Showing posts with label ACCA. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ACCA. Show all posts

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Out of the blue

Semalam, out of the blue, seorang rakan baik saya menghubungi.

Ketika saya menyambung pelajaran pada tahun 2010, dia juga mendapat biasiswa ACCA dalam negara, ditanggung oleh syarikat. Dan kakakku seorang ini, baru sahaja melahirkan anak keempatnya bulan November yang lalu.

Katanya, malu dengan saya. Dia bermula dari kertas F4: Corporate and Business Law, maknanya ada 10 atau 11 subjek yang perlu dia ambil untuk menjadi chartered accountant. Kertas F9: Financial Management, dia gagal lagi (ya, subjek F9 adalah subjek yang paling susah di dalam kertas asas atau fundamental paper). Masuk kali keenam dia ambil subjek itu.

Allah kak, motivasi tertinggi saya adalah saya tinggalkan Malaysia untuk sambung belajar di UK. Bawa keluarga pula tu, kalau gagal, bukankah sia-sia sahaja pengorbanan keluarga?

Tahun ini, sudah tahun kelima dia dijadualkan untuk menghabiskan ACCA. Tak apa kak, teruskan perjuangan, ada sahaja kawan kolej dulu gagal juga, entah sudah berapa kali subjek yang sama. Itu pun dalam keadaan tiada komitmen, dan masih lagi single.

Saya tidak kata ACCA itu mudah, malahan sebenarnya perlu beri komitmen yang sangat tinggi untuk lulus. Saya bangun dari tidur dan sebelum tidur dengan menghadap buku ACCA. Kalau zaman peperiksaan lagi parah, saya hanya berhenti untuk solat dan makan.

Ya, dan disebabkan saya rasa peperiksaan ACCA itu susah, saya masih ingat semua soalan ACCA yang saya jawab. Saya ada jawab soalan di bawah untuk paper P2: Corporate Reporting:


Dan untuk mereka yang meninggalkan komen di tulisan-tulisan saya sebelum ini, harap maaf saya tidak dapat layan. Kekangan kerja dan komitmen keluarga lebih penting. Apa yang saya nukilkan semua ada di dalam blog ini - tip belajar, cara hidup, bagaimana saya uruskan masa dan keluarga, bagaimana saya memilih kolej. Harap faham.

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Cerpen: Mencorak Mimpi

Menelusuri Oxford Street sejurus turun dari tren membuahkan perasan terharu yang kukira terpendam berbulan-bulan lamanya. Tidak kusangka detik ini tiba jua. Sepanjang perjalanan, angin sejuk awal musim bunga membelai pipi.

Baru sebentar tadi di rumah sewa yang kudiami kuperhatikan dari luar tingkap putik bunga dafodil yang mula memekar. Aku meninggalkan anak-anak yang masih belum hilang kantuk masing-masing untuk hadir mendaftarkan diri di Kaplan Financial College. Hari ini, Baiti, rakanku yang sedang melanjutkan pelajaran di peringkat PhD datang membantuku untuk dibawa ke kolej selaku pelajar baru.

Ah, siapa sangka di umur aku yang menginjak 30 tahun, aku berjaya menjejakkan kaki di bumi Manchester. Niatku yang sekadar ingin mencuba membuahkan hasil. Aku kembali sebagai seorang pelajar di usia matang.

Bukan mudah untuk menghidupkan kembali mimpi yang kukira sudah lama terkubur. Aku ingin menjadi seorang akauntan profesional. Dikurniakan biasiswa ke luar negara untuk melanjutkan pelajaran dalam bidang ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants), aku menanam cita untuk menjadi seperti Ayah – seorang akauntan profesional yang berjaya.

Memoriku mengetuk kembali di saat kumemberitahu ibubapaku mengenai perancanganku. Poskad putih bersaiz A6 bercetak ‘Urusan Rasmi Kerajaan’ itu kuhulur kepada Ummi.

“Hah, Aida nak sambung ACCA di UK? Temuduga hujung bulan ini?” tanya Ummi dengan nada sedikit terkejut. Ayah menggeleng kepala sambil mengatakan,”Susah, susah, awak bukan pandai macam Mak Su.” 

Ummi mengalihkan pandangan ke arah lain. Ayah pula masih lagi dalam keadaan terkesima dengan berita yang tidak disangka ini. Ayah menyambung lagi bicaranya, “Anak jiran sebelah rumah ini pun entah berapa kali ambil paper ACCA, masih tak lulus.”

Aku tahu, Ayah. Aku bukan anak Ayah yang paling pandai. Aku tahu bahawa Ummi dan Ayah memang tidak pernah meletakkan harapan tinggi untuk aku mendapat keputusan yang terbaik di dalam pelajaran. Bukan senang untuk meyakinkan Ummi dan Ayah. Bukan calang-calang mereka yang boleh lulus peperiksaan untuk ditauliahkan sebagai seorang profesional yang mempunyai gelaran ACCA. Tambah-tambah lagi, dengan keadaan aku yang sudah membina kehidupan dengan berkeluarga dan mempunyai kerja yang stabil. Sekiranya aku berjaya meraih biasiswa, aku akan memulakan perjalanan yang panjang dengan menghadapi peperiksaan demi peperiksaan. Kemungkinan akan gagal lebih tinggi, tambah-tambah pula ingin menyambung pelajaran di negara orang.

Namun akhirnya, aku berjaya meyakinkan Ummi dan Ayah. Mungkin kerana Ayah tahu aku memang bercita-cita dari dahulu lagi.
***
Itu kisah sepuluh bulan yang lalu.

