My Week: CTA results and my role

CIOTHello folks. It was CTA exams results week. The dreaded email arrived on Wednesday morning with the result I was expecting – fail. As I have mentioned before, I did not have the time to cover the material.


I sat the examination mainly for the experience, after many years of not sitting any exams. The experience proved to be valuable.

I was a little surprised that the way the exams are taken has not changed after so many years. It is getting the maximum number of people in a hall with desks that are just too small. Advancement in technology has not resulted in advancement in this area. The current system appears to work. 

The pass rate for the Individuals advisory paper was 38%.  It was the lowest pass rate of all CTA papers in the May 2018 sitting. Normally it is in the mid-forties percentage.  It shows that success is dependent on hard work and the examiner’s mood at the time he/she is drafting the exam paper.

I will carry on with CTA since I am addressing one of my key weakness. It helps with my work significantly.

Owner’s role

Now that Q’s has taken over most of the day to day, I am reviewing my role as a small practice owner. It needs to change from not so hands on to a person responsible for bringing in new business and getting the most value of the existing business (clients). In addition, ensuring that employees are motivated and supported.

I know more than a few practice owners do want to be involved in producing accounts and tax returns. It would not work for me since the business development side would be neglected.


I have decided to undertake the practice’s marketing function. I will start slow and build up. Here is my thinking about this function:

  • Think of the marketing strategy and have a clear growth target.
  • Start off with Google ads. Learn from online resources available. Learn and apply for the next 3 months.
  • Move on to LinkedIn – as above
  • In the background, make sure to tweet. Look up guidance on the frequency of tweets.
  • Learn and use Hootsuite for efficiency on social media. Look into any other similar tools.
  • Learn and apply SEO to the practice’s website.

On reflection, marketing is just too important to be outsourced.

And Finally

The fantastic summer has meant that my early morning bicycle commute remains a relaxing and refreshing experience. I have no regrets in getting rid my car about 2 years ago. No repair bills, car tax, insurance, and MOT.

The rainwater leaks in the office ceiling will be fixed on Sunday. I hope it does not rain before then.



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