To celebrate international youth day, The Accountant and International Accounting Bulletin asks professionals aged under 35 to share their thoughts on the profession: why they qualify as accountants, whether it was challenging and, now that they are in, how they see the profession and where it is going.
Partner at Exco
I began as an auditor and it is still the case that I like the number of contacts, companies and issues that come with the job role. You need several skills including mathematical, financial, IT, legal, and communication skills. Finally I get to travel within my country as well as abroad! I gained a master’s degree in business administration at French business school Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales du Nord (EDHEC), following this I joined at Deloitte and then a British firm where I qualified with the ACCA in 2008.
I still enjoy the fact that every day is different and the career can pass by so quickly. From my side I find that there are few difficulties, although certain days can be truly busy.
Yet the profession has evolved with digital transformations and IT has started to replace staff for basic tasks, as today most clients have direct access to accounting and financial data. The relationship between the client and their accountant has changed accordingly and this has raised the value of services such as close advisory and flexibility, but at not necessarily cheap prices.
In my opinion, professional institutions are rather good at attracting young people, but unfortunately a number of young people quit the profession at an early stage, probably due to the workload and stress. The new generation will impose flexibility at work which in my opinion is the only way to retain talent in the long term.
Younger clients are also willing to take more responsibility for their systems and financial work, they want to understand more closely, take part into the process and anticipate any issues. Therefore, regular interaction is happening more and more considering that we used to come once a year to present the annual statements.
My conclusion is that being a qualified accountant is still a great job, where one cannot get annoyed.