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  • ICAEW: The Financial Accounting and Reporting UK GAAP exam is changing

    by Amy Nicholson | May 21, 2018

    The ICAEW introduced a UK GAAP variant of the Professional Level FAR exam from the March 2017 sitting, alongside the existing IFRS variant. This allowed you to be able to select the most relevant FAR exam that complemented what your trainees see in the workplace.  Kaplan supported the ICAEW launch of the UK GAAP variant by offering it in every one of our ACA centres, online and Live Online.

    The Audit Qualification (AQ) and Corporate Reporting (CR)

    If your trainee has sat the FAR: UK GAAP variant in 2017, in order to be eligible for the AQ they will have to sit the Advanced Level CR: IFRS exam.  The ICAEW will issue an extra supplement in 2018 to help such students prepare for the CR exam. We will be supporting this with online content built into the pre-course work and we therefore recommend that no extra study leave is required.  

    As a result of this AQ eligibility issue the ICAEW will not be running a CR UK GAAP variant and therefore all students will be undertaking the CR IFRS exam.

    Introducing: The new FAR UK GAAP exam

    To meet long-term FRC requirements the existing FAR: UK GAAP variant exam will be available in its current form until the September 2018 sitting.  A new FAR: UK GAAP exam will be available from March 2019. This new exam will cover micro and smaller entity accounting including FRS 105, in addition to the current syllabus content focusing on FRS 102.  As before students who sit and pass this new exam, will continue on to the CR: IFRS exam and be eligible for the AQ.

    This therefore means there will be no FAR: UK GAAP exam for the December 2018 sitting.  If you planned for your trainees to sit FAR: UK GAAP to the December 2018 sitting we would recommend either undertaking the IFRS variant or undertaking the new UK GAAP exam in either March or June 2019.

    If you plan for your trainees to sit the FAR: UK GAAP variant in September 2018 you may want to consider whether they sit instead under IFRS; this will allow them to resit more easily, if required, in December 2018.  A student who did sit FAR: UK GAAP in September 2018 and failed would either have to retake under IFRS in December 2018 or resit under the new UK GAAP exam in March 2019.

    Support
    Please do not hesitate to contact us on 0161 259 7400 so we can help you to plan out your trainees pathway.

     
  • CIMA OnDemand: Efficient Learning, On The Move

    by Lewis Charlesworth | May 14, 2018

    With CIMA OnDemand you can study anywhere, anytime.

    Working entirely to your schedule, the study time fits around you - the student.

    We recently spoke to former Kaplan Student and Financial Controller, Lina Dineikiene, about her experience studying with this method. For Lina, Finance is her passion; and her eagerness to progress has taken her to various roles throughout her career.

    With the highly structured and flexible CIMA OnDemand study method, she found the ideal way to progress further.

    I think CIMA OnDemand is a very good course for professional people who work full time. You can choose when and where you want to work.

    For the busy and ambitious

    A busy and ambitious professional, with a penchant for coffee, Lina was able to take full advantage of the options OnDemand provides. Its flexibility, hands on guidance, feedback, and structure enabled her to maximise time spent learning, while on the move.

    OnDemand gave her the enviable opportunity to create a bespoke study schedule. A morning person, Lina opted to study at 5am – 7am before leaving for work. With her unpredictable working hours, this meant that she could study around her workload.

    I can listen to pre-recorded classes whenever I want. 

    CIMA success, pass first time

    Like many ambitious Finance professionals, passing at speed had great appeal. This chimed with Lina’s desire to quickly progress her career.

    With the efficiency of this study method, she was able to achieve this and pass first time.

    I would definitely recommend the Kaplan OnDemand course to other CIMA students because it helps you get through the exams quicker.

    Did you know?

    From Feb17 – Jan18, CIMA OnDemand produced the highest pass rates compared to any other study method.

    For Lina, this approach to learning: remote teaching, pre-recorded content, mock tests, and personal tutor guidance, not only helped her to pass the CIMA papers quickly - but deepened her understanding.

    For more information on CIMA OnDemand, and how this ground breaking new study method can boost your career prospects, visit our site or try our free demo.

  • Top 8 Ways Teachers Have Gone Above And Beyond

    by Lewis Charlesworth | May 09, 2018

    To celebrate national teachers’ day, we asked a selection of people for their favourite memories of a teacher who went that extra mile.

    Teachers and tutors are the bedrock of any civilisation. At Kaplan, they are the foundation of our business. Every day our tutors strive to put their students first, which is an admirable trait deserving of our gratitude.

    Knowledge, integrity, and support are some of our key values, and our tutors embody these Kaplan values everyday.

    Below are a selection of our top eight anecdotes, and they remind us of the sacrifices teachers  make. Not only at Kaplan, but across the world - in all professions.

    8. Liz, 33

    “On my 18th birthday my History teacher said to the class ‘I couldn’t be bothered marking your essays last night because I wanted to do something nice for two of our hard working students. I made a cake!’

    “Both of us went up to the front and everyone sang ‘happy birthday’. The cake was coffee and walnut - it was amazing! I still have a picture of it.”

    7314_National_Teachers_Day_Inisghts_image_17. Sondra ,59

    “I had a maths teacher who kindly gave up his lunch time to give me extra tuition, so I could pass my maths o level (GCSE). We were very poor and couldn’t afford private tuition; I was very grateful.”

    6. Finlay, 14

    “I get into trouble a lot at school, and many teachers don’t like me. But my maths teacher is really nice. She always gives me a chance. If I’ve had a bad lesson, and I don’t behave well, she always gives me another chance to be better in the next lesson. Maths is my favourite.”

    5. Crystal, 42

    “My English teacher gave me a book of poetry by Emily Dickinson when she found out I’d read Lord Of The Rings three times. She told me I should be as grown up outside the classroom as I was inside, because I was very immature. I felt very sophisticated the moment I opened the first page.

    “It was a book to read in my own time, and it gave me the kick I needed.”

    I cannot begin to think how much she was indulging our raw creativity.

    4. Jessica, 25

    “I was in secondary school, year 9/10 and was having drama with some horrible girls. I had the same form tutor for three years running and we had a good relationship.

