“Aside from looking after and walking some wonderful pooches, I’m utilising my new skills dealing with the accounts and invoicing side of the business!”

27 Jul 2021 Blog Learners

Keen learner Thomas Smith looked to ACT  when he wanted extra skills to boost his bookkeeping career. Thus began a journey that started with studying software, but ended in counting costs for canines, at a growing dog-boarding business.


The 35-year-old completed the AAT Foundation Certificate in Accounting, with Pettigrew Bakeries. A former colleague, who previously trained with ACT, let him know how valuable it had been for her. For Thomas, the chance to continue working while gaining a top qualification was too good to turn down.

He said: “During my time in a former finance role, a colleague in accounting noted that she’d previously undertaken the apprenticeship in accounting with ACT and found it really beneficial to her role. 

“It allowed me to work full time and learn on the job, whilst developing knowledge through evening classes twice a week.”

The course gave him knowledge of transactions with bookkeeping systems, costing, using SAGE accounting software and ethical practices within finance. 

Although he was made redundant from Pettigrew Bakeries, due to the economic environment, he now uses his new skills at dog boarding/day care business, Oh Doggo. He knows the upskilling he got while completing the highly-practical course with the bakery will stay with him, forming a solid foundation for his emerging financial career.

He added: “The main element of my job role was dealing with wholesale customers as part of my day to day – delivering products to them and forwarding daily invoices, before requesting payments at month end.

“Being hands on with both the delivery side and account side allowed me to hone my knowledge and have full understanding of customer accounts and rectify any errors like overcharging or missing invoices.” 

Thomas, who hails from Barry, said tutors were “really supportive” during one-to-one sessions and were always on hand to answer any queries he had about the course materials.

Although his role at Pettigrew Bakeries ended, the transferrable skills he gained from the course helped him quickly find another position to thrive in, at Oh Doggo, which he runs with his partner Emma.

He said the qualification lets him “efficiently maintain and understand the financial side of the business”.

“Due to COVID-19, I was made redundant from my role at the bakery. Though disappointed, I soon found another job which gave me time to focus on helping my partner Emma with our dog boarding/day care business – Oh Doggo. Aside from looking after and walking some wonderful pooches, I’m utilising my new skills dealing with accounts and invoicing side of the business!”

The delighted dog-lover would now like to recommend the same training route to others.

He added: “It’s ideal for those looking to gain an understanding of accounting and bookkeeping. It’s also a good foundation of skills to possess for everyday life, allowing you to understand finances and plan for the future!”


If you feel you’ve got a head for figures and fancy a career in accounting, visit our Accountancy page!

Head over to our Routes we Offer page to find out more about the work-based qualifications we offer.

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