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Hayley Hunton

Senior Finance Manager, Bentley Motors Ltd

"I would highly recommend taking the CIMA path, I believe being a CIMA member has given me great opportunities in my career"

Education: AAT Level 4

Why did you choose to study CIMA?
I chose the CIMA route as I wanted to have a role in a company where I can add real value and inform business decisions.

The role of a management accountant is forward looking and you have to consider the impact of strategic decisions on the wider business, this diversity appealed to me.

Please tell us what the similarities are between the two qualifications and how well AAT prepared you for studying CIMA
AAT provided fundamental principles and also the foundations to studying CIMA. The similarities between the two qualifications is the ethos of studying; being able to study whilst working which consequently means you can apply theory to practice.

Please tell us why you chose to study CIMA instead of another professional qualification
I aspired to be a management accountant within a large organisation, considering commercial and strategic aspects of the business rather than solely focusing on the pure financials.  I wanted to be able to combine both financial and management accounting in my role.

What would you recommend is a good time period to leave between studying the two qualifications?
Personally I would start studying CIMA straight away so that studying continues to be part of your daily life and the knowledge that you have gained from AAT will be used as a basis to commence your CIMA studies.

What advice would you give to anyone thinking of studying the CIMA qualification after AAT?
I would highly recommend taking the CIMA path, I believe being a CIMA member has given me great opportunities in my career and I am extremely satisfied with the progression I have made to date.

Please describe your current role and what you most enjoy about it
My current role is to manage a team within engineering finance who control project spend for the various functions within engineering, this includes the production of the monthly R&D report against budgets, forecasts and strategic plans.

Managing overheads of the functions and generating any cost savings initiatives.  My team also regularly complete forecast reviews with engineers to ensure forecasts are the latest status of a cost/project and that we are continually looking at our year end position.

The part of my role which I most enjoy is the challenges which it brings and improving processes to ensure we are giving great service to our customers and we are completing tasks in the most efficient way.

How do you see CIMA contributing to your future career progression?
Fulfilling the CPD requirements, which are part of the CIMA qualification, will ensure my knowledge remains relevant and current. This continual development will also assist in my career progression within Bentley.

If the CIMA qualification were a holiday destination, where would it be and why?
New York as it is busy and hard work to navigate around but once you have settled and you know what/where everything is then it becomes second nature and can only get better; therefore making it very satisfactory with a sense of achievement.

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