Aku mengambil risiko dengan meninggalkan segalanya di Malaysia. Dengan kejayaan aku mendapat biasiswa luar, aku mendapat berita cuti tanpa gaji aku telah diluluskan dan syarikat akan menaja elaun keluarga. Allahuakbar! Aku nekad membawa keluargaku bersama di bumi asing ini.

Aku dan Baiti tiba di sebuah bangunan yang masih mengekalkan gaya asal dari zaman Victoria British. Bata-bata merah kusam bersusun dengan elok mencengkam struktur bangunan ini.

‘Sudah sedia?’ Baiti bertanyaku. Aku mengangguk lantas menolak pintu utama kolej. Di sinilah aku akan memulakan perjalanan sebagai seorang pelajar.
***
Dalam keadaan kelas yang kukira agak sesak masanya dan tanpa henti, Manchester beransur memasuki fasa awal musim luruh. Daun-daun hijau bertukar warna menjadi merah, perang jingga dan kuning keemasan. Kaleidoskop warna daun yang berubah melatari pemandangan di Manchester.

Dikelilingi pelajar-pelajar yang kebanyakannya baru menggenggam segulung ijazah sarjana muda, aku adalah pelajar tertua di dalam kelas. Mereka tidak tahu aku harus bersengkang mata menjaga anak bongsu di waktu malam, atau suamiku yang mengorbankan segala-galanya dengan menjadi house husband demi cita-citaku.

Aku masih lagi rasa berdebar apabila perlu menelaah buku dan nota pelajaran serta melakukan latih tubi – antara kenangan di zaman universiti lapan tahun yang lalu. Sudah lama kutinggalkan perkara-perkara itu. Isi mata pelajaran seperti Financial Accounting dan Audit & Assurance kurasa payah untuk dihadam. Lalu aku tahu, aku harus belajar dengan lebih tekun untuk lulus peperiksaan nanti.
***
Awal bulan Jun. Hari penentuan itu tiba jua.

Selesai menghantar anak-anak ke Bowker Vale Primary School, suamiku memandu ke arah stadium Old Trafford. Aku bersama anak bongsu yang berumur lapan bulan, duduk di baris kerusi tengah Toyota Estima.

Tiba di destinasi, aku bersalam dengan suami memohon keredhaan. Aku tahu suamiku sudah lama mendoakan kejayaanku.

‘Abang tunggu di sini selepas Aida habis exam!’ jeritnya semasa aku berjalan ke arah deru orang ramai memasuki stadium. Ya, di stadium bersejarah ini, aku akan menduduki peperiksaan.

Aku melangkah masuk ke dalam dewan. Kot tebal warna biru laut yang kupakai kusangkutkan di kerusi. Kutinggalkan nota-nota di luar dewan sebentar tadi. Kertas peperiksaan sudah diletakkan di atas meja.

Dari pembesar suara, bergema arahan dari ketua pengawas,

‘Anda akan menduduki peperiksaan Association of Chartered Certified Accountants untuk kertas P1: Professional Accountant. Sila pastikan anda telah meletakkan kad pengenalan diri dan slip doket di atas meja. Anda mempunyai masa selama 15 minit untuk membaca soalan. Hanya selepas selesai 15 minit tersebut, baru anda dibenarkan menulis di kertas jawapan.”

Dengan lafaz Bismillah, aku membuka kertas peperiksaan.
***
Saya merupakan seorang akauntan yang bekerja di bidang strategi. Percaya dengan peraturan “The 10,000 Hours of Practice” yang disebut berkali-kali oleh Malcolm Gladwell di dalam buku ‘Outliers’, saya mungkin setakat ini telah menulis karya kreatif sebanyak 4 atau 5 jam - di mana masih lagi berbaki 9,995 jam untuk saya berlatih menulis agar saya mampu menulis sebuah karya agung kelak. Hehehe :). Karya pertama muncul di sebuah majalah kanak-kanak pada umur 8 tahun. Menulis masih lagi minat saya walau sudah bertahun tidak berkarya.


Nota kaki:

Sekadar mencuba Projek Buku 50 Penulis, tetapi karya ini tidak berjaya. Cerpen ini siap dalam masa setengah hari. Ini pula merupakan deraf kedua. Deraf pertama, disebabkan sudah lama tidak menulis, saya rasa kekok dengan rentak cerita, lalu saya olah semula dari mula.

Banyak yang saya ingin 'nafaskan' dalam karya ini. Mungkin kerana kisah ini merupakan kisah saya yang ada juga diolah sana sini. Pembaca cubaan saya semestinya si suami. Sepanjang menulis, saya merindui suasana Manchester.

Komen pertama beliau: Mungkin orang tidak tahu bahawa saya sebetulnya mengambil peperiksan ACCA di stadium terkemuka Old Trafford, yang sinonim dengan Manchester United.

Saya ada nukilkan sebuah lagi karya, sekadar suka-suka. Tetapi karya ini yang saya pilih untuk dihantar, kerana temanya inspirasi.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Student allowance (and bringing your family)

Based on the allowance provided by MARA at GBP 650 per month for Manchester, it is only good to cover for single student. In fact, if you are single, then GBP 650 is quite enough.

