Aspiring Accountants From Newham Collegiate Sixth Form Centre (The NCS) Win ICAEW BASE London Regional Heats

Aspiring Accountants From Newham Collegiate Sixth Form Centre (The NCS) Win ICAEW BASE London Regional Heats

On Monday the 7th of December six Year 12 students represented Newham Collegiate Sixth Form Centre (The NCS) in the annual Business, Accounting and Skills Education (BASE) Competition. The prestigious competition is hosted by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) in Moorgate.

A unique and exciting experience, students competed against 13 other London schools and were able to engage in a challenging business case study that enabled them to develop key employability skills and understand what it’s like to be an ICAEW Chartered Accountant.

NCS students Arif Uddin, Azher Chowdhury, Usman Maqbool, Dylan Vekaria, Tanweerur Siddique and Zaeem Arshad worked with EY mentor Alice Bishop on the business tasks that were set throughout the day. They presented their findings confidently and clearly highlighted the strengths and weaknesses of the business as the final part of the day’s challenges.

Their great team work and dedication wowed the three judges and they won the London regional heats. The students will now travel to Birmingham in June to compete against forty-eight other schools in the National final. Whilst there they will attend the prize giving ceremony, receive a celebratory three course meal with entertainment and complimentary accommodation at the Hilton Hotel.

The students thoroughly enjoyed the day and everyone at The NCS would like to congratulate them on this outstanding achievement.

Principal Mouhssin Ismail said of the students win,

“Everyone at The NCS is extremely proud of their achievement at the London regionals. It’s wonderful to see such dedication from students who have a clear idea of what they want to do once they leave the NCS and our Emerging Talent Programme really supports our student's career ambitions. We look forward to supporting our new accountant stars as they move forward to the national finals.”

Ms Malik (Year 13 Pastoral and Enrichment Coordinator) added,

“The NCS students were worthy winners and answered in a very able and concise way to some very challenging business conundrums. They are all a credit to themselves and their school. I am exceptionally proud of them and I look forward to supporting them in the national finals in June”

The student view

On winning the London regional prize, student Dylan Vekaria stated,

“We came out triumphant through the use of our dedication, analytical skills and hard graft. It was a wonderful experience and we had a wonderful time. The competition couldn't have gone any better. The next step is to go forth and claim the national prize in June. If we work as well as we did this time around anything is possible.”

Dylan’s student colleague Arif Uddin added,

“The day was truly an experience that cannot be replicated as it put many of us into an environment we had previously not been exposed to, pushing us to our very limits but also bringing out our potential. All I can say is I'm certainly looking forward to the final and hopefully we'll be bringing back a national trophy to The NCS next June.”
Click here to read Arif's full write up of the day

On Monday 7th December, me and five other students from The NCS won it’s very first prestigious trophy in what is known as the ICAEW Base Heats 2016 competing against 13 other state and private schools; in a regional competition to be merely one of the 49 teams to go through to the highly anticipated finals in Birmingham. The ICAEW is a professional membership organisation which ‘promotes, develops and supports over 144,000 chartered accountants worldwide.’ Going into what we saw as ‘uncharted territory’, we were unaware of the task that we would have to undertake, having both little knowledge of logistics of the competition and individually lacking experience in such events. However, our perseverance, dedication and skill ensured we were triumphant.

The day consisted of ‘Strict Time’ tasks with the team being pressurised into completing each task within a set limit which proved to be challenging simply because of the sheer amount of content the initial case study had in it. It was important that we were able to absorb copious amounts of information and pull out the most pertinent points/ideas. We also delegated task between the team members effectively so that we left no stone unturned ensuring all members of the team contributed to successful outcome of the task.

Task 2 and 3 required us to evaluate a business proposal and develop logical future possibilities for the business within our case study. With each task, we split our group of 6 into 2 sub-groups in order to maximise the time we had before the main presentation. Within this phase, we were given additional material regarding our case study, which included financial statements such as profit and loss accounts as well as detailed balance sheets and cash flow forecasts.

All the information we had gleaned had to be articulated in no more than 4mins in a presentation to an esteemed judging panel. Our ability to get across the salient points in a succinct and direct fashion whilst having an appreciation for the subtle nuances that exist in any business strategy meant that we were triumphant. The final presentations was simply a process of ‘rinse and repeat’ however the team took it upon themselves to incorporate ideas that arose through the judge’s questioning which allowed the final presentation to be refined and more rigorous.

The day was truly an experience that cannot be replicated as it put many of us into an environment we had previously not been exposed to, pushing us to our very limits but also bringing out our potential. All I can say is I’m certainly looking forward to the final and hopefully we’ll be bringing back a national trophy to The NCS next June.

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