    “I confided in her about the problem, and for two weeks she let my two best friends and I 'chill' during break time with her in her music suite (she was a music teacher). It meant we didn't have to deal with the aggro.”

    3. Lewis, 33

    “When I was 7 a group of us kids asked if we could put on a performance of Aladdin. Not only did our teacher allow this, but she arranged for it to be performed in front of the entire school (in place of the assembly).

    “The show lasted about an hour, and we improvised most of it. I cannot begin to think how much she was indulging our raw creativity.”

    2. Rosie, 26

    “When I was on my hen do my friends made a surprise video with my favourite teacher. She recorded a congratulations speech and it was really lovely. I had no idea they were going to do that, and I hadn’t seen her for about ten years.”

    1. Richard, 36

    “I was in bottom set for English. My English teacher wrote to the curriculum board asking if I could do my coursework on Sylvia Plath - rather than An Inspector Calls, arguing that it would improve my chances of getting a pass.

    “I ended up getting an A, doing English at college, then at Uni. I’m now a novelist.”

    Be that through classroom teaching, distance learning, Live Online, live chat, or OnDemand study methods, our tutors go above and beyond for their students.

    Who are they? Discover more about our tutors, qualifications and study methods here.

  • Simply The Best: Interview With Accountancy Training's Finest

    by Lewis Charlesworth | May 09, 2018

    Kaplan provide the very best in accountancy tuition. Our tutors have extensive industry backgrounds, which is matched by their dedication and passion for student success. 

    Andrew Mower is a prime example. With a background in Forensic Services, he worked at PWC before embarking on a teaching career. After studying with Kaplan himself at our Leeds centre, it was his passionate and enthusiastic tutors that inspired him to pursue a career in teaching. The rest is history.

    Describe a day in your life, as an award winning tutor?

    When I’m teaching, I arrive into the centre around half an hour before class starts to set up the computer with the notes for the day. Some days I will teach a full day, then have an evening class straight afterwards - they’re the tiring ones!

    If it’s just a day class, I will usually leave the centre around 4.45 - 5pm, which is very pleasant compared to a lot of accounting practices.

    If I’m not teaching, I will usually be preparing classes at home. For the Case Study courses, there is a lot of time required as each case is different.

    Why did you choose to become a tutor?

    I studied with Kaplan when I was a student in Leeds, and really enjoyed my time there. I had very inspirational tutors who were so enthusiastic and passionate, they made it seem a fun and rewarding job. Fortunately, I have found it to be the same.

                                                                    And what did you do before?

    Andrew Mower Pic - formattedI worked in the Forensic Services department at PwC in Leeds, which involved looking into corporate fraud, commercial disputes and anti-bribery policies. The people at PwC were fantastic - I still have a lot of very close friends from my time there, including my wife!  

    How do you break down complex subjects into digestible information?

    I tend to think ‘How would I approach this topic if I were a student?’. If I fully understand it, then I can explain it in a few different ways. Not everyone’s mind works in the same way, so I try to cover topics from a few different angles.

    I also try to bring in real-life examples wherever possible. If I see something in the news that relates to a subject I teach, I will bring up BBC News in my next class and have a chat about it. I find this helps make the subjects more relatable and interesting to students.

    There’s a lot of praise for your ‘Kahoot’ quizzes. What are they?

    I’m a huge fan of Kahoot! It’s a website that allows students to play interactive quizzes in class. Their phones become a control pad, and I will then put questions relating to the subject on the screen.

    There is a class leaderboard, so it can get quite competitive amongst the students which is great.

    I find it helps them to remember topics, whilst also breaking up the day with a fun quiz.

    You’ve taught many ACCA & CIMA prizewinners – what’s the secret of their success?

    Most of the students I’ve taught who have won prizes have been interactive in class, and keep practising questions ahead of the exam.

    If students do a lot of question practice, and concentrate on their exam technique, they should perform well.

    What advice would you give to students who are falling behind?

    Kaplan have some amazing resources available for students - I would suggest making the most of them. The OnDemand videos on MyKaplan are brilliant, and students can access recordings of lectures if they’ve missed anything.

    There is now also Kaplan's Academic Support service, where students can contact dedicated support team with a technical query and usually get an answer within hours. This is a fantastic new resource for students.

     I love classes where they get involved, and we have a discussion about topics rather than me just teaching at them.  
    What’s the most rewarding part of your job?

    Seeing students progress through their qualifications - I enjoy teaching the same students again, having taught them for an earlier paper.

    Students enjoying classes is always nice as well. I love classes where they get involved, and we have a discussion about topics rather than me just teaching at them. Some students make lovely comments at the end of their courses.

    And finally, outside of the classroom how do you unwind?

    I have a 4 month old daughter, so when I’m not in the classroom she occupies most of my time! She’s great fun, despite having a huge dislike for sleep.

    I’m a massive football fan, and have a season ticket at Luton Town - who are currently flying high (relatively speaking).

    I also play football every week, and enjoy going to the gym and running. I find running a great way to relax.

    Kaplan combines 70 years of educational excellence with leading online learning technologies, award-winning study materials, and support from the industry’s most experienced tutors - who are dedicated to ensuring your success.

  • ACCA OnDemand: Your Progression, In Your Hands

    by Amy Nicholson | May 02, 2018

    We know life can get busy.

    That’s why we devised our latest study method, OnDemand. Combining a tutor-led structure with the ability to study anywhere, it gives you full control over your study and your career.

    After rolling out the study method for CIMA and AAT qualifications, we proudly scooped PQ magazine’s  ‘Online College of the Year 2018’ for the innovation back in February.

    Fast forward three months, we’re delighted to announce that you’ll now also be able to study for the ACCA qualification by our award-winning OnDemand study method.

    From 5th June, you’ll be able to study the Applied Skills level (formerly F4 - F9) via OnDemand. If you want to give it a try, sign up to our demo to have a taste of what it’s like.

    Why study ACCA with OnDemand?

    It’s an industry recognised new study method, designed around the student. Combining the structure of a tutor-led course, with great flexibility, OnDemand allows you to study anywhere, at any time and still be confident of success.

    Kaplan's OnDemand learning is a brand new way to approach the ACCA qualification, and the first to fully combine the best of structured, and flexible study. This revolutionary method was applied to both our CIMA and AAT courses, in 2017, and has been a huge success.



