Ali Ebrahim, audit senior at M Yousuf Adil Saleem & Co in Karachi, Pakistan, tells us about his journey to membership and discusses how, as an ACCA teacher, he is giving something back to the profession.
Ali Ebrahim began his ACCA studies after completing A-levels in accounting and maths. While studying, Ali began to gain work experience as an ACCA tutor before joining his current employer, Deloitte, in its Karachi office. He joined the audit and assurance department as an audit junior and is now audit senior.
"I mainly work on audit assignments, managing and motivating my team while keeping to strict deadlines," he explains. "I streamline tasks for junior members before refining their output for management review, and highlighting and resolving issues that are covered in the final report. I really enjoy my work – as my career has progressed I have been involved in increasingly complicated audits, and each assignment has taught me something new."
Ali combined work with study, which was, he admits, "a big challenge". To cope he developed a strategic approach to managing his commitments. "I would always fulfil workplace responsibilities first and then focus on my studies, sacrificing leisure time for study if work was too demanding," he says. "I also created a study plan with weekly targets, which allowed for days off if I was ill or had too much work. I recommend this approach but also advise students not to use targets as barriers – if you can study more than your target then do so, as you will reach your goal more easily."
As well as work and study, Ali has continued to teach ACCA students for the past five years, and is now an ACCA tutor at KNS Institute of Business Studies in Karachi. Based on his teaching – and student – experience, Ali knows that there are no shortcuts to exam success. "As a tutor, my sincere advice to all students is to adopt a structured, step-by-step approach to study, and this also allows you to use the skills you have gained in your work. Teaching is my passion and I believe that sharing knowledge improves society as a whole."
Ali achieved ACCA membership in 2011, when only 23, evidence of his hard work and dedication. But was the effort worthwhile? "As a member I have reaped significant career benefits," he says. "Deloitte recognises the importance of ACCA members and values them highly. But I also chose to study with ACCA because of its global recognition; ACCA membership gives me access to job opportunities worldwide."