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Hereford Cathedral School Year 9 pupil and Maths genius Oliver B recently completed the Xero accounting certification, an online accounting platform used internationally by both book-keepers and accountants. At just 13 years old, Oliver is the youngest person in the world to obtain the certification. 

Thanks to his achievement, Oliver was invited to Xerocon London this month, an accounting conference with an incredible line-up of world-class business leaders and industry professionals where he even met astronaut, Tim Peake. 

The certification took three weeks of hard work and focus to complete. “I had to time-manage and balance my homework around the course,” said driven Oliver. “Every night I would borrow time to work on completing the course. 

“The Xerocon experience was amazing”, he continued, “I was asked to go up on stage in front of 4,000 people as part of a keynote seminar with Rachael Powell (Xero’s Global Sales and Marketing Officer). I was even issued with a Xero staff backstage pass and networked with business professionals in a green room like a TV star.”

On top of the course, Oliver regularly enjoys helping his parents with their accountancy businesses, ‘Bookkeeping4U’ and ‘Herefordshire Means Business’.   

Oliver B

Oliver B


From an early-age Oliver showed an aptitude with numbers where he was able to recite his times-tables before he even started reception class. “Throughout primary school, Ollie has always worked a year ahead in Maths”, said Oliver’s mother. “Ollie’s primary school teacher, Mrs Sam McAtear (Assistant Head of Leominster Primary School), encouraged him to take the Hereford Cathedral School entrance exams for his academic ability; which is when he was awarded an Academic Scholarship. My husband and I are extremely proud of Ollie for using his initiative to obtain his Xero qualification to further his knowledge and enhance his CV.”

Oliver is taking his new world record status in his stride. “I was shocked but very proud of myself. My family and friends have all been incredibly supportive and are happy for me. I even received a letter from Mr Smith (Headmaster at Hereford Cathedral School) to congratulate me.”

Mr Mike Taylor (Head of Maths at Hereford Cathedral School) commented on Oliver’s achievement: “Oliver is an extraordinary, self-motivated young man. His wide range of interests, from Hereford FC to maths, make him a most engaging student.”

“My time so far at Hereford Cathedral School has improved my confidence immeasurably and has made me more willing to take on and try new things,” said Oliver. “I am heavily involved in the Combined Cadet Force and I am in the RAF section which has pushed me to think more collaboratively and work as a strong unit. Being in the RAF has also motivated me in my goal to work in commercial aviation.” 

Oliver is yet to advise anyone financially, but that has not stopped him from being sensible with his own finances. “I am more considerate and careful with my money since the course. I recently celebrated my birthday and I have saved most of the money that was kindly given to me; as I want to save for my future,” said Oliver. “I take a lot of my inspiration and motivation from Richard Branson, he is my idol. He has made himself from nothing with such captivating and brilliant ideas.”

Oliver is certainly one to watch in the future of finance and aviation. “My GCSE options at Hereford Cathedral School will be the top five for commercial aviation; geography, maths, physics, another science and a language; I enjoy Spanish best. I will then take geography, maths and physics further for A-Level,” said tenacious Oliver.

The 13 year old’s short-term goal is to complete the Xero payroll course in April 2020 and long-term he has his sights set on Cambridge University to study maths. “I want to get my pilot’s licence, maybe with easyJet New Zealand, taking me full circle to where Xero was founded,” said Oliver.

Oliver has been asked to speak at future Xerocon events to encourage other young people to learn about online accounting and to show that accounting can be anything but boring.