We spoke to ACCA Kuwait Prizewinner, Vijay Menon, to find out how studying via OnDemand gave him everything he needed for success.
I have 20 years' experience working in accounting. I started as an accountant and progressed to Financial Accounts Manager, then all the way up to where I am now - the Finance Director of a department store in Kuwait.
In 2015, I qualified as a Certified Management Accountant (CMA) through the IMA. After completion, there was a mutual recognition agreement between ACCA and IMA. This meant I was now eligible for exemptions with ACCA.
I wanted to study the internationally recognised qualification, and get more convergence on the International Accounting Standards. I had an existing understanding and experience of the US standards, but searched for more international exposure.
ACCA is basically an international passport in accountancy.
I had the option of a few training providers but I knew I needed to be in charge of my own studies. I struggle to focus in a classroom environment and I had heard that Kaplan was a pioneer in the education industry. After reaching out and explaining my needs, I signed up for the OnDemand subscription. Everyone learns differently, and this was the perfect option for me.
All the materials were great. I would use the online text, work through the videos and then contact a tutor if needed. The tutor support was fantastic: from complex questions to basic maths. They gave me the confidence to move forward.
I would mainly use the Integrated Workbook for revision, as well as the study text if I had a doubt about a topic. The exam kit is more about the application of the knowledge, which expands your commercial acumen and communication skills.
Did you face any challenges whilst studying?
It is challenging to avoid getting disturbed or distracted while you study. Consistency is very important and the best way to study is to get into a routine. Kaplan provides a lot of tools, like the timetables, but ultimately, it is about our personal commitment.
Tackling difficult subjects was challenging. I broke it down into smaller pieces and would slowly unwrap it. Initially, it can be quite overwhelming. I found that it helped to get a bird’s eye view and look at the percentage of the full paper that one topic covers.This helped me to manage my time and prioritise what I focus on.
Do you have advice for people who may be looking to study ACCA internationally?
I would advise others to self-study. You need to fully understand the questions and how to apply your knowledge, and I think self-studying will help you become efficient at this. If you have questions, there is online tutor support on MyKaplan so you can still reach out if you need it.
Education is a continuous thing.
If you want international movement and international mobility, then I say ACCA is the answer. ACCA covers accounting areas that give you a broader knowledge. I thought that it would be fairly easy after I completed my CMA, but it’s still testing me and complimenting my existing knowledge.
A combination of qualifications is really helpful, but ACCA being the first is ideal. I’d say that I did it the wrong order as I started with CMA. CMA focused on management accounting, similar to CIMA in the UK. It would have been better to build a base of accounting knowledge and then add layers on top of it.
Why is international mobility important for you?
I have worked for companies in many different countries, such as Sweden, America, and France. Although I currently work for a local company, you never know what’s going to come tomorrow.
ACCA gives you both the knowledge and confidence to be able to work globally. I have learnt about managing companies, as well as monitoring responsibilities such as CSR. The standards are similar everywhere. If you go to the UK, USA, or India, the corporate standards and expectations are the same.
Find out more about ACCA
If you're interested in this course, visit our ACCA course page (UK) or ACCA Subscription page (INTL) for more information.