16 August 2016

Diploma Finished!

I'm a little late in posting the news here, but pleased to acknowledge that I finally completed my Accounting Diploma in December 2015. Is certainly wonderful to finally have this qualification under my belt. Particularly since it was completed in even busier circumstances at work, after the new boss resigned in October, I stepped up to the role of Acting General Manager.

We have a new General Manager now, I was not interested in applying for the position myself. I am back to my permanent role of Administration Manager. Presently on three weeks leave, quite burnt out! I have suggested to the GM that we have a review and overhaul of admin positions, particularly mine, which is possibly more senior than it has to be. At this stage I'm not sure if this is wishful thinking on my part though, wanting to get back to the type of work I prefer and relinquishing a bit of the extra responsibility I've taken on over the last couple of years, while our leadership has been in rather a state of flux.

Further study.. well in late February this year I enrolled into a Cert IV Training course, delivered entirely online. However it seems this was a little premature.. I've done very little of the course work, it has been so very busy in my job and I've run out of energy for study (or anything else). I'm hoping to build up the reserves again during the next few weeks break.

28 December 2014

Update for 2014

Well it has been a little quiet here on this blog during the year, rather quiet on the study front as well. I'm so pleased to have met all my study goals in 2013, I began the new year with only three units left of my diploma course. Sadly those three units remain at the end of 2014.

I had to re-enrol with OTEN, paying full course fees, which gave me until February 2016 to complete the course. This extra time made it only too easy to allow my job to draw all of my focus and attention away from study. There was an intense period at work in the first three months, preparing for our four year accreditation. Then in the months following we had several key people resign, which lead to a staff restructure. I took on a new position as Admin Manager with increased part-time hours. In reality it is a busy full-time position but budget constraints make it part-time, which means a lot of unpaid personal time has been given to the role. All of this left no energy for study.

There are three days left of the year and in the past few days off work I have established a new study routine which I shall endeavour to get me through the final three units. My goal is to complete these by the end of June 2015. My job will continue to be busy, especially with another Enterprise Bargaining process about to start. This year my diploma study takes priority in my own time.

3 November 2013

After the diploma?

Possibly a little premature to be thinking about what I want to do after completing the diploma - I have six units to go. By the end of the year I hope to have only three units left, so the end really is in sight.

I've joined a Facebook group with others studying their diploma of accounting, and someone asked what we plan on doing with our diploma once we've finished - is a degree the next step. It was interesting to read the responses, since a lot of people gave their background to what lead to doing the diploma in the first place. Most people are doing it for career advancement. I'm a little different I guess.

I graduated to the bookkeeping, payroll and BAS at work, without formal quals but with a 15 year background in banking and admin work. Have since completed a couple of Cert III subjects - bookkeeping and HR, and the end is in sight with this Diploma. I love my present job and workplace, and I'm not studying for the job opportunities, but for professional development in my current position.

I've been toying with the idea of studying for degree eventually.. but it's a big commitment and I don't really need the quals. Plus life is too short and I want to get away from textbooks for a while! I'll probably continue with the shorter courses that help me in my present work, rather than go the whole way with a degree.

19 October 2013

Diploma update

Study has been very productive, I've been getting good marks and enjoying the work. I'm more than halfway through the course, close to completing another two units very soon, with a final six to go.

  • Implement and maintain internal control procedures 
  • Establish and maintain accounting information systems 
  • Provide management accounting information 
  • Provide financial and business performance information 
  • Provide financial reports for corporate entities 
  •  Interpret and use financial statistics and tools

  • Although I only enrolled in March I am trying to complete as much as I can before the end of the year. My NSW-based provider OTEN, has changed its policy on interstate students and I'm not sure if I'll be able to finish through OTEN or have to transfer to a TAFE here in Queensland.

    8 April 2013

    Diploma underway

    Signed up with OTEN last month, and so far I've applied for and been granted RPL in seven subjects. This leaves eleven units remaining. Setting myself a steady pace and taking my time. Would be great to complete in twelve months, but I'm not going to push myself.

    The unit I'm working on at the moment is Prepare Financial Reports, working from a text by Clarke - Accounting: An introduction to principles and practice. I went with the digital edition since I don't like having a ton of textbooks to dispose of at the end of the course. Unfortunately there's some problems with the text, some of it is illegible, but the publisher has reported they are working on the problem.

    I'm backtracking some of the earlier chapters off my reading list, to review the material - since a lot of it is background to this unit, but covered in one of the units I was granted credit for. I actually did a phone interview for that one, completely unexpected and off the cuff. Wasn't too happy with my performance, my interviewer said she thought I was about 90% competent. I felt I knew the material but expressed some of my responses poorly. She passed me but warned me I'd probably need to do this background reading to progress further with the course. So I'm doing it.

    Some additional reading will include a couple of web sites I've visited in the past, including AccountingCoach.com which is quite an impressive resource, although US based (which isn't really a huge problem since accounting standards in Australia are based on the International standards).

    The job share situation is still going well, although I've adjusted the spread of my hours over four days instead of three. This allows my partner and I to work together one afternoon a week, but it's taking a little getting used to - I really liked having a block of four days off each week. I'm hoping this sacrifice (!) will help improve our communication. I've not been entirely satisfied with our handovers, I would like us both to talk more to each other about our work. We seem to be very similar in the way we work - head down and get stuck into it, rather than talk about it. Just going to have to practice this.

