Abi came to us from the Daily Mail, where she was an Accounts Assistant. She has a First Degree in Accountancy & Finance and has recently passed her ACCA qualification.

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In her four years with the Bramble Group she has kept our cash flowing, and is our main liaison with partners' and customers' accounts teams.

“I did Accountancy and Finance at University and didn’t want to carry on with studying straight away. Having chosen my modules very carefully and taking my Degree into account, I only had five final professional levels to achieve. Last year I was promoted to senior accountant at Bramble”

“Life was pretty busy. I was working full time at Bramble, studying in the evenings and taking classes on Saturdays. Occasionally I had a mock exam in the middle of the week too – the MD and founder of the Bramble Group, Richard Archer, and Ian Budden, the group's Finance Director, were really supportive and allowed me to take the time out and do the exams. And they gave me study days too, vital when I'd decided to take the five exams one at a time over a 2 year period.”

“When you're working, it's really tough to try and concentrate on your work plus exams. When I first started studying it was a bit of a shock to realise how much work I had to do, but I soon settled into it. I soon discovered how important it is to be able to focus and not get stressed about things you can't control.”

“Luckily I'm pretty good at managing my time, and having the support of my work colleagues, my family, and particularly my husband, who took over practically everything while I was studying, really helped me focus. My mum was amazing, bringing ready-cooked dinners over to our place to make sure we ate properly. And Bramble were really good too. Some days I would get in early, bringing my books so I could study before and after work. Ian would always find the time to help me if I had any questions. While I took things at my own pace it was still pretty intense, and I didn’t really have a social life even though there was a short break between completing one exam and starting revision for the next, which gave me some much-needed freedom!”

“Having real-life examples and seeing how things actually work really helped me to understand why things work the way they do. It makes so much more sense than trying to understand complex financial matters in the abstract. Everyone in the company knew I was doing my exams and they were all behind me, very supportive. If I had to miss a day to do an exam, they'd handle everything that needed to be done, so I could relax and focus on passing. Luckily working hard at weekends meant I didn't miss too much. I enjoy doing things myself, and doing them well.”

“Many of my peers came out of university and took their ACCA exams immediately. My three year study break worked perfectly for me. One of the benefits of taking a study break was being able to choose the perfect qualification for me, rather than rushing into something without the experience to know whether it was going to be the best option. I chose the ACCA because it fits really well with the work I do now and the career I want to continue with. It’s really important to know what you want to specialise in before you take qualifications that might send you in a different direction.”

“My family are really proud that I have got my qualification, and I can highly recommend studying for a qualification when working full time. It isn’t easy, but it's incredibly rewarding. Since qualifying I have been given a lot more responsibility at work. Now I do our month end and year end reviews and file our VAT reports, working closely with Ian and our new team member Sandra. Every week it feels like I'm taking on more responsibility and learning more. Ian consistently guides me through things to make sure I fully understand what I'm doing. Over time I take over the responsibility myself. If I have any questions, I ask.”

“I would like to say a big thank you everyone at Bramble, particularly Ian and Richard. They've been so wonderfully supportive over the past two years and I really couldn’t have done it without their help. It's great working for an organisation that really does value my qualifications, is genuinely invested in my future and enables me to take my career in the right direction.”

“Everyone at Bramble applies the exact same level of dedication to our clients' businesses, something I am proud to be a part of. I hope to be here for many years to come!”