Matilda Witos, FMAAT enjoys the flexibility and diversity of her role as a management accountant at an engineering firm.
Now 37, she has no regrets about leaving the world of sales and training as an AAT accountant in her late 20s. “I did finance and accounting at university, but I couldn’t find the right job when I graduated so I ended up doing sales,” said Witos, who is from Romania but has lived in the UK for the last 15 years.
“I decided to do my AAT qualifications when I arrived in the UK because I was looking for job stability and the chance to move forward in my career. “It wasn’t always easy with a full-time job and two young children.
“But it has helped me go from being an accounts assistant with no relevant formal qualification to a management accountant with lots of involvement in business planning and decisions.”
The pros and cons of working in business
Some people assume working for a business will involve less diversity than being in practice with lots of clients. But Witos argues that a career in industry can be just as varied. “Throughout my career, I have worked for a manufacturer, an asset management provider, and now an engineering firm, so I have learned how to adapt my skills to several different industries,” she says.
“My current role is also very varied as I spend about two weeks of each month working on the previous month-end, and the next two weeks on-site reviewing accounts and trying to identify any issues. “
“I had my own business in the past, and I know how hard you have to work to make a success of it,” Witos adds. “So I like having set hours – it means I can clock off in the evenings. “I also enjoy the stability of having a regular income.” However, she recognises that not all industry roles offer the same advantages as her position.
“I go out to meet stakeholders regularly in my current job, but I know not all management accountants get to do that, so I would recommend looking for an employer who lets you meet your colleagues and clients,” Witos says. “It adds variety to your day and gives you a much better understanding of how the business works.”
The advantages of AAT membership
Having upgraded her membership to fellow status last year, Witos attributes much of her success to her involvement with AAT. “Being AAT qualified gives you opportunities and opens lots of doors,” she says.
“It allows you to increase your earning power, and to progress more easily in your career. “It also helps you to go on to do further qualifications if you like. “For example, my AAT qualifications meant I was exempt from the first ACCA papers, which I am now doing because I would like to become a finance manager.”
She also makes good use of the resources available via the AAT branch network. “Being an active AAT member means I can keep up with my CPD and stay up to date with any changes in standards,” Witos says.
“Receiving my FMAAT certificate at the 2019 AAT Achievement Ceremony was a really proud day for me, especially as I was able to share it with my children, who are four and two; I found it really inspiring. “What’s more, having the letters FMAAT after my name gives my employer confidence that I have the required skills to do my job.”
FMAAT membership explained
Held by more than 6,000 professional members, fellow membership of the AAT is the highest level of membership you can achieve.
Having FMAAT status means you have senior experience, an advanced level of expertise, and – as it is only open to those who have been a MAAT for at least five years – have demonstrated sustained professionalism.
It gives you increased status in the accountancy world and demonstrates both your loyalty to AAT and a commitment to your on-going professional development.
The business world can be an exciting and satisfying place to build your career in accountancy. There are lots of opportunities to move up the ladder as you attain further AAT qualifications. You won’t have the freedom of being your own boss, but you will enjoy fixed hours and a regular income.
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Jessica Bown is an award-winning freelance journalist and editor.