about your current role and what’s great about working for your company?

I am currently operating as the sole Assistant Accountant in a small team that prepares the accounts for third party real estate funds. Being part of a close knit team means that you never feel like you’re on your own and there is always someone there to support and help you should you need it. The company, as a whole, has a very friendly atmosphere holding monthly drinks and other social events on a regular basis.

Tell us about a project you have worked on that you are particularly proud of and why?

One of the funds that my team works on requires their accounts to be prepared on a monthly basis. I took this client on as my own very early on in my employment at Langham Hall and have been working on it, amongst other things, ever since. This has meant that I have been able to gain a deep understanding of the fund structure and I expect to be heavily involved in the upcoming audit of said client. Being the only one who works on a client means you are their main point of contact with the company and all praise that comes from them is down to you, which is a highly satisfying feeling. 

How do you see CIMA contributing to your future career progression?

Being a member of CIMA will always carry a certain level of reputation that I will be able to carry with me throughout my career. This will always add to my employability and as long as I carry out Continuous Professional Development I will have good prospects of finding a job in any area of the world. CIMA’s ever changing syllabus means that it is always current, allowing continuous gathering of knowledge that will help me advance up the career ladder.

Do people have any misconceptions about your role and your profession in general?

In my role, and in the accounting profession in general, the work undertaken is seen to be boring and monotonous. This may be the case in some roles however; as you work on various different clients at Langham Hall you are faced with many different challenges that do not all necessarily have the same solution, especially when you consider the fact that each client has specific needs and wants.

What advice would you give to anyone thinking of studying towards the CIMA qualification?

The advice I would give to anybody studying CIMA would be to think about what it is they want to do in the future and see if CIMA can help them achieve this. As CIMA is highly reputable, if they are looking for a role in finance, it is more than likely that it will. After that I would say to start studying straight away to begin gaining knowledge that will help them excel in their current position and be able to look at moving up.

What’s next for you? 

As I have not yet completed the CIMA qualification, my primary aim is to continue to progress through the exams and gain experience for me to become a member of CIMA. By doing so, I will be gaining the skills and knowledge required to advance myself up the chain of authority earning more responsibility and new challenges.

If CIMA was a holiday destination where would it be and why?

It would be Germany. It is a country that is recognised all around the world as being efficient, modern, cutting-edge and highly attentive to detail. A lot of the brands that originate from Germany have an air of quality and precision that cannot be matched. This is reflected in CIMA’s organisation and reputation.