Member story - a journey to membership

Curious about student success stories? Explore Ionut Gutu's path to ACCA membership.

Name: Ionut Gutu FCCA
Job title: Central Europe controller
Employer: PepsiCo

Can you briefly talk me through your professional journey so far?

I’ve worked in finance and accountancy for over 20 years. Throughout that time being ACCA-qualified has allowed me to work in a range of different roles, from auditor to accountant to financial controller. And what’s remained consistent throughout my entire journey is that I’ve always made time to continually learn and accumulate new information to keep up to date with the latest changes in my industry.

What skills do you feel you gained from studying the ACCA qualification?

Studying the ACCA qualification has given me a broad perspective on accounting and economic sciences, offering a comprehensive understanding of transaction phenomena and processes. However, soft skills are also crucial in the job I do, and ACCA has helped me to improve my English and develop my problem-solving skills – understanding that a problem may have different solutions. The varied skillset I’ve developed also ensures I’m able to continually adapt to changes and challenges in the business environment.

The ACCA journey is completely transparent and covers all potential vulnerabilities that may arise in a financial career. From the methodical allocation of points for each step of solving problems and continuing with an approach of the topics in which the theoretical part is combined in an inspired way with the practical part, the ACCA exams have meant effort and emotion, but also a comfort that the examination process is very transparent. Another thing I would like to say, with the risk of seeming pretentious, is that after each exam I felt wiser and safer.

How has becoming an ACCA member helped you in your career?

Being an ACCA member has been one of my greatest strengths in all the interviews and evaluations I have had throughout my career.

Employers, both those in Romania and ​​multinational companies, appreciate a candidate who has an international qualification and demonstrates an understanding of the risks and opportunities from a wider perspective.

Whenever I recruited, a key question I had for candidates was related to their professional qualifications. Moreover, I have encouraged and supported numerous members of my team in their efforts to become ACCA members.

The qualification is an international professional passport and is an essential element on the business card of a young professional who wants a successful career. Besides providing a solid basis in mastering the financial field, it gives you a feeling that you are part of a professional elite. And maybe, most importantly, ACCA allows you to connect with professionals from different countries and cultures.

Do you have any tips for professional growth in order to cope with changes in the financial landscape?

Often, we do not understand what the change entails. It seems a vague concept and may be too far away to ever affect us, but we are still afraid of it. We are afraid of change because it is produced not only at the macro level but also at the personal, professional, workplace level. We fear that we will become irrelevant, that artificial intelligence will replace us at work, that the employer, the company, can move at any time to other countries with cheap labour, that everything can change to our detriment.

However, there are many people who take advantage of and develop from the change. In the financial field, these people see change not as an obstacle but as an opportunity. For them, the change comes with the professional development package, salary increases, career opportunities that until then were impossible to achieve. They do not seek to limit change but to feed it, because from there their profit and professional progress will come. And their recipe is simple, and does not involve motivational speeches or inspirational messages, only learning.

ACCA is an international organisation that offers professional qualifications in the financial field and mechanisms through which you as a professional in the financial field will remain not only relevant, but innovative and successful in the face of (and even due to) permanent change.

I am one of the people who rode the wave of change in my favour through lifelong learning. For me, lifelong learning is essential in the accountancy profession, in a very dynamic business environment, where professional accountants are increasingly involved in decision-making.

Ionut Gutu FCCA

Tell us about the accounting professional yesterday versus today

Change in the financial field affects not only your professional skills, soft skills and how you interact with other professionals, but also your ability to make decisions, draw up strategies, be a manager and be a visionary in the financial field.

If we think about the image of the accounting professional yesterday and today, we see a significant change – from being perceived as the official who writes logs and keeps files, to being a strategic partner in making decisions for the company, responsible for achieving financial and commercial objectives, together with the general manager and the other members of the management team.

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