Some people just can’t help getting involved in activities within their community, whatever it may be.
One of the first areas I became involved in was the ACCA Northern Counties Society, which evolved into the ACCA Northern Counties Network Panel of today, reflecting the changing requirement of our members’ needs.
I became involved upon qualifying to put something back into the profession that I am so passionate about. Today, along with my husband Andrew, we run our own Accountancy practice called WBS Accountants, based in Newcastle upon Tyne.
I was really keen to be share my experience with people in the early stages of their career and to debunk the stereotypes of the type of people who become accountants – I would definitely say we are still true to that aim!
The events I’ve been involved in were all related to things I was passionate about, frequently social and invariably interesting. My personal highlight was hosting Wayne Hemingway at the Biscuit Factory for one of our business lectures, which succeeded in engaging with the wider business community beyond our membership. During my term as President of the Panel, I was fortunate to attend other professional bodies’ events and forge the connections essential to organising joint events with CIMA and CIPFA.
As my confidence grew I finally plucked up the courage to attend our annual conferences, representing our area on a national level, along with other Panel members from around the UK. Although I found this a little daunting at first, it proved to be a fascinating insight into the strategic aims of our global organisation and gave a chance to talk with the far away people in London who are responsible for this strategy!
It isn’t hard work when you enjoy what you do and as I started with such a small aim, I was amazed and excited when I found out that not only had I been nominated for an ACCA Outstanding Contribution award by my fellow panel members, but that I had also been awarded it!
In June 2013 I was invited once more to the Annual Members Engagement Conference – the theme of which was ‘ACCA and Proud‘.
It felt really appropriate as that is how I felt when accepting my award!
Thankfully, I didn’t have to stand up and do the “Unaccustomed as I am…” type speech, but I am still very grateful for the support and encouragement from my fellow panel colleagues over the years.