    From around the clock tutor support to tons of practice questions, there’s plenty of reasons to study OnDemand. Here’s just a few:

    • It’s industry recognised: Kaplan’s OnDemand study method won PQ Magazine’s 2018 “Online College of the Year”.
    • It’s tutor-led: Despite being an online course, it’s still tutor led. Meaning your more likely to stay motivated and progress quickly. You’ll be guided through the modules by a tutor so you’ll know exactly what you need to complete and when. Remember, progressing through your studies quickly means progressing in your career too.
    • You’ll get immediate feedback: You’ll get immediate feedback when you complete a practice test or mock exam so you know what areas you need to improve on.

    Like the sound of of that? Learn more about ACCA OnDemand.

    When will it be available to buy?

    ACCA OnDemand will be available as a study method from the 5th June. However, anybody can sample it now by signing up to our free demo.

    How has OnDemand been designed?

    By you. The student.

    Everything from the features to the design of the course, it’s all been shaped by the student. We asked hundreds of you what you wanted from your ACCA course and reacted to your feedback.

    Structure

    I want flexibility but also to know there's still structure to keep me motivated.

    Did you know?

    88% of CIMA students who study through OnDemand pass first time

    With exams being available more regularly, there’s greater flexibility, allowing students to study when, and how, they want. However with more choice, some students explained that they found it difficult to stay motivated and on track.

    We took note and added the following features help you stay motivated and go into the exam feeling confident.


    • Tutors will explain each unit with a recorded video. Together with a thorough course programme, there’ll be a suggested order in which to complete the course.
    • Integrated workbook. This will allow you to keep course notes in one place and track progress. After each unit, there’ll be an assessment. These will help to build on learning, ensuring a student has mastered a topic before moving on to the next.
    • Quality Learning Material. You told us that the quality of learning resources was the most important factor when choosing a flexible course.

    If you choose to study ACCA via the OnDemand study method you’ll get:

    • A wide range of high quality and engaging online content. All created specifically for the OnDemand course and created by expert tutors. A mixture of tutor-led videos, worked examples, and interactive tests are designed as a form of guidance for every step of the syllabus.
    • Specifically designed online resources that teach the student efficiently and are accessible on a range of devices.
    • ACCA Approved study materials. Kaplan produce materials written by tutors who have had specific guidance and feedback from the ACCA exam faculty.

    And for even better news, we’ll be giving our Classroom and Live Online students access to these same learning resources from 5th June.

    Practice Practice Practice

    I want lots of question practice, but in a format that's like the actual exams. 

    Students told us that they want enough mock question experience so that they can go into the exam with confidence.

    Kaplan OnDemand assessments are designed to give a greater understanding of the areas that still need to be worked on, by providing personalised feedback and detailed model answers.

    Early-bird promotion

    Anyone who signs up to the demo by the 5th June will receive an exclusive 20% off F4-F9 OnDemand courses bought between 5th - 19th June.

    Like the sound of OnDemand? Learn more here or give us a call on 0330 041 7172 to speak to one of our advisers. 

  • Kaplan OnDemand wins big at 2018 PQ awards

    by Kieron McDonnell | Feb 22, 2018

    On Tuesday night, in the heart of Leicester Square, London, Kaplan’s OnDemand study method won PQ Magazine’s “Online College of the Year” award.

    Accepting the award were Ben Wilson and Andrew Mower (pictured), two Kaplan tutors involved in the creation of the innovative OnDemand learning resources.

    What made OnDemand stand out from the rest? It allows you to study when and where you want, using bite-sized, tutor-led online resources. These are designed to keep you motivated and the huge number of integrated practice questions make sure you stay on track.

    This is complemented by extensive tutor support 7 days a week, by LiveChat, email, or request a callback. It’s this flexibility to study when you want, combined with an easy to follow structure, that makes OnDemand so unique.

    OnDemand first launched for CIMA in September 2016, followed by AAT in May 2017, and has gone from strength to strength with over 3,700 students choosing it to date. And with pass rates for CIMA at a whopping 88%, it’s helping more students progress quicker and qualify faster.



    We recently interviewed Jack Conlan, a CIMA student who passed 8 of his exams in a year using OnDemand.

    I think the OnDemand courses are great and have allowed me to excel in my CIMA studies at a rate that would not be possible using other methods.

    If you’d like to try OnDemand for yourself, take our free demo for CIMA, or for AAT.

  • How to pass ACCA P3

    by Kieron McDonnell | Feb 06, 2018

    The March and June sittings will be your last chance to sit P3 under the current exam structure, before P1 and P3 become Strategic Business Leader as part of the ACCA’s Professional Level changes.

    The P3 exam requires some key skills and techniques that you’ll need to develop in order to be successful, so here are 5 techniques you’ll need to keep in mind if you’re planning to sit P3 before it changes.

    1. Use models to provide answer structure
    2. The P3 syllabus includes over 40 models and you will need to be familiar with all of them, knowing which model fits with each part of the syllabus and when to use them (the examiner does not always ask for them by name!). Using the syllabus guide and an official text can help you to understand where each model may be relevant.

      No marks are provided for explaining a particular model; at this level you are expected to use the models as a framework for your answer. Think of the models as a way to provide the subheadings in your answer. If you avoid using the models you will struggle to cover the depth and breadth required to score sufficient marks to pass.

    3. Make your answers relevant and specific
    4. To score the necessary marks for analysis your answer needs to include relevance and specifics. In order to make your answer relevant, use the scenario and apply your knowledge to this example.You also need to be specific though - simply identifying something important won’t score marks if you’re not able to provide some analysis. The “analysis”, the why, is essential for scoring marks.

    5. Include quantitative data when relevant
    6. Questions will often provide some numbers, such as financial statements or a table of data, and you are expected to use these numbers to help explain the point you’re making. By not using the data you will lose a considerable number of marks.

      You may have to create some of the numbers for yourself through calculations. But these shouldn’t be technically difficult and will have been studied in earlier papers. The test is whether you can calculate them quickly and use them to give advice or analyse an organisation.