But, if you have to bring your family, then it will not be enough. The cost to rent a house is around GBP 400 - GBP 600 per month. The cost of groceries, is around GBP 50 per month (which is quite cheap). Petrol and gas are quite expensive. Even electricity and heater bills shoot up during winter around GBP 50. Telephone bills are expensive, with prepaid rates are much higher from post paid rates at GBP 30/ month. We even had to pay for our TV or computer yearly license. We bought a second hand van, to ferry the kids to and fro from the school. Computer and gadgets are really expensive, thus it is better to bring your own printer and laptop from Malaysia.

In fact, for the first few months, I converted everything from GBP to MYR just to check whether it is expensive or not.

If you ask my experience, I had MARA scholarship for myself plus company allowance to cover for my family. Even with that, we were scraping and saving. My husband became a full time house husband since the childcare expenses is very expensive. We even had a plan B, because we have decided, if I was not successful to secure the company's allowance for family, I will be going there alone.

A friend asked me how we can go on short breaks with the allowance provided. Well, first, if you notice my earlier entries (6 to 9 months living in UK), we were travelling inside UK. We just went for a holiday in Ireland, just because we got a very cheap ticket flights for the 6 of us. Even during studying and holiday breaks, my husband or I did the cooking.

In fact, for the kids to go to school, we prepared a packed lunch for them, since they do not bring any money to school. Furthermore, the issue of whether the foods served are halal or not comes to mind. I even prepared my own meal when I went for my classes. It was even quite rare to find me eating out during classes since we need to save every allowance that we had.

We scout for cheap toys at car boot sales.

Thus, for students who need to bring their family, their spouse need to work. Seriously.

About the classes, for the essential subjects, P1: Governance, Risk and Ethics; P2: Corporate Reporting and P3: Business Analysis, there are only 7 tutorial classes and 3 revision classes starting from 9.30 a.m. to 4.30 p.m.

As for the option modules, P4: Advanced Financial Management, P5: Advanced Performance Management, P6: Advanced Taxation and P7: Advanced Audit and Assurance, there are 5 tutorial classes and 5 revision classes. Option modules are much harder to pass.

The classes are not daily, but the syllabus will be jam packed. Imagine studying like a year's lesson crammed into a 3-month semester. It is much easier to plan for your study, you can check the class schedule here: Kaplan Financial Manchester Spring/Summer 2013 timetable for full time student.

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Choosing your ACCA tuition provider

To Ned Ayub,

I bet you stumbled upon my blog when you search based on keywords of 'ACCA in Manchester' or 'ACCA with SPC MARA' or anything related to ACCA.

You can check for the status of the learning provider here in ACCA website.

Please please please check the status of your ACCA provider. I cannot stress how important this is, as to know whether the institution that you choose is recognised by ACCA or not.
The highest award given is Platinum, followed by Gold.

Kaplan Financial Manchester has been awarded as Platinum ACCA tuition provider. I think I have explained further in this post on why I choose Kaplan in the first place. The institution is focused on professional and financial accounting training for as long as I know. Before it was known as Kaplan, the institution previous name is Emile Woofe College.

I was a full time ACCA student, and I was grateful that I had good tutors for me to focus on my studies. In fact, before I flew to UK, I did ask one of the previous recipients on the learning provider - and I got to know Kaplan Financial is one of the best providers.

I have tried searching for University of Manchester at the ACCA website, but cannot find the entry.

Hope this really helps.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Studying ACCA in Kaplan Financial

Before I go any further on my ramblings, I would like to address the questions by two commentators on undertaking ACCA at Kaplan Financial (refer: Allah works in mysterious ways and Living in Manchester).

First question is on ACCA placement.

First and foremost, during my time in 2009, the requirement for MARA scholarship is to sit for IELTS. Of course, even though at that time, Kaplan Financial did not request for IELTS, but in 2011, if I am not mistaken, there is a much stricter requirement when undertaking any courses in UK, that you have to take IELTS as part of the visa requirement.

For ACCA application, I choose Kaplan Financial because this is the college where students go to further their professional accounting courses. I did ask my aunt, who studied in London before, that her friends furthered their study in Emile Woofe college or Dublin Business School (which both has been acquired by Kaplan Financial).

I applied through a private agency in Pertama Complex, but I would advise to submit your application through Taylor's College because the staff will do the visa application for you (you just have to submit your details and certain certificates).It was kind of hard for me since the private agency do not have much knowledge on the updated UK Visa requirement, and has not advised us accordingly.

Anyhow, the service is free from Taylor's College or any other private agencies since if the student secured a placement, the college / university will pay the agent.

I would advise to secure for the placement first, since this will be the plus point when 'selling' yourself during the scholarship interview.

Now, on the next matter on why I choose to further ACCA in England:

  1. ACCA body is based in Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom. So it will be an advantage to know the UK requirements.
  2. Most of the text books on ACCA refers to UK cases - Barclays Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland, ABN Amro (except for certain major US cases *cough cough* like Enron & Arthur Andersen), and examples of the brands are mostly UK brands, for example: Asda, Tesco, Sainsbury's, Waitrose, BMI, Ryan Air (you get what I mean), so of course, it will be much easier to understand what the tutors are saying when you know the examples.
  3. The tutors at Kaplan Financial are the markers for ACCA papers, which means, they mark you ACCA answer sheet (but that does not mean that they will know who are their students). So when the tutors teach you how to answer the exam questions, learn from them, since they are the ACCA markers.
  4. And all of my tutors know who is the examiner (the one who formulate the ACCA examination paper) and they always had feedback sessions all the time with the examiner. Even one of the examiner is just a 'shout away' from my college (a professor based in University of Manchester) and another is a tutor in Kaplan Financial, Glasgow.
  5. The tutors keep us up to date with current accounting issues (which is really important when you are answering the ACCA exam papers). They even forced us to read the ACCA student magazine.

