Chris Fuller from Greenwich swapped his finance manager role with Octopus Investments to volunteer in Cambodia as part of an AfID(Accounting for International Development) project.
Chris qualified with ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) four years ago and until earlier this year was responsible for VAT returns, year-end accounts and other duties you’d expect of a modern accountant. This changed when he left his job and volunteered for a six-week project with FunkyJunk, an innovative social enterprise making functional, long lasting items from used plastic bags reclaimed from streets and fields.
Talking about his work in Cambodia, Chris said: 'I worked with the enterprise to review and understand the business with a view to improving its financial reporting and controls. I helped staff develop basic accounting skills as well as progressing their abilities with spreadsheets and Quickbooks. Another part of the role was to review the costing strategy for the individual products and implement new processes and efficiency measures to improve profitability and make the enterprise more sustainable.
'I hope to go back at some point, I keep in touch with many of the staff from FunkyJunk and help them remotely as much as I can.'
Afid works in Africa and Asia to place experienced finance professionals in areas where they can help develop financial capacity so that charities and social enterprises can make the most of monies they receive. Since 2009 25 ACCA members have taken part in AfID projects.