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Steven Scullion, ACMA, CGMA

Client Services Accountant, Augentius (UK) Ltd

‘The CIMA qualification is extremely flexible in terms of sitting exams so you can plan your study and exams around important events.’

Steven ScullionWhy CIMA?

The CIMA qualification contains a higher level of business and skills related content than other professional accounting qualifications, which tend to focus more on pure financial accounting. As a mid-management employee and late starter to accountancy, this represented the best direction for me to take.

What does your current role at Augentius (UK) Ltd involve?

My current role involves the preparation of management accounts for private equity funds, preparation of annual accounts for auditors and management of the client relationship and monitoring KPI's.

What skills have you gained through studying CIMA and how have they contributed to your role?

In addition to providing me with strong financial analysis skills, CIMA has equipped me with the tools and confidence to lead teams, manage projects and to advise clients on developing structured strategic plans. Ultimately it has opened doors for me with a wider range of employers and thus has vastly improved my employability.

Further the CGMA designation, got me through the door with Augentius UK, as a professional qualification was a pre-requisite.

In my previous role, the financial and management accounting skills benefitted me most and I utilised these skills to benchmark client companies’ financial performance. As part of this role, I was frequently asked to provide advice/guidance to SME's across Northern Ireland in developing a strategic plan and CIMA provided me with the tools and theory to assist companies in this regard. In my current role, a good grounding in financial reporting is essential.

How did you balance study with working full time?

Fortunately, I had a very understanding and supportive family. The most important thing for me was planning my study around work and family time so that the impact on my "normal" life was minimised. Your life does get put on hold to a certain extent, however the CIMA qualification is extremely flexible in terms of sitting exams so you can plan your study and exams around important events. I actually got married half way through my exams which took some planning.

Please list a few accomplishments/ways you have helped add value to your company over the years?

In my previous role with an Economic Development Agency in Northern Ireland, the programmes that I managed had assisted companies in: 

 

  • Increasing turnover of these client companies by c£21.7m
  • Increasing Net Profit of these client companies by c£11.7m
  • Increasing export revenue from these client companies by c£18.9m
  • Providing 153 additional jobs in the N I economy

 

How is your company providing support for you to fulfil your CIMA Professional Development (CPD) requirements? 

Augentius (UK) Ltd provide me with time off to complete CPD courses and activities. The company also has a technical team who provide staff with updates to any changes in financial reporting rules and provide updates on IFRS's.

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

Think carefully about which qualification to study for, as there are benefits and drawbacks with each. This decision will ultimately be guided by your long-term career aspirations. Secondly I would advise you to ensure that you have the required spare time to commit to studying and be prepared to make sacrifices in order to achieve the qualification.