So of course, all of the above are the plus points!

Second question is on short term course.

Kaplan Financial Manchester offer short term course, which started in March - June and another in September - December. The reason being is, the ACCA exam session is in June and December. The results will be out only in August (for June's exams) and February (for December's exams).

For me, I would not mind much about the short term course, since I was a full time student, and I studied on daily basis.

But for those who prefer a much longer course, it is offered in Kaplan Financial, London. You will start your course much earlier, and the courses in London is much cheaper (but there is a catch: the living cost in London escalates all the time!).

Anyway, as I previously wrote, Manchester was my preferred choice since I have a family, and my friends (who are self sponsored ACCA students) choose it because of the lower living cost. I was the only one who was on scholarship that choose Manchester, while others were based in London.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Living in Manchester

Since a reader asked me in my post about the allowance provided by MARA and the environment in Manchester, I will answer it in this post.

For students who further their study in ACCA under Skim Pelajar Cemerlang (SPC MARA), the monthly allowance is GBP 650 if you are living in Manchester. For students who choose to study in London, the allowance is GBP 950.

This is based on the new ruling imposed by UK, that students who furthered their study in the UK should have minimum allowance of GBP 900 per month (if living in London), and GBP 600 per month (outside London).

But, please do bear in mind, the living costs in cities that are nearer to London, such as Sussex, Kent and Essex are expensive even though the allowance is not at par with students who stayed in London.

Anyhow, I choose Manchester because:
  1. Since bringing my family, I prefer a lower living cost. This is after asking opinions from existing ACCA student at that time (who also bring his family), and another friend of mine, Baiti, who did her PhD at University of Manchester.
  2. My husband is a Manchester United fan ^_^

Thus, Manchester, as the third biggest cities in the UK after London and Glasgow, is OK with me.

I got second allowance from my current company, to cover my family expenses (which will not further be elaborated here, because I write this with single student in mind).

The environment there, is quite OK. Manchester is not as fast as London, that sometimes you will just take the time to pause and reflect. However, Manchester's weather is very cold  with intermittent rains (situated at North West in the UK). The view is nice, with Manchester being in between Glasgow and London, thus it is much easier to go to Lake District and other places, such as York and Newcastle.

Back to the monthly allowance, my single friends usually live near the city centre area, which is very near to our college at St. James building, near Manchester Oxford Road. The rent is around GBP 1000 per month for big house with 3 rooms. One house may consist 6-10 students.

Oxford Road has many halal eateries, which make eating out a breeze for Muslims. One of the famous eateries is Al Jazeera. The bus travels in this route, which make it much easier for my friends to just buy like a GBP 50 unlimited bus pass for 3 months.

As for groceries, we buy it at Asda / Tesco / Worldwide (Worldwide is a Pakistani mart). The cost of buying for one month groceries is around GBP 20- GBP 50, depending on what you are buying. Relatively cheap if you cook on most days and decide to have an eat out once in a while.

In UK, one of the thing that I love most is that we use a debit card system (which is just taking root in Malaysia). We just bring around GBP 10 or 20 cash, and we did our purchases using debit cards. It is very rare to see a GBP 50 note, and usually stores will scan the GBP 50 money, to ensure it is not a counterfeit. Thus, the first thing that you have to do after settling down in your accommodation and register at your college is to open a bank account.

My college, where I furthered my study is Kaplan Financial (previously known as Emile Woofe). The fees is quite cheap. If you are a returning student, Kaplan will provide 30% discount for the new subjects we are going to take. The college had a prayer room for Muslims, and the lecture rooms can accommodate around 30 peoples at one time. The lecture notes and text books (even though they give us a physical one) can easily be accessed online at Kaplan Engage.

Courtesy from Google Maps. This is St James Building where Kaplan Financial is situated. I miss this place after uploading the picture *sobs*

My friends who choose Manchester for furthering their study in ACCA is usually self funded, and the fact is that the living cost is very low compared to other big cities in UK.

Hope this post helps, to get a better understanding about the costs for staying in Manchester.

Monday, 9 July 2012

ACCA New Member Ceremony 2012

Received an invitation from ACCA Malaysia, that there will be a ceremony cum dinner held for the new members on 6th July 2012. Non members (or guests to the member) need to fork out RM 150 for the dinner seat.

The dinner was held last Friday at One World Hotel. After obtaining my membership last November, I was glad that ACCA Malaysia held a new member ceremony.

The long list of new members, and I still feel amazed with astounding numbers of Chinese Malaysians loving accounting.. tehee.

Before we went for the dinner, there was a briefing session held by the coordinator to explain about Continuous Professional Development (CPD), which we had to attend courses / seminars / meetings, and even reading technical articles for 40 hours. This CPD is compulsory to all members. It was an enlightening session knowing that you can obtain CPD just by reading the accounting magazine.

The accountants, and accountants. Hahaha, I have never been in a room full of accountants, BTW. Every person that I chatted with, is working in accounting / finance / audit.

Trust me, when people asked about my job, "I am a strategist" sounds much better than "I am an accountant." But I am still a professional accountant, it is just that I am not doing finance anymore, but doing strategy. Someone asked me to explain about my job, and I said I do physical reporting and risk management.

The large ACCA board that everyone keep snapping their pictures. We asked a waiter to snap our pictures.

Received my scroll from Dean Wescott, ACCA President.

