ACCA member, Babajide Ibironke ACCA member, Babajide Ibironke

"It is important that people, regardless of their social background have career aspirations. I was not born with a silver spoon in my mouth but I found opportunity through the way that ACCA can break down barriers.

ACCA is one of the most accessible accountancy institutes that I am aware of. The key to ACCA is the way that students can study for ACCA even if they do not possess formal qualifications. In Nigeria other professional accountancy institutes require that their students be graduates or at least have a national diploma.

As potent as obstacles stemming from society or education, one of the main barriers that people face is a lack of information. Most people do not have access to the information about the opportunities that exist when you have a qualification like ACCA. But ACCA in Nigeria is working hard to change that, talking at every opportunity in colleges and schools about the opportunities the qualification gives.

Paucity of information impacted me personally. I wish I had known about ACCA from the word go. Although I am happy the way it turned out, if I had known about ACCA then the career opportunities would have been much easier.

There is no doubt that the ACCA qualification is a strong brand which is in the room at job interviews. Before I got my ACCA qualification at interviews it was difficult to convince employers that I had the capabilities to do the job. 

Working with ACCA I communicate with undergraduates at four Nigerian universities about ACCA. What we are trying to do is promote an awareness that never existed when we were much younger. We want younger accountants – or would be accountants – to know about ACCA early on.

It is not just at the start of a career that ACCA helps social mobility. One of the key ways that ACCA is continuing to help is through its competency framework*, which helps chart a career course. This framework can open doors by providing ACCA members with the tools that they need to continue to overcome barriers, even as their professional lives progress.  

Looking at the progress that has been made in social mobility I am optimistic. Those starting out have better careers opportunities especially in terms of gender equality. More women than ever are in accountancy classes at university and continue on to study for ACCA. About 30% of lecturers in my ACCA tuition house today are women and that has encouraged a lot of ladies to want to qualify. 

ACCA can continue to help improve access. Let us look at opportunities together, spot potential and promote growth across ACCA. Let us strengthen international networks for the good of individuals and professions. ACCA is in a great position to keep helping deal with the barriers."

* ACCA's career navigator replaced the competency framework