    30 October 2012


    Love it when a plan comes together... a few months ago, in a performance review discussion with my boss, we plotted a succession plan for my position. I offered to split my hours in a job share arrangement and my boss agreed. We set a timeframe, and we recruited and my new job share partner started in early October, just a few weeks outside the original target date. Which I find kind of impressive, knowing how these things sometimes drag out.

    So now I'm working three days a week (because management kindly agreed not only to the job share arrangement, but also to slightly increasing the hours for my position) which makes room for other things, like study. And now that the crazy time of year is over - end of year financial audit, annual general meeting, not to mention negotiation of new enterprise agreement - I am free to pursue my new study goals.

    It has been nearly five years since I took on my current finance role, which has grown almost as much as I have. I've completed two work-related Cert IV courses and it is time now to upgrade to a Diploma.

    Have looked at a couple of the delivery options. Thought of doing the whole thing from scratch (with a few credits from my Cert IV), but have decided to explore the RPL route. If I can get away with only having to complete a couple of gap subjects it will be worthwhile, particularly since it can be partially funded through Smart Skilling Queensland (frankly I'm amazed this funding is still available, given all the other cuts this year).

    Forms have been sent off to TAFE, now waiting to hear back from an assessor. Fingers crossed.

    28 February 2012


    Red letter day - my trainer signed off on my Cert IV HR today. Finally finished!

    28 November 2011

    HR update

    The end is in sight! Just finishing off the assessment task for two units, then only one unit left to go, it's good to be so close to the end. It has been very tough going, between this subject and the EB negotiations at work I'm quite convinced against a HR career. Sticking with finance.

    30 June 2011

    Internet studies update

    I discovered a little while ago (probably 12 mths or more) that the degree course I'd started has undergone a restructure and a name change - it is now Bachelor of Arts (Internet Communications).

    On one hand I think it would be nice oneday to go back and finish the degree, although there is still a long way to go. I'd completed something like five or six units out of the required 24.

    On the other hand, what do I really need it for? My interest in internet communications has waned a little, my head is full of payroll/finance/admin stuff now. I'm dabbling with the idea of going further into accounting studies (but a nice long break first).

    Hmm. Don't know. I'm hoping the five or six units I did wont go to waste, maybe applicable for credit transfer if I don't leave it too long.

    Cert IV HR update

    I think last year I hit a wall after signing up for this course, as I haven't got very far with it. I managed to get credits for a couple of units completed in my last subject. I've completed one of the units and put in some work for another, but have really been dragging the chain. I made enquiries about throwing in the towel, but I'm committed financially. My trainer said she refuses to let me quit! she met me the other day to see what I could shortcut through RPL. That maybe another two units. She encouraged me to use real life examples instead of the assessment exercises from the text if it is any easier (it is). So I'm a little more hopeful about getting this finished.

    Holidays coming up towards the end of July, as well as a Cert IV workshop where my trainer will be. I'm aiming to finish off the easy units, get the RPL paperwork ready for her to certify me.

    Will be glad when it's finished. Intend to have a good long break before the next course.

    7 October 2010

    Went and did sumfing stoopid

    Was so keen to do it a few months ago, went and signed up for it, now I can't really be fagged to get stuck into my Cert IV Human Resources Management course. Why oh why did I do it? My zeal for work-related study is lately exhausted. Will I never get back to my Internet Studies??

    Finished bookkeeping

    Ok, ok.. it took a little longer than I anticipated, so many MYOB assignments! and I got sidetracked by things at work.. like audit, annual general meeting, and the draft enterprise bargaining agreement.. but I'm so happy to say right now, it's done it's done!

    A deadly boring subject the last unit – occupational health and safety, my eyes glaze over just hearing the title. But yay I’ve finished! What a relief.

    14 July 2010

    Bookkeeping update

    Well it's July and things have been busy at work so I'm still finishing this off.. although there is not much to go - two MYOB assignments and then the boring WPH & S unit (I'm thinking I should have got it over with earlier on). Aiming for the end of this month and I'm on track so far.

    Looking ahead, I was successful in getting into the Cert IV Human Resources through a government sponsored apprenticeship scheme, supervised through my place of employement which I'm really happy about because it is not costing me or my employer anything (apart from tax dollars). I've got my first units which I've started looking at, meeting with trainer early next month.

    16 January 2010

    Nearly finished bookkeeping

    Aiming to get this completed by Jun 2010, with a bit of luck I'll finish ahead of schedule. Have continued to get straight HDs, I suspect the marking is pretty easy, the comments from tutor always seem to follow a set formula!

    Only four units left:

    1. 20980A Develop & implement policies & practices
    2. 20985A Deliver professional service/resolve disputes
    3. 21110B MYOB 18
    4. and 21115A Apply health and safety practices in the workplace

    (I've left the boring-est for last).

    What to do after June? not sure, maybe finish off my Internet Comms degree.. or perhaps a Certificate in Human Resources before finishing the degree.

    21 June 2009

    Doing ok with the bookkeeping course

    Straight HDs so far. The material a little basic, hoping to push through and get it finished soon. The stuff I've been doing at work is way ahead of this course, but I can't knock the quals and RPLs!