    7. Ensure broad syllabus coverage
    8. Trying to guess what will come up in your P3 exam simply won’t work, as anything can be examined. You need to have a broad knowledge of the entire syllabus, or you might find that you can only sufficiently answer one part of a question. Before starting to write an answer to an optional question you must have read all parts of the requirement to ensure you can have a good go at all parts of the question.

    9. Manage your time well
    10. There are a few key rules to remember when it comes to managing your time:

      • Only answer the question that has been set. Although it can be tempting to demonstrate your knowledge, if it hasn’t been asked for you won’t score any marks so ultimately it’ll waste your time
      • Set a deadline for each question: 50 minutes for a Section B question and 100 minutes for Section A. When the time is up move on to your next question
      • Use the number of marks to understand how much you need to write. If a question is worth 15 marks then that’s all you can score, no matter how brilliant your answer!
  • ACCA Exam Evaluations September/December 2017

    by Kieron McDonnell | Jan 08, 2018

    Kaplan’s team of ACCA content specialists have cast their expert eyes over a selection of the papers we’ve received from ACCA from the September and December 2017 exams, and have given their views on the questions from those exams.

    If you’re about to receive your results this should give you an idea of how you performed. Reading over previous exams can also give you an idea of what may come up in the next exam, which can help focus your revision.

    Remember, these are debriefs for past exams – they don’t specify what is coming up in the future!

    As papers F1, F2, F3 and F4 are primarily Computer Based Examinations (CBE) there are no exam evaluations for these papers.

  • The Future of Accountancy

    by Kieron McDonnell | Dec 21, 2017

    We recently attended the Future of Accountancy conference at London’s Southbank University, joining key figures from the world of accounting education to discuss what the future may have in store for our industry. Against a backdrop of fast paced change, not only is it important that these conversations are taking place but that we, as a tuition provider, are present to consider how we will need to react in the years to come.

    Although all sort of topics were covered across the day - from Brexit to blockchain - key themes that came up consistently were the needs of employers, the shifting ambitions and aspirations of the next generation, and the dynamic nature of the environment in which all stakeholders currently find themselves in. Of course, these will also impact the professional bodies and tuition providers such as Kaplan.

    Challenging questions were asked as to what the future might bring, such as:

    • Will we still need financial statements in their current form, or could shareholders and governments not simply access accounting records directly?
    • Do we need changes in corporate reporting to help shareholders better understand how value is generated and sustained?
    • What is the value of trust in a business relationship? Is it not trust that wins contracts, generating cashflows leading to a more sustainable business?

    Of course, professional bodies are not immune to change, as we’ve seen recently with the merger between CIMA and AICPA to create the Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) or the way in which all of the bodies have had to respond quickly to the developments of the Level 7 Professional Accountant Apprenticeships.

    Against a backdrop of increasing change and new challenges, professional bodies have to create an exam framework that will test the finance professionals of the future in subjects that will still be relevant 10 years from now, ensuring those who pass will be able to thrive in an uncertain world.

    We weren’t able to touch upon how training providers such as Kaplan will be able to better teach these new subjects on the day, but we are seeing changes here as well.

    It’s very encouraging to see a greater recognition of the importance of collaboration between the professional body, employer and tuition providers. Our expertise in the area of knowledge transfer and behavioural changes will be an essential component in creating better accountants of the future.

    We can’t predict exactly what the future will have in store, but as a tuition provider we can join the conversations as we look to the future with imagination and scepticism, asking what changes might happen and how will we respond to them to ensure that we continue to train accountants for the challenges they will meet in the years ahead.

  • Apprenticeships & the Public Sector: Kaplan as an approved supplier

    by Kieron McDonnell | Nov 15, 2017

    Did you know that since 12th September 2017 Kaplan is approved as an official Crown Supplier of Accountancy and Tax Apprenticeships?

    This means that any Public Sector organisation can use Kaplan for Finance Apprenticeship training without the need for further procurement.

    You will find more information about this agreement and what this means on the government website.

    Are you a Public Sector organisation looking at enrolling your staff onto an Accountancy & Tax Apprenticeship? Contact our team today.

  • Interview with Gail Ramiz, Head of Academic Support

    by Sharon Cooper | Oct 30, 2017

    Finding enough time to study can be a challenge, so when you do get to opening that textbook or logging on to MyKaplan, you want it to be as productive as possible. That’s why our Academic Support team is now open longer and guarantees that a subject specialist (CIMA, AAT, ACCA and ACA) will get back to you straight away with Live Chat or within 4 working hours by email or request a callback.

    We interviewed Kaplan’s Gail Ramiz, who heads up Academic Support to find out what’s changed and what you can take advantage of as a Kaplan student.

    Hi Gail. Could you tell us a bit about yourself and what you do at Kaplan?

    I’ve been with Kaplan for 10 years now, starting as an ACA Tutor before becoming Head of Tutors for London ACCA & CIMA. I’ve recently taken up my new role as Head of Academic Support, overseeing the team of expert tutors offering help to students.

    What does the Academic Support team do?

    We’re here to help our students with their studies and answer subject specific queries when they have them - just like they would ask a tutor in class. The team include dedicated subject specialists who have years of experience in the industry. For example, our tax expert Jenni Hudson has been a Kaplan support tutor for 13 years and our financial management expert Bill McCarthy has been with Kaplan for 26 years. They’re all available to speak to through live chat, email or request a callback when you need them. We also have discussion forums on MyKaplan where tutors will be there to respond to questions posted by students. We think having these experts on hand when you need them most really sets us apart from what anyone else in the market offers.

    And how has Academic Support changed recently?

    About 18 months ago, we did lots of research with students to understand what they liked about our tutor support, what was missing and what they found frustrating with their studies.

    One of the big things that came out was that students wanted a quick response to their problem. It’s great having your tutor’s mobile number or email address, but if they’re busy teaching or with another student, you could end up waiting days for a response, and this was frustrating. And when they did get through to someone, they wanted an answer there and then, without being passed around.

    So, we now have a team of subject specialists that are on standby to answer questions instantly via Live Chat. Because you're chatting to a specialist, you'll get the answer you need first time. And if you prefer to email or speak over the phone, someone will get back to you within 4 working hours. So you have the speed of response and the confidence that you'll get the answer you need.