Alhamdulillah, he respected my wish when I whispered to him, "No handshakes, please." Sometimes, it seems so hard to utter the words (and not sounding out of place) and before and after me, the Muslim women were shaking his hands. I will get a long lecture from my husband if I shake the president's hands. So, fine for me since it is still not permissible in Islam for a man to shake a woman's hands.

Aaah, the dessert. It was delicious! Orange parfait with chocolate sauce. We had a three course western meals for the dinner.

Started with bread and butter, then a steak, and we ended with this scrumptious dessert.

My table (coolest ever, we answered every trivia question wrongly when the emcee asked us).

Coincidentally, all are accountants except for my spouse and kak Lidza. Mr. Jazimin was the oldest among us, and he works at PIDM (along with his 2 other colleagues). He took 2 years to complete his PER (practical experience requirement) before obtaining membership. And he and his wife are good friends with my aunt and uncle. Heheh, small world after all.

As for the other guys, 4 of them took CAT (Certified Accounting Technician) & ACCA papers. In total, it was like 20 papers altogether in 4 years. They don't take degree after SPM, but went ahead with ACCA qualification. I was so impressed with them because it was not easy to pass CAT and ACCA papers. Even one guy, took the route of obtaining degree through Oxford Brookes when he finished his F7, F8 and F9 papers.

Best ever dinner attended. It was on time (started at 8 p.m. with VIPs arriving early) - being an accountant, punctuality is always important, I suppose. The emcee was one of the best; he managed his time well, he made intelligent jokes and not too dragging. And the dinner finished at 10.30 p.m, 30 minutes ahead of the stated time.

Friday, 22 June 2012

Happy!

I didn't know that I can check online for my SPC MARA outstanding balance.

My MARA scholarship is a convertible loan. Provided that I should excel in my study, then MARA will convert it to scholarship.

Thus, talking to my superior, she said there is an online system for us to track our balance, and monitor our payment.

And the good news is, alhamdulillah, I need to pay only 18.16% of the full amount of scholarship.

So happy for it, yey!

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Surviving ACCA

Ketika ditawarkan untuk menyambung pelajaran sepenuh masa,saya tidak tahu bagaimana hendak menerima berita tersebut. Dalam keadaan saya mengharapkan biasiswa untuk menyambung Sarjana, tidak tersangka saya ditawarkan untuk ACCA - kerana di dalam borang biasiswa yang saya isi, saya tulis ACCA / Sarjana, tetapi saya lebih mengharapkan saya mendapat tawaran biasiswa untuk Sarjana.

Saya masih di dalam keadaan serba salah sama ada mahu menerima atau tidak tawaran tersebut (dan saya dalam keadaan yang sedang mengandung anak ke-4 menyebabkan saya menjadi semakin tidak keruan). Yang menjadi turning point saya, adalah apabila seorang penceramah BTN menceritakan bahawa beliau menuliskan rekomendasi kepada seorang pelajar yang mendapat first class untuk Sarjana Muda Perakauanan dari sebuah universiti terkemuka di UK, tetapi akhirnya pelajar sebut tidak berjaya untuk mendapat biasiswa MARA untuk menyambung pelajaran dalam bidang ACCA di luar negara (dan saya adalah salah seorang yang terpilih untuk mendapat biasiswa itu ketika pelajar ini tidak mendapatnya, how lucky I am). Masya' Allah, sungguh Allah aturkan cantik perjalanan ini.

Selama setahun, saya hanya ingin lulus ACCA. Disebabkan sarjana muda saya, saya hanya perlu belajar untuk 6 modul sahaja (jumlah keseluruhan modul adalah 14). Dan ianya bukan mudah.

Apabila ayah saya mengetahui bahawa saya telah mencuba untuk mendapatkan biasiswa untuk ACCA, ayah memberitahu ianya susah. Dan saya teringat dia berpesan jangan cuba membandingkan diri saya dengan makcik saya yang sangat pandai, di mana dia lulus ACCA dan tidak pernah mengulang mana-mana modul.

Saya sendiri tahu bahawa ianya bukan mudah.

Disebabkan saya telah meninggalkan segala-galanya di Malaysia, bersama suami dan anak-anak yang mengikuti saya, telah membulatkan nekad saya untuk berjaya. Saya tahu peluang tidak datang bergolek, dan saya MESTI lulus 6 modul itu walau bagaimanapun. Setiap kali peperiksaan, saya tahu saya WAJIB lulus 3 modul.

Ketika itu saya rasa hendak menangis bila mula belajar.

Mungkin kerana tekad saya yang kuat, dan doa keluarga yang tidak putus-putus, saya hampir tidak menjadi gila kerana belajar ACCA. Hari kedua sampai dari Malaysia, saya terus ke kelas. Mujur ketika itu saya tidak jetlag. Hujung minggu, suami keluar ke IKEA dengan kawan membelikan meja belajar untuk saya. Saya sebenarnya sangat terharu.

Meja belajar saya yang menghadap dinding. Walaupun terperuk di bilik kecil, meja inilah yang banyak berjasa pada saya. Kadang-kadang saya memandang kosong dinding itu dan akan ternampak kad ucapan selamat dari ibu dan ayah saya. Kad itu antara motivasi terkuat saya untuk menghabiskan ACCA.
Lalu bermulalah episod saya sebagai seorang pelajar sepenuh masa. Saya adalah pelajar tertua di dalam kelas, dan ramai yang tidak tahu bahawa saya sudah berkeluarga dan mempunyai 4 orang anak. Hanya 1 orang tutor saya yang tahu saya sudah bekeluarga, dan beberapa orang rakan sekelas saya.

