Tutor Profile: Chris Cunnane

Picture of tutor and class
Picture of lecturer Chris Cunnane By Chris Cunnane, Tax, Law and Financial Accounting Tutor

4 July 2016

Introducing Tax, Law and Financial Accounting tutor, Chris Cunnane; an experienced accountancy and tax lecturer delivering both CA and ITP qualifications. Chris tells us about his move from the arts to economics and working in a Big Four environment.

From healthcare stats to CA

I started off by studying Philosophy at University. I had planned to study French and History and took philosophy to make up the credits, but then I found it very interesting so switched.

After my undergraduate degree, I had plans to do a PhD in Medical Ethics looking at Healthcare Rationing in the NHS. I wanted to put ethical theories to work in a practical context. To this end, I did a post-grad in Health Service Research.

The MSc included economics and statistics, and I realised I was quite good at playing with numbers. It was a bit of a shock for an Arts graduate! When I finished my MSc, I decided I didn’t want to pursue the PhD and thought I’d study accountancy; this would give me a good grounding in how business worked.

I went to the University of Aberdeen, so their careers office pointed me towards the ICAS qualification. The qualification itself has brought me many benefits, including the opportunity to work on a number of interesting projects with great colleagues.

Being a chartered accountant translates as a wide-range of work opportunities, in a wide variety of businesses and countries.

The journey to ICAS

I qualified as a CA and then a CTA with Deloitte in the Corporate Tax department; I ran a number of courses for the Tax Training Department and realised I enjoyed teaching tax.

I moved first to BPP, where I taught papers from a number of different qualifications, and then the opportunity to get involved with the ICAS Tax Professional (ITP) qualification at ICAS came up.   

ITP gives both CAs and non-CAs the chance to study tax at a more advanced level and demonstrate real expertise and professionalism in this area. So I often have the chance to see how students’ careers progress, with those I taught at CA reappearing in later classes to complete their second professional qualification.  

If I wasn’t working as an ICAS tutor, then I would be working for a training company or a training department within an accountancy practice. I enjoy teaching!

I finished all of the Munros – Scottish hills over 3,000ft - a couple of years ago.

Whistle that tune

In my spare time I like to go running and hillwalking. I finished all of the Munros – Scottish hills over 3,000ft - a couple of years ago. Recently, I’ve taken up cycling and I have realised that I am that clich√©; a MAMIL (middle-aged man in lycra). This is a probably doomed attempt to head off the effects of my love of chips and beer.

I also play the low D whistle in pub folk sessions, hence the need to head out on the bike to burn off the beer.

Advice for students

As someone once said, “To achieve great things you need two things - a plan and not enough time.” Put in the hours to get through the exams by concentrating on question practice and getting as much practical experience in the office, as possible.

Don’t be afraid of volunteering for things – you never know what you’ll learn and what contacts you’ll make.


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