My Financial Management saga -

Don’t worry, I’ll spare you the tears and trauma. (There was a LOT of that!). 

There are 3 videos in this post, here’s why I think they’re so important… When I first learnt FinMan, in 2nd year, there was a lot of formulae and theory. I was GREAT at the formulae. I could remember them, use them, and my answers were always right. I could remember the theory, and give them the answers they wanted.

I got distinctions in 3rd year. I thought I was in great shape for postgrad!

I failed most of my postgrad FinMan tests… BADLY. 

They no longer gave me the numbers and said “calculate this formula”. Now, they gave me a case study in which a client had a problem, and basically said “How would you solve this?”. I was LOST. Now, I had to PICK the right formula. I didn’t know which one to use! I couldn’t explain WHY that was the one to use. I still knew all my theory, but now I had to go further than saying “You need to think of market research stuff in business strategy”… and I had NO idea what that looked like. 

I knew the theory and formulae, but I couldn’t USE them anymore. I didn’t know what they wanted, and didn’t know how to get to their answer. I remember I kept saying things like “Why didn’t they just SAY they wanted Standard Costing…”!?

That’s some of my story, and it’s a LOT like the stories I hear from most of my students… so what’s going on here?

Two things you need to know:

  1. The topics and content may stay the same, but at higher levels, you have to DO different things with the information.

As you watch these videos, please think of the way you learn now, and the types of questions you generally get in tests. If you’re at lower levels in your studies, you might have the same experience as I did. You may be doing well and think this doesn’t apply to you… but if you’re not aware of this, you won’t change the way you’re learning NOW, and you’ll pay for it later!

2. Different subjects have different ‘personalities’.

We’re studying ‘accounting’ subjects, so we tend to think they’re similar. They’re not. Think of them like family members. We love some of them, we struggle with others. Their personalities impact how we get along with them!

Super important here, because if you THINK they’re all the same, you’ll study them the same. They’re NOT the same, so we need to know how to work with them, according to their personality!

Why we like 'Rules'

Topics like Tax and Financial Accounting are more ‘rule-based’. We need to learn the rules, and it ALWAYS works that way. Here’s how this works, and why we like it:

Why we don't like 'Tools'

Financial Management and Auditing are more ‘tool-based’. Here’s what I mean by this, and WHY we struggle with it. 

Many students tell me “I struggle because I can’t think out the box”… that’s not the challenge. Take a look:

How should we learn 'Tools'?

Great. So what do we do? How do we learn ‘tools’? 

We WORK with them. We HAVE to practice USING them… take a look:

How will this help you?

There are a few things this may help you with: 

  • Be aware of what’s coming, and change your studying if you realise this will impact you
  • There is NOTHING ‘wrong’ with you or your intelligence, it’s the personality of the subjects that we either are comfortable with, or not
  • You CAN learn differently, and in most cases, you NEED to learn differently
  • Doing questions is NOT about ‘assessing your learning’ after you’ve done it. It’s PART of your learning. 

Silly example to help you...

Think of this silly example while you’re studying…

You cannot learn to swim on land. You can read, see, listen to instructions. You can simulate movements, buy great swimwear and hear fabulous motivational speakers on the subject. 

BUT… you can ONLY learn to swim by getting IN the water. When you first get in, it’s tough, uncomfortable and you swim terribly. Is that ‘failure’? Of course not!

Most students try learn on land, in order to win a swimming competition. 

Get in the water! 

If you can relate, or have a query...

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Yvonne Starkey CA(SA)

Yvonne Starkey CA(SA)

I coach accounting students who are struggling with their study habits and mindset, and want their studies to be as effective as they used to be. See more on my about page

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