Saya menulis beberapa tip di bawah, hanya untuk panduan kepada rakan-rakan yang akan atau tengah mengambil ACCA. Kerana saya terasa perjalanan saya sangat-sangat sunyi ketika saya membuat ACCA. Hanya saya seorang sahaja pelajar post graduate Malaysia di dalam komuniti Manchester yang mengambil ACCA. Kesemua post graduate yang datang bersama keluarga sedang mengambil Sarjana atau PhD.

1. Jadualkan masa

Kelas ACCA saya tidak banyak, hanya dalam 6-7 kelas untuk satu modul. Maka saya perlu hadam banyak ilmu dalam masa yang cepat. Kelas bermula dari jam 9.30 pagi sehingga 5 petang. Tetapi modulnya adalah setebal satu buku teks universiti. Kalau dahulu saya belajar dalam masa 3 - 4 bulan untuk subjek yang sama, di mana kekerapan kelas dalam 3-4 kali seminggu, saya perlu habiskan segala-galanya hanya dalam 6 kelas sahaja.

Jadi untuk hari yang saya tiada kelas, saya akan mula belajar selama 2 jam dari jam 10 pagi - 12 tengahhari dari hari Isnin - Jumaat. Kemudian, waktu malam saya akan sambung waktu belajar saya selama 1 atau 2 jam lagi.

Kalau kelas saya ada pada hari Isnin contohnya, saya tidak akan self study pada hari Isnin, tetapi hanya akan memulakan sesi self study saya pada hari Selasa. Hari yang ada kelas bagi saya terlalu menyesakkan minda, kerana untuk setiap kelas, pelajar akan menghabiskan 3-4 bab dalam satu masa.

Disebabkan saya belajar secara konsisten, maka saya dapat hadam dengan lebih cepat. Apa yang saya tidak tahu, saya akan tanya tutor saya secara bersemuka atau melalui e-mel.

Pointnya: Saya belajar setiap hari, walaupun ada masa saya rasa hendak muntah menghadap buku tersebut, saya akan rehat seketika dan kemudian sambung semula pembelajaran saya.

2. Duduk paling hadapan di dalam kelas

Trend pelajar, semestinya duduk di belakang sekali atau tengah-tengah. Sukar betul hendak duduk paling hadapan. Disebabkan saya ini orangnya cepat mengantuk, saya akan duduk paling depan dan kalau boleh saya biasanya menghadap tutor yang mengajar serta nampak papan elektronik yang beliau gunakan.

Jadi sayalah orang pertama yang akan mengangkat tangan sekiranya tidak faham. Dan sekiranya saya menguap, tutor saya jugalah orang pertama yang melihat saya menguap (memang berlaku beberapa kali).

3. Tanya, tanya dan tanya

Selagi saya tidak faham, saya akan bertanya. Saya memang tidak banyak bercakap dalam kelas, tapi saya akan bertanya dengan tutor saya semasa rehat. Belajar di Kaplan, saya kena banyak mengambil inisiatif sendiri. Tutor kami tidak akan memaksa kami menyiapkan jawapan, dan sebelum saya masuk peperiksaan ACCA, saya tidak pernah diberikan sebarang ACCA mock exam. Huh.

Saya pernah menyiapkan satu mock exam atas inisiatif saya sendiri, dan tutor saya sangat terkejut ada seorang pelajarnya yang menyiapkan kertas tersebut, lalu dihantar kepada beliau.

4. Cuba buat sebanyak mana kertas peperiksaan ACCA yang lepas

Sebulan sebelum kami menduduki peperiksaan ACCA, kami akan diberi revision plan oleh tutor. Dalam kertas revision plan itu, akan dinyatakan soalan di dalam kertas peperiksaan mana yang harus dicuba. Saya akan mencuba menjawab sebanyak mana soalan tersebut. Satu buku yang sangat membantu pelajar ACCA, adalah Kaplan Revision Kit. Dalam buku itu, Kaplan sudah memasukkan kesemua soalan ACCA yang lepas dalam satu buku, dan dipecahkan mengikut bab lagi. Dan paling penting, ada revision plan di dalam buku tersebut yang sangat-sangat membantu untuk pelajar ACCA yang self study.

5. Jawab soalan mengikut masa yang ditetapkan

Untuk setiap kertas, kita diperuntukkan 3 jam. Sebelum bermula 3 jam, kita ada 15 minit untuk membaca dan memahami soalan-soalan tersebut. Di sini, saya sudah kira masa untuk menjawab tiap-tiap soalan.

Disebabkan kertas ACCA berdasarkan praktis untuk tip no.4, saya akan bahagikan masa saya untuk setiap soalan. 1 markah adalah untuk 1.8 minit. Jadi jika soalan tersebut adalah 50 markah; 50 markah X 1.8 minit = 90 minit. Sekiranya sudah 90 minit saya menjawab soalan pertama, walaupun tidak habis, saya akan beralih ke soalan kedua.

Untuk lulus ACCA, kita harus menjawab semua soalan. Jangan ditinggalkan mana-mana sub soalan yang mungkin kita tidak tahu jawab. Dan paling penting, kita boleh jawab soalan yang kita rasa mudah sebelum menjawab soalan yang susah.

6. Masa untuk keluarga

Sabtu dan Ahad adalah masa untuk keluarga. Disebabkan itu, tip no. 1 bagi saya sangat penting :).

