Pieces fall into place for Proffitt From pit lanes to packaging, clinics to country estates…
"I have worked in jobs, sectors and places I could never have imagined when I first set out"
Melanie Proffitt really knew her career had taken off when she found herself reclining in a business-class seat sipping Champagne on Concorde.
The supersonic trans-Atlantic jaunt was Melanie’s prize as trainee of the year at a heavy engineering firm in the early days of her career.
She has shown little sign of slowing down to this day.
‘We talk a lot at ACCA about the opportunities it throws open, and in my case it’s certainly true. I have worked in jobs, sectors and places I could never have imagined when I first set out,’ she said.
The highlights reel includes:
- Life in the fast lane with a firm building engines for F1 cars
- A business making packaging for Easter eggs and other goods
- General manager of a Harley Street fertility clinic
- And now, CFO at a firm running luxury hotels on a private estate in the Cotswolds
Melanie never had any doubt that accountancy was her calling.
‘Maths was my strongest subject at school,’ she said. ‘I loved solving problems and puzzles, and still do. Who doesn’t love a good jigsaw, where you gather all the pieces, put them together, and form a picture? It’s just like running a business.
‘I had a fantastic maths teacher who inspired and encouraged me, and my uncle suggested I should think about accountancy because of my maths skills.
‘I was only 15 at the time, but that was it. My career path was determined. That and the fact that my surname is Proffitt, so it seemed like destiny.’
"Calling myself a qualified accountant gave me new confidence, drive and motivation to reach for big jobs"
Whatever the reason for Melanie’s start in the profession, she insists that her ACCA education and qualification turbo-charged her rise in business.
‘It was a huge moment when I submitted my experience record, gained my membership to the ACCA, and could use those letters after my name,’ she said.
‘Calling myself a qualified accountant gave me new confidence, drive and motivation to reach for big jobs, and the opportunities flowed.
‘I found that while the nuances are different for each sector, fundamental accounting principles remain the same.
‘The same disciplines apply to every business:
Sales = Vanity
Profit = Sanity
Cash = Reality
Melanie has always been keen to play her part in ACCA, lately as Council member.
She said: ‘I consider myself to be a volunteer custodian, safeguarding ACCA's reputation, image and brand and protecting them for the benefit of our members, future members, and the business community.
Spreading the word
‘We’re a members’ organisation, and ACCA’s public value depends on member engagement and dialogue. Encouraging that is a fundamental part of my role as a Council member, and I particularly enjoy it. I love spreading the word and acting as an ambassador and advocate.
‘I’m passionate about ensuring that my professional body continues to lead the way, to think ahead, and continues to evolve and produce accountants the world needs, while also being the first choice for students and businesses.
‘I’m extremely proud of the diversity of our membership and the high ethical standards and the opportunities that are created for our members.
‘I’ve always had pride in my qualification and the ACCA designation, and over the last few years I’ve appreciated even more the bigger picture, and the value and size of the work that ACCA does to advance our profession around the world.’