Going from actor to accountant does not seem like the most natural career progression, but for one man, accounting courses in London were the start to a whole new role in life.
Ryan O’Ehley first became involved with the Pitman training centres in High Holborn and Notting Hill when he found details of bookkeeping and finance courses in London on their website.
Having been an actor, singer and musician, he wanted a complete change of direction and so decided to retrain.
Mr O’Ehley signed up with Pitman to do an accountancy diploma, learning bookkeeping skills as well as being trained in using Sage and Excel.
He started off by learning the basics before moving on to take Sage classes in London.
Mr O’Ehley explains that it is imperative for students to get to grips with the fundamentals of bookkeeping before they attempt to learn about Sage, as without basic knowledge they will not understand why the software operates as it does.
“Sage will do it for you, so it will be perfectly fine as long as you don’t make any entry errors but if you don’t understand why the figures are on the left hand side and right hand side then you won’t know what Sage means,” he says.
“During the practical bookkeeping where you actually physically write figures in, you get to learn about how the double entry system works and about being very careful and making sure it adds up,” Mr O’Ehley continues.
“It’s very easy to make mistakes and to correct them you’ve got to understand double entry, which is almost impossible if you haven’t had some training in bookkeeping already,” he asserts.
Mr O’Ehley insists that Pitman Training’s accounting courses in London are a great way to get started.
Learning And Re-Learning.
“The thing that helps is that you attend when you want to and the lectures are pre-recorded so if you don’t understand something you can just scroll back and listen to it again as many times as you like,” he says.
“And another thing that is useful is that as long as you were at the training centre you had access to all of their courses – you could use them as many times as you wanted before you finished.
“Because I did a lot of courses, by the time I came to the end I’d forgotten some of the things I’d learnt at the beginning so I went back and listened to them again.
So you really do have access to great courses for a long time if you make the most of it,” he asserts.
Mr O’Ehley adds that the flexibility of the centres is also particularly beneficial as students can attend when they want.
Furthermore, the facilities are open until 20:00 in the evening and on Saturdays, so people can fit the study session around their working hours.
However, this was not a problem for Mr O’Ehley.
“As an actor, I had a lot of time on my hands,” he laughs. “I was there quite a lot and tried to do as well as I could.”
Not only did he manage to complete his bookkeeping diploma through Pitman Training, but they also offered him a job at the end of his course.
The centre was looking for a trainer so Mr O’Ehley was able to earn some money and gain the vital office experience he needed to be able to secure in job in accounting.
During his year working for Pitman, he helped other students on bookkeeping and finance courses in London with any problems or queries that they had.
Although the training is done via recordings, there are times when students need some person-to-person assistance if they are stuck a particular part of the lesson.
Mr O’Ehley secured the first job he interviewed for and is now a bookkeeper/accounts assistant at Osborne Cawkwell Educational Consultants, where he has also moved onto the next stage of professional development, training with the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA).
He has taken seven out of the 14 exams he needs to do to qualify with the ACCA and describes the testing process as “intense”.
“I’ve found the Pitman Training is a really good basis to go on to the ACCA. Having that grounding really helped and it showed in the first professional course,” he concludes.