Edinburgh’s Emma Watson tops global accountancy exams

Emma Watson was thrilled with her results. Picture: Jane Barlow
Emma Watson was thrilled with her results. Picture: Jane Barlow
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SHE is the glamorous number-crunching television presenter endowed with beauty and brains.

But Countdown mathematician Rachel Riley, below, may finally have met her match in a city whizz kid who has come top of the world in accountancy exams.

High-flyer Emma Watson can count on a bright future after gaining first place globally in the latest Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) case study exams.

And the 24-year-old brainbox from Slateford laughed off suggestions that she would be a shoo-in for a starring role on the hit gameshow if her fledgling career doesn’t add up.

The business analyst, who studied with leading education provider BPP, achieved a score of 132 out of 150, beating more than 1500 other students registered for the exam around the world.

Emma achieved the remarkable result after studying for three hours a night after finishing work at the Royal Bank of Scotland’s Gogarburn headquarters.

She said: “I was absolutely shattered but sometimes I would take a Friday night off. It was fantastic to be told I was a prize-winner.

“Coming top in the world in one of the toughest exams that I have taken really makes all of the studying worthwhile.

“The CIMA exams are challenging, however I receive outstanding support from both BBP and my employer, RBS. I am progressing down the road to being a fully-qualified management accountant and the exams so far have given me not only skills in management accounting, but have given me an understanding of the wider business context of my work.

“These skills are beneficial not just in banking, but are valued in any organisation. CIMA has also given me the confidence and abilities to communicate and interact with colleagues at all levels in the organisation and to really make a difference in my work day to day.”

Emma joined the Finance Graduate Scheme at RBS in 2013. Students need to complete 12 professional qualification exams requiring personal study and dedication to become a Chartered Global Management Accountant.

This is complemented by three years’ experience which can be gained whilst 
studying.

Emma attended Mary Erskine School before gaining a degree in mathematics from Glasgow University.

She added: “My mum and dad did maths at university and my mum’s a maths teacher in Edinburgh.

“I always found maths quite enjoyable and I didn’t find it too difficult which was quite unusual in my group of friends. I have quite a logical mind and I enjoy puzzles.”

Abid Sheikh, area chairman of CIMA Scotland, praised Emma’s dedication to her studies, adding: “It is a fantastic achievement to come top globally in this professional business exam.”

john.connell@edinburghnews.com