Ann Smyth

What course have you studied/are you currently studying?

So far, with the CIPP, I have studied the Foundation Degree in Payroll Management and the Global Mobility training course. Both the qualification and the training course have been instrumental to my payroll career and have opened doors and new opportunities that otherwise I wouldn’t have had.

What made you choose to study with the CIPP?

When I was made redundant in a role covering accounts payable with payroll, change of direction was necessary. The payroll manager in the bureau which part-managed for my former company, told me about CIPP and explained that it would give me the wealth and knowledge to succeed in my payroll career. So, I used my redundancy money to enrol and self-funded my study. Initially I intended only to study the first year, but I enjoyed the qualification so much and felt I gained so much knowledge from it that I decided to invest in the following two years.

How would you describe your experience of studying with the CIPP?

Classroom study was my preference, and from this I made many new friends. People I met through my studies are in regular contact as friends.

I gained a lot from my studies even though the pandemic meant distance learning for almost half of the course. Studying with the CIPP has given me a massive boost in my confidence, knowledge and experience.

I realised there was a huge support network within the CIPP, which made me recognise how important this was to my career. The CIPP has been a massive support for me in my studies and the workplace. The Advisory Service team have been so helpful; I use them all the time and they provide me with support and guidance in my role. The team are always there and just a phone call away even if I just want to reassure myself that I am right in my thinking.

The CIPP has opened so many doors for me and completely changed my future in payroll and life in general. Without the Foundation Degree, I wouldn’t be where I am today, and for that I am very grateful.

Can you describe your payroll career/journey to us so far?

I started in a finance role covering accounts payable and payroll, using a managed service as part of a bureau. On redundancy I commenced my CIPP study and was able to secure a role in a large payroll bureau which gave me access to a wide range of situations and greatly enhanced my payroll knowledge.

Just pre-pandemic the bureau closed the office I was based at, but having I was approached by an agency to apply for a role closer to my home as a payroll executive. I wasn’t confident I would get it but the fact I was studying with CIPP clinched it. I gladly accepted since when I have worked my way up to where I am now as payroll manager.

My current role is global with various European countries in addition to the UK, plus development of service in several African countries.

I have had so much support in both my job roles and qualification, that have eased the way. I thank my family and CIPP for this.

Do you have any plans for further study with us? If so, what are they, and why?

Not now, although due to my role I have completed the CIPP Global Mobility Payroll training course which has been invaluable with my new ventures into global payroll. I still work with the trainer from the course, who has advised in some of our global ventures when setting up payrolls. He is always there for me when I need him, and what is great about the CIPP is the incredible network of people from whom you gain knowledge.

What advice do you have for someone who is thinking of studying a qualfiication with us?

Completing the Foundation Degree can at times be challenging, particularly when working in a bureau environment full-time. Using the support from the CIPP education team and the tutors helped a lot. My advice: use the resources! There were moments of doubt, but CIPP education always supported me.

Of particular note was my Year-3 tutor who went above and beyond to make this year special (pandemic aside!). He went out of his way to encourage and push me, giving me the highest grades of all the years.

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