Student in 60 seconds – Alana Jurawan

Alana Jurawan talks to Student Accountant about her career as senior business process analyst at PepsiAmericas Inc, Illinois, US

Professional Scheme student Alana Jurawan’s CV clearly demonstrates the range of opportunities an accountancy qualification can offer – in different industries, and different countries.

Having started her working life as an accounts clerk over 12 years ago, Alana first gained real accounting experience with R D Rampersad & Co Chartered Accountants, a medium-sized accounting and auditing firm in Trinidad. Alana was staff accountant with the firm. ‘The wealth of knowledge I gained, both in accounting and auditing, proved to be the foundation for my future career,’ says Alana. She then worked for Federal Express, where she was assistant to the senior district accountant (responsible for six eastern Caribbean islands) before moving on to Caribbean Drydock Ltd (Caridoc) – a ship repair and rebuilding company – where she became internal auditor. It was here that she also took on the duties of accountant, stepping in when a colleague left unexpectedly.

‘The experience and exposure I gained at Caridoc built my confidence in my capabilities and performance,’ she adds. This led Alana to a position as accounts supervisor at a plastics manufacturer, before she joined the Pepsi Cola Trinidad Bottling Company Ltd in 2002. Once more an internal auditor, Alana’s responsibilities were primarily to ensure that the organisation adhered to the Standard Operating Policies (SOPs) of its parent company – PepsiAmericas Inc. This included the monitoring of internal processes, and the creation of SOPs for the Caribbean.

Alana explains how her career has developed since she joined one of the world’s most famous brands: ‘Within a year, my job changed to business process analyst, and I provided more of an in-house consultancy service, reporting to the local director of finance. Although my main duties remained essentially the same, I was more proactive in the review and documentation of operational processes, and made recommendations and action plans to ensure good internal control. I was heavily involved in researching compliance with Sarbanes-Oxley, and liaised between the corporate internal audit department and local Trinidad management.

‘In 2004, I applied for the position of senior business analyst at our corporate office in Rolling Meadows (presently Schaumburg), Illinois. I didn’t think I had much of a chance, but by the following November I had relocated to Illinois to take up my new position as senior business process analyst, working within the internal audit and process control department. I had always known that, at some point in the future, I would want to migrate to the US – but the opportunity came much sooner than I expected.

‘My new role is very challenging, but it is also a very interesting learning experience, and gives me a new perspective on the US operation. I now research, analyse, and document activities in response to recommendations made through SOPs and other procedures, in order to maintain and enhance policy management and control, and to meet the requirements of Sarbanes-Oxley. I work with our internal auditors to monitor internal controls compliance, and assist with training.

‘I am also involved in various other projects and cross-functional activities, all of which help me to revise and create new SOPs. I interact with both corporate and field personnel, and middle, upper, and executive management to ensure policies and procedures are created and implemented successfully within the organisation.

‘While I have many years’ hands-on experience, my ACCA studies have helped me tremendously. Although all the papers are relevant, my optional papers – Paper 3.1, Audit and Assurance Services and Paper 3.4, Business Information Management – are extremely helpful to me in my job, and I still refer to my ACCA textbooks for guidance.

‘My employers, past and present, have been very supportive towards me in my studies, and have always wanted me to excel. Although I have yet to gain my ACCA qualification, my manager has encouraged me to continue, and even to return to Trinidad to take my exams. Most of my colleagues are either CPA or CIA qualified – when I am ACCA qualified I will broaden the team’s range of skills, as well as achieving a personal and professional goal.’


"Within a year, my job changed to business process analyst, and I provided more of an in-house consultancy service, reporting to the local director of finance"