CAREERS: Getting down to business

Ripon Grammar School students are challenging themselves in the world of business and accounting. AMY BURGESS reports

THE Business Accounting Skills Education (BASE) Accountancy Challenge, held by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales ((ICAEW), is a national competition that takes place every year, and is available to all lower sixth form students.

The competition aims to teach young people about accounting, but also to strengthen the skills that will be crucial in the workplace. This year we have a team of four, which includes me, Sophie Pointon, Archie Heap and Emma Bone. I think most people have chosen to compete to develop skills in the accounting area, and in any workplace.

To complete the first round, we had to watch a series of videos regarding different scenarios that take place in the accounting and business sector. There were four main accountants, who came across problems in their daily jobs. We had to answer questions about what we thought was the best plan of action, and some questions were more difficult than others.

Some questions were directly related to the problems in the videos, whether it be plumbing in a village as charity work, or the development of a new product. Other questions were not as focused, and on these we had to discuss more about the best option, as it often concerned everyday workplace problems, such as how to approach a new member of the team to make them feel welcome.

There were no right answers, and the answers we gave were analysed and a few hours later we received feedback specific to our team from the challenge. This was immensely useful, as this is what is helping us develop as a team and to improve our weaker areas for the next round.

I think we were all happy with the feedback, as it showed we had many strengths, such as communication and curious learning. There were some areas to improve, such as the way in which we judge some decisions, and as a team we have read through this and taken it on board. Hopefully, this will come in handy for the next round, in which we must create a presentation on which is the best course of action for a large business. We are looking forward to this challenge, as we feel we have the skills and the knowledge now of how to approach the situation.

Overall, I am happy I signed up to be part of this competition, as I think it will help me develop my team working skills, but also widen my knowledge of business and accounting. I have an interest in pursuing business at university, so I hope this experience will help me to decide the degree I will undertake.

I am excited to see how we do in the next round and am looking forward discussing the route we will take now that we are back at school.