Tutor profile: Matthew Hall
Matthew Hall CA describes how a varied career never really strayed far from a love of teaching. Find out how being a CA has impacted his life.
A desire to teach
I studied English, Religious Studies and Education at Stirling University. I didn’t know for certain what I wanted to study but I did know that I enjoyed teaching. I was able to do a secondary school teaching qualification alongside my undergraduate degree so, since I liked English and Philosophy at school too, this combination seemed as good a fit as any.
After a while teaching in a secondary school, I decided I wanted to get some commercial experience in a business environment. I started working for a recruitment company but the sales nature of the job and cold-calling clients and candidates didn’t really suit me.
However, the jobs I was recruiting for required qualified accountants and when I was spending all day speaking to them, learning about what they do and hearing the opportunities they have, I started looking into starting this career myself.
Training with ICAS
I knew from speaking to those clients how highly valued the CA qualification is in the business world. When I decided to start my career in accounting, I was 100% sure that ICAS was for me.
It gave me a huge step-up in understanding the world of business.
Even though a lot of the corporation tax jobs I was applying for required you to sit tax exams rather than become a CA, I set out applying for jobs which would allow me to study for my CA qualification.
I’ve met a lot of great people that I wouldn’t have if I hadn’t studied at ICAS or trained with an accounting firm. It gave me a huge step-up in understanding the world of business and being able to interpret financial information in everyday life, as well as for work.
Being a CA
You’re part of a community where people are striving to be the best in whatever they do. People outside of ICAS know the value of the qualification but it’s only people who have been through it and who have that shared experience of sitting the exams and balancing work, study and a personal life who can truly appreciate it.
As I was approaching the end of my training contract I started to consider what other opportunities there would be for me as a newly qualified CA. Since my background was in education, I had always considered getting involved in teaching accounting in some way.
Advice for students
Do the workshop exercises – that’s my advice for passing the exams anyway! In general, just make sure that whatever you do in your career, you don’t let it dominate your life to the detriment of other important things. You’ve got to make time for friends, family, hobbies and whatever else you enjoy.
Another time, another place
I’ve done all sorts before now (secondary school teaching, lifeguarding, swimming teaching, recruitment, hotel waiting), so who knows where I might have ended up without ICAS! I’d probably be running my own business of some sort as I’ve never worked for myself before.
Outside of teaching, I really enjoy politics and I’m active in the local branch of a political party – I’ve even stood in a council by-election before.
I can also ride unicycles and own a mountain unicycle!