    Apart from getting a quick response, how else do you think this helps students?

    Well, we also looked at a lot of research on the effect of response times on academic performance. Not surprisingly, getting an immediate response to a problem you have means you’re much more likely to perform better in the exam. If it’s fresh in your mind and you’re engaged with the subject, you’ll get more from the response. So for us, it’s really important that we offer this to our students.

    As part of the changes, Kaplan also introduced Learning Coaches. What do they do?

    A lot of students told us they found it hard to stay motivated and on track and would like more regular progress checks with Kaplan to see how they were progressing - particularly if they weren’t studying in the classroom.

    So our Learning Coaches were introduced to do just that. They’ll monitor a student’s performance and progression in the background, intervening if they see them struggling or falling behind. This allows them to then provide individual support and arrange tailored one-on-one coaching sessions to get them back on track.

    And how do Learning Coaches help improve a student’s performance?

    Learning Coaches can see a student’s individual progress through the course, test scores etc. So they can provide much more individual feedback and pointers on how to improve. They can also see at what point they should intervene, without a student being ‘too far gone’ to get their studies back on track.

    This all aids with motivation and helping them stay engaged with the course. Research we did with CIMA shows that students are much more likely to pass if they stick with the course, book their exam and sit it within a few weeks of completing their studies.

  • Kaplan partners with CABA to offer student well-being support

    by Kieron McDonnell | Oct 26, 2017

    Kaplan understand the balance between studying, working and finding enough space to unwind is complicated. Sometimes the pressure is exhilarating and drives you to perform your best. And at other times everything is just exhausting and overwhelming. The good news is that through Kaplan’s new partnership with CABA you’ll have support you can lean on when things gets tough - personally or professionally.

    Together we’re holding free local events exclusively for Kaplan accountancy students over the next few months. You’ll learn how to build your resilience, deal better with stress, boost your personal effectiveness and improve work-life integration.

    In addition, you can access CABA’s practical online wellbeing tools and training 24 hours’ a day at caba.org.uk for advice and tips to help you navigate your way through your day to day challenges.

    Getting help

    ACA students can also access individual services from CABA.

    • Emotional support with trained counsellors on the phone, face to face or online
    • Telephone life coaching
    • Health and carer support
    • Legal advice
    • Debt advice
    • Benefits advice
    • Career and retirement courses

    Watch this short video to find out more about CABA and how they can help you.

    For help and advice:

  • Changes to ACCA Professional Level

    by Rebecca Evans | Oct 19, 2017

    ACCA are redesigning the Professional Level of their qualification with changes coming into effect from the September 2018 exam sitting. These changes will most significantly apply to the Essentials level. How these changes will affect you will depend on where you are currently up to with your studies.

    It’s important that you are aware of these changes and plan ahead to ensure you’re not caught out by the transition arrangements that are in place.

    The main changes will be:

    • The Professional Level will be renamed Strategic Professional.
    • Governance Risk & Ethics (P1) and Business Analysis (P3) will be removed from the qualification and replaced with Strategic Business Leader. This will be a 4 hour case study exam, with no pre-seen information.
    • Corporate Reporting (P2) will be replaced with Strategic Business Reporting, which consists of a 3 hour 15 minute exam.
    • The current Professional Ethics Module will be replaced with a new Ethics and Professional Skills module (available from 31st October 2017).
    • Other modules will be renamed.

    June 2018 will be your last chance to sit your exams under the current structure, so after the December exams you’ll have just two more sittings before the changes come into play. Consider how you want to use these exam sittings when planning your studies for next year taking into consideration the transition arrangement detailed below.

    Transition arrangements

    If you have nearly finished your Fundamental papers, or have already started Essentials, it is really important that you are aware of ACCA’s transition arrangements and take them into account when you are considering which papers to tackle over the next few sittings.

    1. If, come September 2018, you have passed both P1 and P3, you will be exempt from the Strategic Business Leader.
    2. If you have only passed one of those papers, you will effectively lose that pass as there is no equivalent exemption and no opportunity to sit those papers after June 2018.
    3. If you have passed P2 then you will be exempt from Strategic Business Reporting.

    How should you plan your studies?

    There are a variety of things to consider when deciding whether you should sit P1 and P3 before the changes or wait until the introduction of Strategic Business Leader.

    • P1 and P3 are both established exams so there are plenty of resources and past papers to help you to prepare. You would however have to sit two 3 hour and 15 minute exams rather than one 4 hour exam.
    • Strategic Business Leader on the other hand is relatively unknown, but ACCA have provided lots of resources to help you prepare for it. It’s worth bearing in mind that the exam is different to those you are used to, with lots of information to assimilate on the day and will test your professional skills.
    • It’s a similar situation for deciding between P2 or Strategic Business Reporting, although the changes to exam format are less significant. There will be a change in focus in both the syllabus and style of questioning to allow ACCA to test your professional judgement, interpretation of financial statements and ability to communicate to various stakeholders.

    Did you know?

    ACCA was established in 1904 - they’ve been going for over 100 years, and now have over 175,000 members. And just over half of ACCA members are under 40, making this the time for young ambition to shine.

    A key factor in your decision will be how far along you currently are with your ACCA studies, so we’ve outlined a few options below:

    You have currently passed P1, P2 and P3: These changes will have no effect on you. Sit your Options in March and June 2018.

    You’ve sat and passed P1 or P3 but not attempted or passed the other paper: You should sit the outstanding paper at the next available sitting to avoid losing your exemption. Remember you must have passed both P1 and P3 to be exempt from Strategic Business Leader.

    You’ve passed P1 and P3, but not passed P2: You don’t need to worry about the Strategic Business Leader, but you may want to try and pass P2 before the changes come into place so you can move on to Options without delaying your path to qualification. If you’re able to sit in March, there is the added benefit of being able to sit P7 in June under the same accounting standards and this gives you time for a P2 resit if things don’t go your way first time. Although there is much crossover between P2 and Strategic Business Reporting, students who have attempted P2, but are required to resit under SBR, will find they have more work than usual when resitting as they will need to familiarise themselves with some new areas of content and the new exam style.