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

I am now an ACCA member.. insya Allah

Even after I have passed all the papers with flying colours (when I say it was with flying colours, I meant it was because I passed all the papers in first attempts), I still have to work hard for my membership. I have to answer tonnes of questions on my practical experience requirements (PER), and ACCA still require 3 years work experience to gain membership (I actually had met all the requirements, except for answering the PER questions :P)
Since my progress has been quite slow in completing my PER, I found out last week that my company is an ACCA platinum status employer, and affiliates are exempted to fill the PER.

I have submitted my ACCA membership entrance last week, and received the good news today.

Alhamdulillah. Thank you Allah for making my journey easy :). I am now a Muslim professional accountant.
 
Thank you for your email. I am pleased to confirm that you now appear to meet all of the requirements for ACCA membership.

Your membership status shall be fully confirmed within 12 working days - subsequent to the next meeting of ACCA's committee members. Written confirmation will be dispatched shortly thereafter. In the meantime, I would be grateful if you could log on to myACCA and review the following information:

·     your contact and employment details (this is to ensure that your welcome pack and membership certificate reach the correct address)
  • indicate which address (residential or business) you wish to appear in the online Directory of Members. If you opt out of the Directory of Members, only your name and year of admission will be shown in the directory.
Please note you can also make a payment towards the membership admission fee by selecting the option 'Administer your account and pay your fees'.

Your membership certificate will be sealed at the next meeting of council which is scheduled for the 26th November 2011 and will be dispatched soon thereafter.

Thursday, 12 May 2011

I know, I know....


Even though Mike is not a Muslim, please do pray for his health.

He is really old (I think he is in mid 70s). His wife is already deceased (he is really loyal) and he is the only one who teached P2: Corporate Reporting in Kaplan Financial, Manchester.

He is really excellent in P2, that I think if we can give all the accounts in our company and he can consolidate it alone (inclusive the subsidiaries and parent companies, plus overseas subsidiaries).

P/S: Maaf lambat dikhabarkan, kerana kami memang sangat terkejut.

Friday, 18 March 2011

"...Dan kepada warganegara, selamat pulang ke tanahair"

"Kepada para pelawat, selamat datang ke Malaysia. Dan kepada warganegara, selamat pulang ke tanahair."

Kata-kata terakhir juruterbang kepada kami ketika kapal terbang mendarat di KLIA pada jam 5.50 petang waktu tempatan semalam. Satu ayat yang amat signifikan bagi kami.

Dan sebuah keluarga Malaysia bersebelahan kami juga sangat-sangat mengharapkan kepulangan ini selepas mereka berhempas pulas selama 4 tahun untuk PhD.

Selesai sebuah perjuangan, dan amat lega kerana sudah berjaya mencapai apa yang dicita.

Jetlag masih lagi. Jam 2 pagi sudah bangun menyambung mengemas rumah. Cuma boleh tidur semula jam 6.30 pagi selepas solat Subuh kerana waktu di Manchester menunjukkan jam 10.30 malam.

Alhamdulillah, dan bermulalah coretan kami di bumi Malaysia, insya Allah.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Haha, mode happy tak boleh blah


Last week's result. Muahaha.

Worldwide pass rates for ACCA exams.

And to make it clear, the pass mark for all ACCA paper is 50 %.
For example; for P4, the pass rate is 33% for Dec 2010 sitting (this means that out of 100 people sitting for the exam, 33 pass the paper)

Wahaha, tadi sudah punch nama sendiri..

Tapi yang sedihnya, tak ada convocation for ACCA affiliates, kena jadi ACCA member dulu baru boleh konvo.

Terima kasih ayah dan ummi serta suami dan adik-beradikku kerana mendoakan kejayaanku.

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Terima kasih adik-adikku


Bila jumpa Selasa lepas, diaorang cakap suruh saya buat makan-makan untuk kejayaan menamatkan ACCA.

I jokingly replied, "Nak rasa orang bujang masak."

And yesterday, they hold a small celebration for me. I feel overwhelmed.

Ada mereka cakap, kalau nak pass ACCA kena kahwin dan dapat anak. Hehe.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Tulips from Holland



Saya dapat ini dari Encik Firdaus sebab saya sudah berjaya menjadi ACCA affiliate. Ngehehe. Syabas Aida, syabas!

Saya tengok result saya di Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam, OK? Kelas gitu bertalu-talu SMS dengan my friend sehati sejiwa sekelas sejak azali yang sentiasa muda, Farah dan tahniah kepada my travel advisor cum qualified as ACCA affiliate, Azie..

Syabas bete, syabas!!!

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

I have finished my exam!

This is a belated birthday present for me, since I turn 30 last Saturday.

Seriously, studying ACCA is so stressful that it was such a JOY the exam finished!

YEYYY!!!!

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Tuan tanah busy exam

Si kenit pula demam panas.
TT sudah kebah demam, sambil study kelek baby..
Sambil study menyusu baby..
Sambil tidur kena dukung baby..

Mencabarnya, mujur En. Suami TT sangat bersabar dan banyak membantu.
Kami gilir-gilir jaga baby waktu malam, sebab TT kata TT kena study juga, jadi dia tolong kelek baby waktu TT crash study.

Tidur jangan cakaplah, rasanya dari hari Khamis tak cukup tidur.

TT demam sampai hari Ahad, hari ini masih pening-pening kepala lagi.
TT mula study untuk paper hari ini pada hari Ahad lepas. Mujur juga banyak dah revise masa belajar hari tu. Mujur juga TT pergi attempt QBD yang mahal amat itu - 210 pound satu paper OK

TT pergi exam dengan tidur kurang 5 jam - anak merengek sakit badan tak sudah.

