My AAT apprenticeship journey with Simon Lockwood – Reed Business School

Simon Lockwood is a trainee accountant at Crowther’s, and his just completed his Level 2 AAT qualification on an apprenticeship programme with Reed Business School.

Simon knew he wanted to be an accountant from the age of about 14 – with a natural aptitude for Maths and an enjoyment of his Business Studios classes at school. When coming to the end of his A-Levels he started considering his main options: university to study accountancy; or an apprenticeship to earn and learn at the same time. It was his career advisor who recommend the apprenticeship route:

My advisor said that as I was so sure that this was what I wanted to do, it made sense to start doing it straight away, so he encouraged me to follow this path – and it’s the best decision I’ve ever made!”

Simon took the summer off after school, and then began looking for relevant opportunities, where he came across his current trainee role with Crowther’s. He was keen to start studying for his AAT qualification, which he believes will be a strong stepping stone towards an ACCA qualification -something he hopes to start as soon as he’s finished his AAT Level 3 this time next year.

“ACCA is really well respected in the industry, and a lot of my colleagues (including directors at my firm) have this qualification, so that’s my next goal.”

The mindful education programme that Reed Business School offers has worked really well for Simon, allowing him to engage in workshops and access online content when he wants to. He has found the consolidated approach of mini assessments after each subsection and fuller tests after whole modules to be invaluable for retaining information and helping him apply it correctly.

Simon believes our classroom structure also works really well for maximising his learning opportunities – giving more access to his tutors to get answers to his questions and additional support where required. He’s also looking forward to more of our famous lunches at the manor when he returns for his next block of classes!

In terms of his favourite elements of his training so far, Simon has enjoyed bank reconciliations the most, especially as he’s able to apply that knowledge directly to his job. Working in a smaller firm means he gets quite a broad range of experience across different areas:

“I’m lucky to be able to work on everything from personal tax returns, year-end accounting, bank reconciliations and bookkeeping, and the more I study, the more I understand about each aspect, which makes me enjoy it more.”

Simon would absolutely recommend the AAT apprenticeship with Reed Business School to those with an interest in accountancy.

“I find it really enjoyable, I’m really happy with the path I’m on, and I can’t wait to start my Level 3.”

And finally a word from Simon’s manager

“As an ACA Reed graduate myself, I am familiar with the way the business school works; the high quality tutors – and the lunches! The support on offer is fantastic, and I hope Simon continues to thrive during his studies there.”

Sarah Medcalf, Manager, ACA, Crowther’s

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