    What if you haven’t passed P1, P2 or P3 by the end of 2017?

    You have a more difficult decision to make and one which will depend upon your level of exam confidence. The most important thing is that you sit two exams in the first half of 2018 and don’t delay your qualification by 6 months. Here are a few options:

    Option 1: You could choose to sit P1 and P3, either together in March to give you a resit if things don’t go to plan, or one in March and the other in June - although this is a risky strategy as you could find yourself caught in the transition arrangements should you need to resit.

    Option 2: You could sit P2 in March 2018 to gain your exemption from Strategic Business Reporting and then an Option paper in June. You should then aim to sit Strategic Business Leader in the December sitting following your final Option in September.

    Option 3: You study only for Option papers in March and June and leave both Strategic Business Leader and Strategic Business Reporting until the second half of the year.

    Ethics and Professional Skills - get ahead on Strategic Business Leader

    If you plan to wait to sit Strategic Business Leader, it is essential that you sit ACCA’s new Ethics and Professional Skills module (available from 31st October 2017) prior to the course. In fact, ACCA advise you attempt it prior to sitting any exams on the Strategic Professional Level.

    The module will introduce you to the professional skills that are required at Strategic Business Leader and will effectively increase your chances of passing. Even if you have completed the existing Professional Ethics module, you can access the new module and brush up your knowledge and develop your skills.

    For more information, visit the ACCA website. If you haven’t completed the existing Professional Ethics Module by the end of October 2017 you will have to complete the new Ethics and Professional Skills module.

    To find out more about the changes that ACCA are making, visit their website: http://future.accaglobal.com/changes-to-the-qualification/what-do-the-changes-mean-for-me/strategic-professional

  • How OnDemand enabled this CIMA student to fast track through CIMA

    by Sharon Cooper | Sep 20, 2017

    Kaplan's OnDemand courses give you the best of both worlds, combining the structure of a tutor-led course with the flexibility to study at your own pace. Jack Conlan, a Kaplan CIMA student, was able to pass 8 exams in under a year with OnDemand.

    Watch our interview with Jack or read below to find out more about his experience.

    Hi Jack, could you tell us what made you choose OnDemand for your recent CIMA course?

    Well, I wanted to work through my CIMA exams as quickly as possible and didn't want to wait around for the pre-determined dates of on-site taught courses.

    How did you study with us previously and how does OnDemand compare?

    When I start CIMA I was coming into my local Kaplan centre in Liverpool for classroom courses. But I found that they would often dictate how long you will be studying CIMA for, the order in which you would sit exams, and the structure of your study day(s). Since I’ve started using OnDemand I’m able to revise at my own speed and cover the full syllabus of each exam.

    What has been your favourite feature of the OnDemand course?

    My favourite feature is the volume of mock exams and test questions and also the ability to pause and replay the videos for parts of the syllabus that I struggle with.

    OnDemand comes with resources that have been designed specifically for online learning. How did you find them?

    I found that the OnDemand course came with everything that you need to prepare for an exam and it fits perfectly to my way of studying.

    Did you make use of the tutor support available, and were you satisfied with the response times and knowledge of the academic support team?

    No, I personally haven't needed to yet but it is good to know that it's there if I ever did.

    What are your plans for your future studies, and will you be continuing with OnDemand?

    Absolutely, I have already ordered OnDemand courses for my final exams as they allow the flexibility to work at your own pace.

    Finally, would you recommend it to other students?

    I think the OnDemand courses are great and have allowed me to excel in my CIMA studies at a rate that would not be possible using other methods. I have passed 8 exams in under a year using OnDemand and I am now fully qualified. I have recommended to a colleague of mine who was struggling with exams and since using OnDemand has had a much improved exam pass rate.

    Thanks Jack, and good luck with the rest of your CIMA studies!

  • Structured learning - Is it right for me?

    by Kieron McDonnell | Sep 13, 2017

    It’s been said that “flexibility is the friend of procrastination”. That’s certainly true when it comes to revising!

    Most of us set out with good intentions to study consistently and take our exams regularly. But without timetables and deadlines, putting aside time for studying can prove more problematic than first thought.

    If this sounds familiar, structured learning with subject experts could offer a solution. Here are several reasons why structured learning could work for you.

    Interested in more study options? Learn about the benefits of flexible learning in this article.

    Learning beyond study materials

    One of the brilliant things about studying as part of a group is that there are many more opportunities to learn beyond simply what is in the textbook.

    The other students in your class will all have different work experience and ways of viewing problems, which can lead to a much richer learning experience and better all-round understanding of your subject.

    As questions are raised, you will also be able to get explanations from the tutors that differ from how the topic is presented in the study texts - which should help give you a greater understanding of the topic.

    On top of this, any issues with the content can be raised and dealt with as they occur.

    Studying in class with Kaplan means attending one of our 21 award-winning training centres, which are located all across the country.

    However, if you find it difficult to make into a classroom, these group benefits are still available using Kaplan’s Live Online study method.

    Live Online gives you everything you’d expect from the traditional classroom format, with the added benefit of being online.

    This way you can join timetabled lectures in real-time and post questions for live tutor feedback. Ultimately, you’ll be able to engage as much, or as little, as you would’ve in class, without missing out on those unexpected class debates.

    As an added bonus, the classes are recorded so if you want to revisit a topic, or if you’re not available to join the live session, you can watch it at a later time that suits you.

    Kaplan student Vivi Sargioti chose Live Online for her studies:

    “This study method really suits my lifestyle and work schedule: I like to study from home and make my own arrangements rather than having to commute all the time. The online lectures are good because they’re recorded, so I can listen back to them”.

    Taking the planning out of the equation

    The beauty of a structured approach to learning is the framework that goes along with it. You don’t have to worry about being able to plan your own study schedule or rely on self motivation - you just have to follow the plan and do the work as instructed by our subject specialist tutors. After all, the learning experience has been especially optimised for your success.

    An interesting variation on structured learning is Kaplan’s OnDemand study method. This is an online course with resources specifically designed for online learning. However, you are still given the structure of a tutor led course, with guidance from a tutor so you’ll know exactly what you need to complete and when.