Jangan fail sudah.. wuwuwuwu :|

Harus teruskan perjuangan untuk paper Advanced Performance Management pada hari Jumaat. Malam ni nak rehat kejap sebab sakit kepala fikir soalan Advanced Audit & Assurance yang susah tadi.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Winter, winter, here you come!

Some parts in UK are already snowing. Our town, Manchester, is still OK with clear blue skies with sunny days.

But the weather outside is below 0 degrees, which is really, really cold. This morning, it was -6. We have to scrap the frost on car every morning before sending the kids to school.

Weather forecast for next week will be light snow showers. Ada can la budak-budak nak main snow :P

And now, the IN colours are red, brown, black and silver. The mall's collection are also changing with season, and right now they are selling winter boots. Last autumn, it was wellies and rain coats. Last spring and summer were so colourful, with flip flops and tonnes of brightly coloured clothes.

Maghrib is at 4.00 p.m. and my hands and face are freezing after I finished my classes. Walking back home is also a torture, since it was so cold, that I have to check a few times whether I can move my hands or not.

Alhamdulillah, my last class will be on Wednesday, so I don't have to brave the cold weather anymore on my way back home. Tomorrow, I have to ask my husband to take me from tram station since I could not stand to walk 15 minutes back home. The cold weather, I think I can stand, but it was freezing outside that even water turns to frost.

Rasanya kalau buat ice cube, mesti jadi kan?

My exam is less than 2 weeks away. I better study rather than update my blog.. :P

Toodle peeps!

Friday, 12 November 2010

My long journey in ACCA

Kadang-kadang rasa nak tersungkur pun ada. Masuk kelas masa mula semester, nak menangis pun ada. Susah-susah-susah, itulah yang bermain di fikiran.

Dalam kepala dah mula fikir yang bukan-bukan. Kenapalah tak ditakdirkan dapat sambung Masters? Kenapalah dapat ACCA scholarship? Aim bukan nak cemerlang, nak lulus.. nak dapat 50 pun tercungap-cungap. Bak kata tutor-tutor, kalau dapat 60 tu, kiranya markah yang boleh riak dengan semua orang.

Semester lepas, ada 2 kelas untuk setiap subjek. Kami tutorial group 2. Wah rasa dikasihi tutor sungguh. Sebab kelas kami ada dalam lingkungan 5-8 orang. Ada satu kelas, memang muka kami bertiga je adalah muka paling tetap dan konsisten datang kelas. Kelas terakhir Corporate Reporting, hanya aku dan Mike Nardone (in case pakcik Mike baca blog aku, Hi Mike!) dalam kelas selama 30 minit pertama. Masa tu rasa nak hantuk kepala kat dinding pun ada, sebab subjek itulah yang paling blur, dan hanya aku seorang sahaja student yang melayan Mike menulis di hadapan.

Tapi semester ni kelas ramai! Kelas Business Analysis je dah 30 orang. Wah rasa tak disayangi betul.

Balik-balik, study. Bak kata abang ipar, belajar ACCA ni bukan macam Masters. Kenal lecturer, faham apa yang dia nak, kita boleh score. Kena luangkan masa belajar hari-hari. Pesanan kawan pun ingat, kalau ambil ACCA, kau tak ada masa macam orang Masters. Ya tahu-tahu, betul kau cakap tu Halim.

Bila sampai exam time, stressnya astagfirullah, semua benda lalu depan aku rasa nak marah. Rasa nak makan buku ACCA tu pun ada. Classmate ada sampai tidur dengan nota ACCA. Stressnya, memikirkan kita ambil exam dengan orang lain seantero dunia. Bila masuk exam pun sama, tengok stadium Old Trafford tu, nak lari keluar pun ada.

Habis exam, nak tunggu result tu berdebar-debar juga. Masa tu skrip dari semua negara semua sudah dihantar ke UK. Marker mana kenal kita. Skrip yang diaorang tanda pun, diaorang tak kenal siapa punya. Ada classmate dapat 49 untuk satu paper! Marker taknak bagi markah lulus atas dasar belas ihsan.

Allah nak suruh aku jadi akauntan bertauliah tu, adalah sebab musababnya. Dia nak bagi chance aku belajar betul-betul, letak proriti dalam kehidupan. Paling penting, di bumi asing, dapat tambah ibadah kepada keluarga dan Allah. Kalau masa kerja, sibuk meeting, sibuk kena baling fail dengan GM (haha, itu kisah tak lucu ok), sibuk kena marah (sabar itu sebahagian dari iman). Kat sini, sibuk ke kelas dan bersama keluarga. Pagi-pagi boleh masak untuk anak-anak dan suami.

Alahai, banyak betul pengorbanan suami dan anak-anak. Walaupun kami tiada duit, bergantung pada elaun, kami belajar hidup berjimat-cermat. Itu antara pengajaran positif yang dapat, kita hidup dengan keperluan, bukan dengan kehendak. Nafsu yang bukan-bukan tu (nafsu shopping la tu), boleh pula disekat-sekat :P

Hmmm.. sekarang ni asyik risau boleh ke lulus ni? Boleh ke?

Ya, aku tahu, hidup kena positif. Terima kasih Ikal dan Lintang kerana membarakan semangatku.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Red alert

Revision classes already started on daily basis.
That explains the lack of updates here, oh my!

And my parents are here! YIPEEE

P/S: Oh and I managed not to open FB for 2 days