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Sian Jones

Management Accountant,The Global Travel Group

‘CIMA enabled me to qualify without mountains of student debt’

Why did you choose to study CIMA after your A levels instead of a degree?
I wanted to be able to continue working while I was studying so I didn’t have mountains of student debt to pay off when I was finished. This way I have been able to study and save money.

As I have been working alongside studying, I feel I do have an advantage over those who are now looking for work because as well as the qualification I also have the experience behind me. My work and studies also complemented each other as I was able to relate one back to the other.

Why did you choose to study CIMA rather than another professional qualification?
CIMA is more focused on business than any other professional accountancy qualification and allows insight into other areas of an organisation, such as marketing and human resources.

Tell us about your current role
I am currently responsible for the preparation of management accounts for the Global Travel Group along with balance sheet reconciliations and overhead analysis for our sister company, Travelbag. I also report our monthly results to the board in Australia and prepare annual statutory accounts.

What do you enjoy most about your role? 
I enjoy the variety. Management accounting allows you to be more involved with the operations of the business and the other departments instead of merely number crunching. You are able to look at the bigger picture and think strategically. You also have more interaction with non-finance staff, which makes the role a lot more interesting.

Do people have any misconceptions about your role and accountancy in general?
A lot of people think accountants are boring and have no social life. However, I like nothing more than having a drink and a dance with my friends!

People tend to assume that an accountant’s job is purely mathematical and they don’t realise that there are a lot of techniques and standards that we apply to our work. We also contribute toward strategy and management decisions.

What advice would you give to anyone thinking of studying towards the CIMA qualification?
I would advise anyone to study the CIMA certificate in business accounting rather than AAT or a degree. I am now a CIMA member at 22 and this is a great achievement for me. When I was accepted as a CIMA member I felt a huge sense of achievement at finally reaching the stage I had been working so hard towards.

If CIMA was a holiday destination where would it be and why?
CIMA is like a skiing holiday in the French Alps. It can be tough but worth it!