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  • She Says

Advice to aspiring accountants from a woman who made it big!

  • IWB Post
  •  May 25, 2015


Lucia Real-Martin is a Director of Emerging Markets for ACCA. In this interview she shares advice on how to make a successful career in Finance & Accounting. And yes, girls finance is not boy’s only domain. Isn’t Lucia an inspiration? Here is what she has to say on new perspectives of this lucrative profession. 

On New Professional Challenges

With new markets opening, new standards being adopted and ongoing economic power shifts, there are many challenges. But there are also more opportunities for accountants to play bigger roles across all aspects of corporate decision making from strategy to new business models. The profession also needs to be seen as addressing public concerns; it could do more to highlight and prevent everything from small-scale financial irregularities to the major systemic failures that caused the global financial crisis and ensuing economic uncertainty.

Given the increasing globalisation of business, there is also a need for finance professionals to master the technical, language and cultural challenges of cross-border trade and business.

Finance professionals have to keep up, not only with changes to financial rules and regulations, but also with technology. Additionally, there is a need for the profession to be positioned as providing foresight, not just hindsight. New professional accountants need to help shape the strategic direction of organisations through their knowledge of accounting, reporting and auditing.

On the Essential skills that most Courses are Failing to Develop in Their Students

One of the key areas we must ensure proficiency in, is the rise of ‘big data’, which demands structural and analytical skills. Professional accountants, are no longer just processing data, they need to analyse it and make predictions, inform decision making and become advisors to their businesses. Their training needs to develop their problem-solving, communication and presentation skills as much as their technical skills.

On advantages of an Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) qualification?

One of the key advantages that ACCA professionals have is that their qualification is based on global standards. This enables them to deal with cross-border and international trade more readily, as they have a firm grounding in International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). Additionally, ACCA enables candidates to choose diverse paths–our 170,000 members work in functions from risk management to financial reporting, in the private and public sectors. The ACCA qualification prepares individuals to shape careers and shift sectors or roles.

Many ACCA members have found that the qualification enables them to work anywhere in the world and at the highest levels in their own countries. Wherever you go, an ACCA member already has a network of like-minded people that recognise each other as part of the same organisation. ACCA has over 93 offices around the world, so you also have access to member support and recognition from employers and other stakeholders.

ACCA works with 8,500 employers globally, to ensure our members are recognised wherever they go. Having 70 partnerships with professional and industry bodies globally provides a platform for members to access other organisations networks and continuing professional development (CPD).

Read her full interview here.

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