"There was no rush. I could just work at my own pace around the other demands on my time," Carol explains. "The tutors were really supportive and quick to respond. Plus, tutor support was available on Saturdays – what a brilliant idea! It was just perfect for people like me who're trying to juggle work, family life and study."
The incredible juggling act!
A working mum’s story.
Carol Ramachandran rushes through the restaurant door, sits down at the table and apologises for being a few minutes late. She is the mother of four children, in full-time employment, and also helps run the family's new restaurant, Mulan. She has given up her lunch hour to chat about how, in amongst all her other commitments, she recently made the time to successfully complete her Certificate in Bookkeeping. Under the circumstances, there was really no need for her to say sorry!
Carol and her husband James (Mulan's head chef) emigrated from Penang, Malaysia in 2001. She was an extremely experienced and competent financial administrator, having set up and run systems for tax, payroll, reconciliation, stock flow, and profit and loss. She had several diplomas in accounting and business studies, notably from the London Chamber of Commerce & Industry (LCCI Malaysia) and the Association of Business Executives (ABE).
In spite of all this, Carol felt she needed a local qualification, one which potential future employers would immediately recognise and value. Initially, she signed up for a degree in accounting at University. However, she quickly realised that, for her at least, this was not a great option. The financial cost was high (approx. $700 per paper), it was very time intensive and she says she felt as though she was studying merely to pass exams rather than to put the knowledge into practical everyday usage. With her husband working long and unpredictable hours, attending scheduled classes away from home was just too hard. "I passed the Finance paper, but I honestly thought I'd be lucky to finish the whole course by the time I retired!" remarks Carol. "It just didn't suit my lifestyle."
Having found The Career Academy via Google, Carol immediately felt better. The cost seemed reasonable and the interest-free payment plan was very appealing. She also liked the flexibility of studying online at home.
The Career Academy's Certificate in Bookkeeping consists of 10 modules, including:
- Understanding GST and preparing GST returns
- Understanding and processing payroll and PAYG
- Understanding income tax and essential ATO processes for small business
- An introduction to Fringe Benefit Tax (FBT).
Students receive free trial versions of MYOB and Xero so that they can gain experience of both systems.
Achieving her certificate has given Carol a new level of confidence. As well as a better overall understanding of today's accounting systems, she feels more self-assured at work and knows that she can genuinely support the family business.
Ultimately, Carol would like to become an Accounting Technician. She is therefore continuing her incredible juggling act, having just signed up for her Accounting Pathway Program.
Carol and James Ramachandran with three of their four boys at the family's Birkenhead restaurant. L-R Dimitrios, Carol, Daniel, James and Dairies