Role: Forensic Auditor
Education: BSc Psychology with Neuroscience, University of Nottingham /
MSc Management, University of Bath
‘The scheme allows me to study CIMA within a large business’
Why did you choose to study CIMA?
CIMA is less prescriptive than other accountancy qualifications and more dynamic in its approach to dealing with decision making. CIMA is about giving you the tools to make decisions, not just report on them.
Tell us a bit about your role
The Co-operative Group graduate scheme is ideal for me – allowing me to study CIMA whilst progressing within a large business. So far I’ve done placements in investment appraisal, project management, strategic planning, management accounting and audit and have worked in our food and pharmacy businesses and corporate centre.
The breadth of experience I’m getting is second to none across both accounting functions and retail sectors. It’s nice to be working for an ethical firm where people are passionate about doing things in the right way.
How do the skills you’ve gained from the CIMA qualification help you in your job?
One large piece of work I was involved this year with was preparing a portfolio analysis of the Group as a whole. I applied theories from CIMA’s Enterprise Management and Enterprise Strategy, such as the BCG matrix, to understand the interrelationships between our businesses and to identify target markets for the future. Using investment appraisal techniques picked up in Performance Operations and Enterprise Strategy I appraised over £40m worth of store investments within our food business.
I hear you are one of the UK’s most exciting young swimming talents. Tell us a bit about this and how it has fitted in with work and your CIMA studies.
I’m currently training for Olympic trials in the sprint freestyle event. The current crop of sprinters are the fastest men through water ever in the UK and I’m fighting to be among them. Racing full time athletes is a challenge. For most of the last year I’ve been fitting in a full time job, studying for my CIMA qualification and training for 20 hours a week. It’s tough, but the variety is stimulating and the activities complement each other. A lot of top athletes do well in business and they put it down to the discipline instilled early on in their lives. It’s certainly helped me with being organised!
What advice would you give to anyone thinking of studying towards the CIMA qualification?
Go into it with your eyes open, it’s hard work and does take time. Keep your reasons for doing it clear in your mind and use them to get through the studying as it’s certainly worth it in the end.
In an unsure job market CIMA gives you security and proves your skill levels and competence to prospective employers. There are such a wide range of careers open to you on qualifying.
Watch a video of Matt