Meet the tutor – Chris Burnell

Name: Chris Burnell

BPP Location: London – Procter House

How long have you been with BPP? 18 months

What did you do before you came to BPP?

Corporate tax consultant, working mainly in compliance and reporting, in both practice and in industry

Why did you choose a career in Accountancy?

One word I think, opportunity. Qualifying as an accountant opens up so many doors. I’m constantly intrigued when looking at classroom registers who our students work for and what they do. I could never have imagined becoming a tutor when I started out – your qualification really can take you anywhere. I have many friends who have taken their qualification overseas. In terms of teaching you transferable skills, it’s a fantastic qualification to have. The old stereotype of the grey suited, boring android of an accountant is exactly that, an old stereotype.

Why did you become a tutor?

I was fed up of being tied to a desk and serving partners or shareholders, without necessarily feeling as though I was making a real difference. I also had some fundamental issues with some of the tax avoidance products that were being used in order to bring down the size of the tax line. Being a tutor allows me to be on my feet, interact with students on a day-to-day basis and make a tangible difference to their studies.

What ACCA Papers do you teach?

F2, F3, F5 and F9

Best thing/ what do you most enjoy about being an ACCA tutor?

Getting emails from students once they have passed exams saying thank you. It makes the hard work worthwhile and lets us know that we are doing a good job and making a positive difference to students’ studies

What’s your top tip for students studying towards their ACCA exams?

Get involved in class – both by working through all of the questions that are set and by asking questions when you don’t understand something. I am a great believer in ‘learning by doing’ and I also think that everyone benefits from questions being asked in class – too many students are paralysed by thinking ‘my mates will think I’m stupid if I ask this question’. They won’t – they probably have the same question, but are equally scared of asking. Your tutor should always find time to help, whether in class, a break, or outside of the classroom.

If you weren’t an accountancy tutor, what would be your dream job?

Ski instructor in the winter/manage cycling tours in the summer

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