#030: Succeed In Your Accounting Exams & Finance Career

with James Perry

James Perry is a chartered accountant and owner of jamesperryexamcoaching.com where he offers his clients around the world a unique and fresh perspective to succeed in their exams and reach their potential in their careers. He’s probably the only dedicated independent exam coach on the planet dedicated to finance & accounting and it’s a great coincidence that he’s also based out of Ireland.

James has previously worked as a lecturer with Queens University, University of Ulster and in the private sector as an FMCG Financial Controller and Senior Audit Manager in a global accounting firm.

Key Quotes From the Episode:

 “I was being so bombarded with things that you do need that break [from reading books] to go and expand your mind in other directions.” [02:34]

“o and get a mentor who will drive you in the right direction and be the devil’s advocate if you’ve got a problem.” [02:41]

“the best way to learn is to teach somebody else.” [03:10]

“People are people now, we’re no longer commodities and that’s where I think business is changing.” [06:40]

“It’s not necessary just about the corporate culture or people passing the exams to me [mindset is just as important.” [07:42]

 “I’m not necessarily an accountant who wants to be an accountant anymore but what I am passionate about is helping others achieve this incredibly wonderful, credible qualification because it is so much more than just about numbers.” [09:02]

 “You have to be a rounded business advisor, and that’s where personality, the softer skills, actually building rapport with it be your staff or if it be your client to me is so important now because to me the processing takes care of itself, yes of course you have to have an awareness of the technical stuff particularly if there’s a new accounting standard that’s coming out that you need to know about but getting people on your side if you’ve got a wonderful idea or project, getting people on board to follow you on that and support you on it is more key now.” [09:14]

 “Whenever things go wrong what is it that you’re going to cling onto that’s going to drive you through.” [11:48]

 “Accounting is a global language and that is the reason why I push it as such a great career because in the main accounting is accounting around the world, okay there’s the odd difference in accounting standard so someone can be a qualified accountant in Ireland and go work in Australia.” [33:20]

“With studying for an accounting qualification you could be a project manager, because studying for your accounting exams is project management, you show that you’ve got discipline, you show you’re fantastic with figures, you’re obviously analytical, you can travel the world, there’s very few qualifications that open doors as much as accounting qualifications.” [33:40]

 (Other resources and how to connect with James below).

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Key Points From the Episode:

  • Where his passion for exam coaching came from and the story behind why’s he’s so passionate about helping others through the process.
  • The first question he asks his exam coaching clients that we should all know the answer to if we want to have fun, rewarding and successful careers.
  • A number of practical tips to improve your finance & accounting exam and career success.

Time Stamped Show Notes:

[02:18] – Two bits of advice to his younger self.

[03:05] – James gives an invaluable tip to help you learn more easily.

[04:25] – What we can learn from being more connected.

[05:33] – How business is changing and how it benefits us in accounting & finance.

[06:55] – Why psychology is no longer a fluffy subject for our profession.

[09:02] – What James is passionate about.

[09:05] – How being a well-rounded advisor is now more important than the technical side of what we do.

[10:25] – The first question he asks his exam coaching clients.

[10:55] – Why passing exams is more a psychological thing more than knowing the answers.

[11:31] – Why motivation on its own is not particularly useful.

[11:48] – Shares his personal driving force and inspiration.

[13:25] – A tip to keep your mind motivated on doing the key things.

[14:18] – Shares the story of one student who had failed a paper 5 times and what she did to successfully overcome her exam anxiety.

[16:03] – Why people can fail exams the night before they sit them.

[19:18] – Two books James would recommend.

[22:43] – Shares his thoughts on why common sense is coming back into vogue.

[23:21] – What’s exciting him about the next 6 months.

[24:50] – Shares his story behind his journey on becoming an entrepreneur.

[26:58] – How he decided on becoming an exam coach and describes what an exam coach does.

[29:49] – Shares a story of how one of his clients lead to his own greatest achievement

[33:02] – How to connect with James.

[33:28] – Why he’s so passionate about getting people through the accounting exam process.

Resources Mentioned:

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