My Paper, Tuesday, November 12, 2013
By Douglas Chew
WITH a fondness for numbers, Mr Siddarth Khanna, 22, an auditor at one of the Big Four audit firms, chose accounting as his career. He pursued the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) qualification to fast-track his studies, completing the course in two and a half years at the Kaplan Learning Institute.
To spur himself on, Mr Khanna aimed to achieve world and national rankings for each of the ACCA modules. To complete the course sooner, he took extra modules each semester, using the classes at Kaplan to shorten his learning curve.
“Every time I made an enquiry on an Internet forum or did a search, Kaplan was always rated number one. Kaplan Financial, a department of the institute, was awarded the ACCA Platinum Status Learning Partner, which reassured me on the quality of ACCA education they provided,” he says.
The Platinum status is only awarded to institutions that have achieved ACCA’s defined standards of learning facilities, outstanding student support and pass rates that meet or exceed ACCA’s global pass rates. The institute is also a recipient of the EduTrust certification by the Council for Private Education, which acknowledges the quality excellence of its programmes and services as well as business operations.
Stepping stone to a brighter future
Kaplan’s professional team of lecturers delivers the complete spectrum of financial accounting, management accounting, corporate governance, tax, audit, financial reporting, business and management subjects.
“The constant guidance and support given by each individual lecturer throughout my learning journey and the overall support rendered by the administrative staff made my ACCA studies a breeze. All that was required of me was to focus, study and do my best for the exams,” says Mr Khanna.
“ACCA has provided me with the tools to succeed in my current job. I am now practising the numerous accounting standards and audit procedures learnt in the ACCA programme as an auditor. It has provided me with a great accounting base to build my future.”
Mr Khanna enjoyed the ACCA finance module so much that he has returned to Kaplan to pursue the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) qualification. The CFA programme is a graduate level curriculum providing a strong foundation of investment analysis and portfolio management skills.
While the CFA is designed to be a selfstudy course, the pass-rate is notoriously low for its examinations. Mr Khanna decided to attend classes with Kaplan to ensure he passed each of the three levels on his first attempt. He has managed to do so for the first two levels and is now busy preparing to conquer the final level.
“Juggling work and studies is extremely challenging. I start my studies a bit earlier to get a head start, which is quickly eroded by the audit peak season from December to March. I try to maintain my discipline to keep up with my study schedule as time is so precious,” he says.
To find time, Mr Khanna sometimes has to sacrifice leisure, spending many weekends studying. “A big challenge is not being able to go out with my friends. Although it may sound juvenile, it’s quite depressing when my friends are heading out and I have to decline their invitation,” he says.
His advice for those thinking of pursuing part-time studies while on a full-time job is to be committed to the course they have chosen. “You have to be willing to sacrifice time spent with family and friends, and be disciplined in your studies. It can be difficult, but is manageable if you are determined,” he says.
About the programme
Over 30,000 ACCA students worldwide have studied at Kaplan Financial, a provider of financial professional qualifications. Kaplan prepares its students for the two levels of Fundamentals and Professional, comprising 16 papers, and has a lecturer-student ratio of 1:100. Kaplan Learning Institute is registered with the Council of Private Education and has been awarded the-four-year EduTrust certification. It also holds the Platinum status for ACCA’s Approved Learning Partner – Student Tuition programme – the highest honour ACCA gives to its tuition providers.
This status is only awarded to institutions that have achieved ACCA’s defined standards of learning facilities, outstanding student support and pass rates that meet or exceed ACCA’s global pass rates. Students have the opportunity to gain a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Applied Accounting from Oxford Brookes University upon part completion of the ACCA Fundamentals papers. After achieving the ACCA membership, candidates can become Certified Public Accountants in Singapore.