Learning During Lockdown: Taking My Bookkeeping Diploma

Jenny HopcraftOptima2 Comments

During the Lockdown last year, I decided to spend time enhancing my knowledge of Bookkeeping. I have never trained as a bookkeeper which is a recognised profession, but I do have the basic experience gained from various finance roles during my career. So, I decided to take on the challenge of turning something positive out of this awful situation and educate myself and gain a professional Qualification in the process.

Study and learning style

I knew that this would be a challenge, as how can I possibly study when I have a busy role at Optima and the joys of family life, grown up kids at home making constant demands on my time. I looked at ways to fit this all in and decided to make sure I set study times and stuck to them. Even if some weeks I could only get a few hours in you have to think, ‘why do I want to achieve something’ and remember how amazing it will be if you do it.

This is an online learning course and no classroom or tutor sessions however I like the flexibility of this as I would not really want to attend a classroom as I like the flexibility of working on my own at my own pace. Although you must be very committed and set goals each week to complete the relevant modules. Give yourself lots of praise. We are our own worst enemies. If you do something and you learn something, praise yourself for doing it.

The course

I enrolled with Pitman Training in Crawley to seek out a new challenge of online learning with a view to obtaining a Level 2 bookkeeping Diploma. After discussions based on my experience, I embarked on the AAT Bookkeeping Transactions and Controls Foundation Diploma. AAT - Association of Accounting Technicians is a professional membership. My course consists of 2 AAT exams and 2 further exams with Pitman’s for Sage 50 accounts and an elective course. If I pass all of these exams, I will achieve the Pitman Bookkeeping Diploma and the AAT status.

The exam

After months of study, I felt ready to take the 1st Exam. This was at the Pitman Training centre in Crawley. After my initial nerves, I settled into the exam and was able to finish within the timescale. It was a strange feeling taking an exam in a COVID-19 secure way, but the only issue was that my glasses kept steaming up whilst wearing a mask for the duration of the exam!

The result

I PASSED!

I will continue to study for the rest of this course and hope to take the final exams next month. I may well progress to the next AAT level 3 Advanced Diploma. I have found that I quite enjoy the learning aspect again and especially the rewarding feeling when you accomplish something. Anyone who is out of sorts with studying, why not give it a go as you can achieve your goals when you set your mind to it!


About the Author

Jenny Hopcraft

Finance Manager


Jenny is the Finance Manager at Optima Systems. She is responsible for managing the day to day Finances which involves a varied role of book-keeping, invoicing, credit control, VAT submissions, payroll, managing cashflow. More about Jenny.


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