    Here is Kaplan OnDemand student Karly Robinson talking about the benefits of this innovative study method:

    "You definitely need some kind of motivation to stop you thinking on a Monday “Oh I’ll do this tomorrow”, and before you know it you’ve lost a week."

    You get your schedule so you know what you should be doing each week, you know if you’re on target and you know how to pace yourself. All that would be hard if you just had a book.”

    Dedicated learning environment

    More flexible study options may seem alluring, but there can be a lot of distractions involved. Trying to study on your own accord when there’s children running around, washing piling up and dinner to be made can certainly prove challenging.

    Even trying to motivate yourself when you get home from work can be a big enough hurdle in itself. When you follow a timetabled course, you have to actually carve out that time which can be a great way of making sure that other commitments don’t get in the way of your learning.

    Familiar format

    From a young age and throughout school you will have been used to structured teaching methods in a classroom.

    It’s a format we’re all familiar with, and that familiarity can be a real benefit. Expectations for attendance and preparation are made clear from the start and you’ll receive face-to-face teaching on a weekday, weekend or evening.

    Ultimately, there is no right or wrong way to study for your exams - what matters is if it is right for you. Kaplan offers 4 unique ways to study, each with different benefits, depending on your needs and situation.

  • Back on the road with the Apprenticeship breakfast briefings

    by Kieron McDonnell | Sep 07, 2017

    Over the past few weeks, the Kaplan Apprenticeship team has been travelling around the country to discuss the latest changes to accountancy and financial apprenticeships and to provide guidance about the levy.

    Kaplan held a series of breakfast briefings in Manchester, Leeds, London and Birmingham which proved to be highly popular with employers from all sectors. We were joined by charity partner Leadership Through Sport and Business and by many professional bodies including AAT, ACCA, ATT, CIMA, CII, ICAEW and ILM to discuss the new Apprenticeship standards that have been developed around specific job roles, the upcoming release of level 7 and funding options.

    Cassandra Macdonald, Head of Client Solutions: Apprenticeships, said “The breakfast events were a great success, we had a fantastic turnout and it was a great opportunity to talk with clients, prospective employers and industry professionals. There were plenty of lively discussions and the hot topic was the imminent release of the Level 7 Apprenticeships in Accountancy and Financial Services with many people asking about these Masters level qualifications that we anticipate will be ready for delivery very soon.

    It was also great to be joined again by Leadership Through Sport and Business, a charity that supports bright young people who face disadvantage into rewarding careers in business, finance and accountancy.”

    Ian Hancocks, Director of Client Solutions and Account Management, said “This was a great opportunity for us to get a group of employers together to discuss Apprenticeships. We’d like to thank everyone who attended, including the professional bodies and Leadership Through Sport and Business and hope everyone found it a useful session.”

    Do not worry if you have missed these events: Kaplan will be running another breakfast briefing on 28th September 2017 in London, at One Moorgate Place.

  • Smarter Apprenticeship Breakfast Briefing

    by Kieron McDonnell | Sep 07, 2017

    Apprenticeships continue to undergo significant changes in terms of funding, delivery and design. In an ever-changing policy landscape and with delays to the approval of many standards, including the Level 7 Professional Accountant/Taxation standard, it can be confusing to understand the best way to use your Levy whilst avoiding disruption to your current training plans especially for graduate intakes.

    Due to high demand for our breakfast events held earlier this year, Kaplan are delighted to announce that we will be putting on an additional session in London on September 28th at the ICAEW.

    Aimed at any organisation currently interested in Apprenticeships in Finance and  Accountancy, please join us and our industry experts to cover:

    • The latest update on the Accountancy Standards including Level 7 and the options available to you
    • Making sense of the 20% "Off-the-job" rules - what you can and can't include
    • Eligibility rules including transferring part way through an existing Professional Qualification
    • The role of End Point Assessment in new Apprenticeship standards
    • Opportunities to enrich your development programmes through Apprenticeship training

    A full panels of speakers will be announced but register today for what is sure to be a very insightful, informative session by the leading provider of Professional Apprenticeships, Kaplan: The Smart Apprenticeship Provider.

    Please join us from 9am for breakfast. The briefing will take place between 9:30am - 11am followed by time to network. Places are limited so reserve your place now by completing our online form.

  • How Kaplan Norwich consistently produces award winning students

    by Sharon Cooper | Aug 22, 2017

    Whilst we're always very proud of our high pass rates at Kaplan, it's particularly pleasing to see our students awarded the top honours by the institutes. Prize-winning students are those who have performed outstandingly in their exams, going the extra mile and achieving some of the highest marks in the world in the process.

    For a relatively small centre, Kaplan Norwich has had a lot to celebrate over the last year. Back in the December 2016 sitting, Lauren Day of local firm Larking Gowen was awarded the ACCA Gold Medal for the highest scoring Global Affiliate in that sitting, hot on the heels of her P2 award in June 2016. In the same sitting Jonathan Gray, an employee at Lees Accountants, was awarded the P1 prize, whilst Charlotte Ruffles, of GT in Ipswich, was the recipient of 1st place in the ICAEW order of merit for the Advanced Case Study examination in November 2016.

    When the ACCA prize-winners for the March 2017 sitting were announced, we were thrilled to see that Jonathan Gray had won another award, picking up the Silver Global prize for his P papers.

    Most recently, ACCA's list of Global Prize-winners for the June 2017 sitting saw Norwich celebrating again, with Dominic Smith picking up an award for his P2 paper and Georgina Lemmon achieving the Silver Global Prize - her second time as a Prize-winner!

    So what is it that makes Norwich so special when it comes to producing global prize-winners?

    "Obviously, it partly comes down to having some excellent students coming through" explains tutor Belinda Wargent, "but also I really think that Kaplan Norwich has some excellent tutors who work hard to really understand the exams they teach and nail how to pass. We create a very friendly and engaging classroom environment that aids learning and development."

    Centre manager Tim Howes agrees that the environment the tutors in Norwich and Ipswich are able to create helps to produce successful students.

    "We're are a small centre but with the small size of everything comes the real difference, which is that students are individually known to tutors and the support staff. Whenever we have visiting tutors come here, they always remark about the 'friendliness' of the groups they teach."

