Senior Associate, Business Consulting
The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) Associate Chartered Accountant (ACA)
Has been with this company for
2 years at current employment (total working experience – 7 years)
Can you tell us what you generally do in your job?
I'm primarily involved in internal audits, strategic consulting, and other operational assurance engagements across various industries.
I work with my team to help our clients realise their goals for their business and financial transformation. We gather information using data analytics and work with clients to improve their business processes to be more efficient in their operations and finances.
Fortunately, the ICAEW ACA provided me with technical aspects such as business strategy, assurance and financial management as well as people skills and teamwork. All of these are essential for me to deliver value to my clients.
What would you say is the coolest daily task?
Working with my team and providing strategic consulting to different businesses in various industries! This gave me the advantage of not just learning from my own organisation, but also understanding the business processes in different organisations and industries.
Now, with most of us working from home, one of the coolest aspects is the ability to continue our work in virtual environments and using data analytic tools.
The ICAEW ACA equipped me with knowledge and skills beyond the technical aspects of accounting and finance, e.g., business management and planning, therefore providing me with a broader understanding of different businesses.
What is the greatest lesson you’ve learnt from your probation period at work?
The current employment scenario in the industry is challenging to say the least. There is a premium in the industry for business and finance professionals. All ICAEW students are required to take up a Training Agreement when first employed and we learnt important skills including teamwork, problem-solving, people and IT skills.
One of the greatest lessons that we picked up when we started our Training Agreement is how to add value to the work we do or when we make decisions. ICAEW Chartered Accountants are trained to be thinkers and solution providers.
How do you motivate yourself when the going gets tough?
As an ICAEW Chartered Accountant, being quick and committed to learning are traits that we picked up when we are exposed to a dynamic working environment. We also undergo rigorous examinations to be an ICAEW Chartered Accountant.
Therefore, we can draw on those experiences and overcome any challenges that we will face. Also, having good teammates and a supportive employer helps when the going gets tough!
If you could go back to your university days, what would you do differently?
Have more fun! ICAEW students go through an extensive curriculum that covers broad aspects of accounting, finance, and business. I started my ACA journey immediately after high school. I chose to pursue the ACA qualification because it is the premier business and finance qualification in the world.
Immediately after high school, I embarked on my professional qualification and focused on my studies. Immediately after that, I started work after two and a half years of studies. I was young compared to many others but managed to work shoulder to shoulder with degree graduates.
What is your advice to fresh grads who are having a tough time finding jobs?
I would encourage someone that has the desire to be a business and finance professional, as well as a leader, to pursue the ICAEW qualification. The skills and knowledge you develop during your ICAEW studies and work will equip you to be an effective leader to make positive changes in your organisation.