A new area of our website asks members of ACCA’s Council – elected by the wider membership – about their careers and experiences. Here’s a taster of what they say
This article was first published in the July/August 2016 international edition of Accounting and Business magazine.
Partner, CWCC, Hong Kong
The main purpose of my serving on Council is to act as a sounding board for ACCA members and to help shape the future of ACCA
ACCA gave me the chance to obtain its professional qualification. This opened the door for my career development, and I am grateful for it.
By serving on the Council, I have become a sounding board for fellow members, and part of a global thinktank to decide strategies for the sustainable development of ACCA.
With more competition from more practices, large and small, my firm is not competing on price but on services. In developing the depth and width of our services and markets, I am inspired by ACCA’s research and insights, which help further the science of accountancy.
Director of safer communities, Department of Justice, Northern Ireland
My financial expertise has guided my career decisions and given me courage to follow what I am passionate about.
On Friday 4 November 1983, in the final year of my degree at the then Ulster Polytechnic, I was in a classroom when a bomb went off. It killed three people in the room next door. I was trapped under a brick wall looking at a dead body.
It was a life-defining moment and left me with a feeling that I wanted to make a difference and change this world.
I became an accountant because I’m dyslexic. I thought it would be 95% about numbers and 5% about words. I got it wrong – it is the other way round! You spend most of your time explaining and negotiating the numbers.
For me, the role of the accountant is about sustainability. Accountants are essential to help take the third world into the first world, and ensure those working in wealthier countries are acting in an ethical and professional way, and not exploiting those people trying to develop emerging economies.
Risk and treasury manager, State Trading Corporation, Mauritius
We have to support the profession because we are the profession. That is why my membership matters to me.
Being a Council member is a great opportunity to contribute to the profession and to ACCA.
Being a member of a professional body means greater responsibility to society. I have moved from the position of an accountant to a senior manager, and this means a change in roles and responsibilities.
As professionals, we have to realise the expectations of the public that we will work in their interest first. It is important that we live up to their expectations as we ultimately earn our living by providing our services to them.
The most important parts of being on Council are the ambassadorial role, and the work I do when Council meets at breakout sessions, such as on strategy development. It’s very satisfying to do this work, and an honour.
LAH Accounting, UK
I have had such a wonderful and varied career – from working my way up through the ranks to ultimately being the FD of a plc.
My role as Council member is very important to me, as we contribute to the strategic direction of the organisation.
My aim on Council is always to think about what our decisions mean to students and members, and how we can help them to achieve their career aspirations.
I feel that, as a Council member, I am at the pinnacle of my career and able to bring my experience to the discussions.
During my nine years on Council, I have sat on many of the committees and chaired a few too. This, for me, is where all the hard work is undertaken as we work with the ACCA teams to understand and help shape the outcomes for the future. As Council members, we are there to fully discuss any issues and challenge decisions if required – we cannot be silent, and we get fully involved in discussions.
CEO, CAMCO, Pakistan
In 2010, I became the first female ever to be elected to sit on the board of any stock exchange in Pakistan.
Being on ACCA’s Council gives me an absolute sense of pride. It’s a position of great responsibility that entails looking after the interests of stakeholders, including members, students, employers, the organisation itself, and society at large.
I’m particularly passionate about developing markets so that ACCA continues to be successful and can enhance the recognition of its members and increase their employability.
I have had numerous challenges in my career, but having overcome them, I think they ended up being opportunities that helped me grow. The challenges have included dealing with situations where I had to say no to corruption, stand up against unethical practices and see a way through an environment weighed down by red tape.
I am passionate about supporting women in their careers whenever I can. I am a strong advocate of women being represented on boards, as it provides diversity and brings a unique perspective to organisational decision-making. At the same time, it offers women an opportunity to act at a strategic level.
Senior manager, EY, Nigeria
The relevance and reach of ACCA means I can give something back. But I can also learn so much from ACCA colleagues across the world.
I am now leading the climate change practice for EY in West Africa. ACCA demonstrates that while I have an academic background, I also have strong technical accountancy ability. It shows that I have honed my business skills at a professional level. It’s an accreditation that is of value to employers.
The professional accountant’s role goes above and beyond the numbers - e can see the trends, and we can make the links to strategy and innovation.
The ACCA Qualification is helping to lead this change because it gives people the big picture. ACCA members are more business-orientated, and can help with strategic issues, such as when a company needs to innovate or deal with climate change.