Career profile: Financial Operations Manager
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Hi, my name is Linsey Taylor and I am the senior tutor on the ACCA-X courses. Over the next 12 months my team is going to share with you some of our findings from running these courses over the last few years, and also give you a little insight into our careers to date. When you join an online community it can be difficult to get to know people, yet they can be very helpful when you are having a moment of confusion or a dip in motivation.
Each course has a discussion thread where you can introduce yourself – and I have to admit I possibly enjoy this section most of all! I read every single message on my courses and reply to everyone who posts, which can take quite a long time! I think I have welcomed students from about 150 countries over the last three years, and every one of you has a personal reason for studying. Many are taking their first step on a career path in accounting. Some are just curious and want to get a feel for what accounting is all about by signing up to a free introductory course. Others are refreshing knowledge learned in school. A few need to be at home due to sickness, caring for others or other impediments. By joining the online courses they can find some freedom to improve their futures. I have shed a tear at some of the messages, and I value every student who joins the courses. We all have a journey to travel, and if ACCA-X can help the future prospects for students around the world, I think that is amazing.
Everyone can benefit from a better understanding of business processes and the role of accounting. So, whether you work for a large multinational or are setting up your own business, you will gain knowledge that will help you in your role. If you don’t currently work, you will even be able to apply the rules to your personal finances.
I have been teaching for the last 17 years, from beginners’ bookkeeping to MBA finance modules, and many students are worried about the maths and the complexity. However once they get started and see how much they know already from every day life, they soon get into the subject. So do jump in and soon you’ll find elements that make sense. You can expand your knowledge from there.
The most exciting thing about a career in accounting is that it can lead to so many different roles, and a professional qualification always makes you employable.
I can use my own experiences as an example. I studied Law at university but it did not suit me at all, so I joined a firm of accountants and took my professional exams. Whilst I was studying, I worked in the audit department. This meant that I spent a lot of time in the offices of our clients, reviewing their financial records and processes, so that the shareholders could be assured that they were accurate. I loved this role – I would be in factories checking inventory one day, and then talking with the CEO about pay scales the next. I worked in all sorts of businesses: from a farm to an investment bank, and from a pension fund to a tractor manufacturer. After qualifying I worked in a large multinational company and travelled around Europe, this time in internal audit. I reported to the senior board on the state of the businesses in different countries. I have to say that though I enjoyed travelling, it was always good to come home too.
I had a career gap to have a family, although even then I helped a few small businesses with their bookkeeping and was a founding director of a boutique hotel. Then an opportunity came up to teach and it turned out that I both enjoyed it and was quite suited to it. So a change in focus, but this time having the chance to share my knowledge and experience. I have found it to be immensely fulfilling.
So, if you are considering a career in accounting I would definitely recommend it and advise you to always be open to the next opportunity.