    Two time ACCA Prize-winner Georgina Lemmon was full of praise for the tutor team, explaining "all of the tutors have an approachable attitude and they all seem down to earth and relatable with their subjects."

    Both Tom Bulman, another tutor at the Norwich centre, and Belinda agree that the tutors take an exam-focused approach to teaching from the start. "We offer solid tuition" says Tom, "encouraging the students to start thinking towards their exams early and doing mocks, followed by lots of question practice in the revision phase."

    "We ensure students know along the way how what they are learning could be examined and how it fits into the exam structure" adds Belinda. "During the tuition phase we concentrate on making sure that they grasp the basics, then on the revision phase we ensure that we expose students to exam-style questions and a lot of exam technique."

    Kaplan Norwich runs AAT, ACCA and ICAEW courses, whilst the satellite centre in Ipswich offer AAT and ACCA courses. Both centres are located centrally, in close proximity to the rail stations and with good transport links.

    "Students should choose Kaplan Norwich because of our excellent tutors, friendly classroom environment and our proven exam success record" says Tim. "We consistently have the best pass rates in the country across the board".

    If you are based in the local area, find out more about Kaplan Norwich.

  • How do you stay motivated whilst studying?

    by Kieron McDonnell | Aug 07, 2017

    It can be difficult to stay motivated whilst trying to balance your studies with work or commitments at home.

    We recently asked some of our AAT students how they keep themselves motivated, and have compiled the results in the infographic below. Do you use any of these techniques yourself?

    How do you stay motivated whilst studying for AAT?
  • Returning to CIMA - after a 15 year study break!

    by Kieron McDonnell | Jul 28, 2017

    Frank Fagan works as a Finance Business Partner for the DBS, and following a promotion chose to return to his CIMA studies after a 15 year break. We caught up with him to find out how Kaplan helped him resume his studies after such a long break.

    Hi Frank. Why did you decide to return to CIMA at this stage in your career?

    I had originally passed up to CIMA Stage 3 under the old exam structure. Under this structure you had to take four exams in two days and pass them all to be given a pass for the whole stage. If you failed just one of the exams you were not allowed to keep the other three passes!

    I took Stage 4 on two occasions and passed three papers but failed one. Therefore I was given an overall fail for Stage 4. At that time I had three young kids and could not dedicate the time again to having another go at passing Stage 4.

    Recently in my role at the DBS I got promoted but a condition was that I pass the CIMA exams, so here I am back again doing the final stages of my CIMA qualification. The good thing is now if you take one paper at a time and pass you are allowed to keep that paper! 

    Did Kaplan provide you with the help and support you needed to return to studying, and if so how?

    All of the study materials have been excellent but what has really impressed me has been the standard of the tutors who have really been good on the two modules I have attended so far. Personally, I study best in the classroom rather than being self taught with textbooks. The tutors have surpassed my expectations in making the classes easy to understand, interesting and enjoyable.

    Were there any specific features or benefits of Kaplan’s courses that have particularly helped you start studying again?

    The study materials have been really good, and I find the summary class papers really useful.

    Have you faced any particular challenges, and how did you overcome them?

    As I have not studied for almost 15 years, I had obviously forgot a lot of information you otherwise would have remembered from recently passing exams in previous stages.

    I have therefore had to try and familiarise myself with some of these basics by asking the tutors to give me some of the study texts from previous levels, which they’ve been happy to help with.

    How do you foresee your return to studying helping you reach your career goals?

    As explained previously, it’s a condition of my job so I need to pass the CIMA exams! However, the course content will help me a lot in my current position and give me additional knowledge and skills in my daily routine.

    What advice would you offer to anyone in a similar position to yourself who was considering a return to studying?

    I would say it is never too late to return to studying, and I have found a real mix of students in my classes. You may have had bad experiences with poor tutors in previous years when studying which may have led you to dismiss returning to study. I have however found that the tutors, study materials and general environment at Kaplan to be first class and the online practise exams are very useful. All in all I have found returning to studies to be a really rewarding experience.

    Thanks Frank!

  • ICAEW: The Financial Accounting and Reporting UK GAAP exam is changing

    by Amy Nicholson | May 21, 2018

    The ICAEW introduced a UK GAAP variant of the Professional Level FAR exam from the March 2017 sitting, alongside the existing IFRS variant. This allowed you to be able to select the most relevant FAR exam that complemented what your trainees see in the workplace.  Kaplan supported the ICAEW launch of the UK GAAP variant by offering it in every one of our ACA centres, online and Live Online.

    The Audit Qualification (AQ) and Corporate Reporting (CR)

    If your trainee has sat the FAR: UK GAAP variant in 2017, in order to be eligible for the AQ they will have to sit the Advanced Level CR: IFRS exam.  The ICAEW will issue an extra supplement in 2018 to help such students prepare for the CR exam. We will be supporting this with online content built into the pre-course work and we therefore recommend that no extra study leave is required.  

    As a result of this AQ eligibility issue the ICAEW will not be running a CR UK GAAP variant and therefore all students will be undertaking the CR IFRS exam.

    Introducing: The new FAR UK GAAP exam

    To meet long-term FRC requirements the existing FAR: UK GAAP variant exam will be available in its current form until the September 2018 sitting.  A new FAR: UK GAAP exam will be available from March 2019. This new exam will cover micro and smaller entity accounting including FRS 105, in addition to the current syllabus content focusing on FRS 102.  As before students who sit and pass this new exam, will continue on to the CR: IFRS exam and be eligible for the AQ.

    This therefore means there will be no FAR: UK GAAP exam for the December 2018 sitting.  If you planned for your trainees to sit FAR: UK GAAP to the December 2018 sitting we would recommend either undertaking the IFRS variant or undertaking the new UK GAAP exam in either March or June 2019.

    If you plan for your trainees to sit the FAR: UK GAAP variant in September 2018 you may want to consider whether they sit instead under IFRS; this will allow them to resit more easily, if required, in December 2018.  A student who did sit FAR: UK GAAP in September 2018 and failed would either have to retake under IFRS in December 2018 or resit under the new UK GAAP exam in March 2019.

    Support
    Please do not hesitate to contact us on 0161 259 7400 so we can help you to plan out your trainees pathway.

     

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