An insider's guide to employer accreditation

Cai Yun, ACCA student and accounting manager at Natexis Banques Populaires in Shanghai, China, talks to Student Accountant about the benefits of working for an ACCA Accredited Employer

Accountancy runs in the family for Cai Yun, which made it a natural career choice: ‘My mother taught commercial accounting in a vocational school, and was a major influence on my decision to study financial accounting at university. It helped that I had a natural love of numbers, which I’d had since kindergarten, when I’d imagined an accountant would still work with an abacus in one hand!

‘As most of my relatives also work in banks and other financial institutions, I knew an accounting degree would lead to a good career. But I also learned the importance of accountancy within the banking sector, and that an accountant can work within most banking departments – this I found particularly interesting.’

Once she had gained her accountancy degree, Cai’s career progressed swiftly: ‘On leaving university I worked briefly as an accountant in the office of an overseas company before moving into banking. I worked for a number of different banks before I was headhunted by Natexis Banques Populaires. I joined the bank in 1999, as head of accounting, and have worked here ever since.

‘My responsibilities are extensive: I’m in charge of managing the accounting systems for all the operations within our office, and I have to report back to the central bank and to our head office. In addition, I also monitor our assets and oversee our tax payments.’ Even though Cai boasts an impressive track record within banking and accountancy, she still sees the value in studying for her ACCA qualification, a process she began as soon as she had been appointed to her current position: ‘Even though I have been working as an accountant for a number of years, I know that the world changes rapidly, and it is important for me to keep up to date by studying new accounting techniques, and learning the latest rules and regulations. The bank supports me fully in my ambitions: it subsidises my examinations, and makes sure I can cope with the demands of my daily workload and my ACCA studies, especially in the run up to an examination session.’

And Cai already knows that ACCA membership will help her career develop further: ‘I know that I will stay in the banking sector, as this is still the working environment that I like best. However, ACCA really is a passport to a new world of opportunity, and also gives me the chance to keep on learning throughout my career.’


"As most of my relatives also work in banks and other financial institutions, I knew an accounting degree would lead to a good career"