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27 March 2020: Coronavirus Update. The situation is fast moving and we are continuing to monitor the global situation and its impact on our members, staff, exam candidates, students and the profession. More information for Members and Students in My CIMA.

Kelda Lyall

Finance Analyst, J.P. Morgan

"If you’re looking for a qualification that will provide you with a fantastic grounding in finance and business, as well as being recognised all over the world, then you can’t go wrong with CIMA."

Education: BA (Hons) Economics, University of Sheffield

Why did you choose to study CIMA?
I didn’t want to be limited to purely financial accounting so CIMA was the obvious choice.

CIMA focuses more on business and management than any other accountancy qualification.

With every level I complete I know I am getting one step closer to an international qualification that will benefit me throughout my career.

Tell us a bit about your role.
I am in the second year of a three year graduate finance programme at financial services firm J.P. Morgan.

I am an analyst in the finance control team where the key objective is to protect the firm from financial losses and to preserve and add to longer term capital value. 

What do you enjoy most? 
I enjoy the variety. No two days are ever the same as you never know what will come up.

With the complex global markets and ever changing regulatory requirements, you have to be open to change and ready to adapt accordingly. 

How has J.P. Morgan supported you through your CIMA studies? 
They provide a lot of support, both financially and practically. As well as funding the qualification, they also give us study leave for each exam.

As CIMA is such a well respected qualification, the managers know how much it enhances our work, so are really supportive.

Do people have any misconceptions about your role and your profession in general?
I know people who assume that management accountants are just number crunchers who look at spreadsheets all day.

But it couldn’t be more different. Management accountants are the backbone of every organisation and therefore in a very important and influential position.

You get to inform managers about the financial implications of their decisions as well as helping to formulate business strategy. It’s an exciting place to be.

What advice would you give to anyone thinking of studying towards the CIMA qualification?
Definitely do lots of research and see if it is the right qualification for you. I was lucky in that I had a couple of friends who were already doing CIMA.

I knew how much they believed in the qualification and the opportunities it would present.

If you’re looking for a qualification that will provide you with a fantastic grounding in finance and business, as well as being recognised all over the world, then you can’t go wrong with CIMA.

Also, it doesn’t limit you to only being an accountant: the skills you learn will lend themselves to so many other professions.

If CIMA was a holiday destination where would it be and why?
It would have to be the USA…the ‘land of opportunity’. It really does open up so many doors and gives you the basis to forge a successful career in business.

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