Louise Exton CA
Louise Exton CA wanted to gain a qualification that would enable her to live and work internationally.
I’m currently the Head of Publishers Asia Pacific for Outbrain. On the side, I volunteer in a non-voting capacity for Australia Chamber Orchestra. I became a CA in 2009 after three years of training with PwC in London.
Why did you become a CA?
One of the biggest drivers for me to gain my CA qualification was to have the ability to live and work abroad. It has certainly allowed me to do this, but it has also created many other opportunities that I would not have imagined.
What makes you proud to be a CA?
I am always very proud to associate myself with ICAS. It’s a very well-respected qualification globally and for good reason. Having taught all the major UK accounting qualifications, I can see why it is still the most prestigious.
What's the most interesting project you've worked on?
My career as a CA has taken me far and wide and exposed me to a lot of interesting opportunities, including conducting an audit whilst living and working on a sugar plantation in Sudan, and almost sending a world-famous pop star to do the first intergalactic gig in space.
What is the best thing about being CA?
Becoming a CA has opened many doors for me. This qualification is not just about becoming an accountant and forever remaining an accountant. Qualifying as a CA sets you off on a path to becoming a well-rounded business professional with infinite opportunities. The path you take from there, is up to you.
What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
I love to paint. This provides me with a creative outlet and a way to relax. It’s important to find something that you love and are passionate about and it’s really good for your mental wellbeing.
What is your career goal?
My career goal is to gain more experience as a non-executive director and to be able to work with a number of organisations that I truly believe in alongside a bunch of passionate people. My CA is what allows me to pursue this dream and has put me in a position within an organisation to really make a difference and drive change.
What is the best career advice you have received?
The best piece of career advice that I have ever been given is to ask questions. I started my working career a little afraid of asking questions, but I have since come to realise that it is the best way to learn. If you pretend that you have no knowledge gaps, then you will never fill those knowledge gaps. No one will ever give you a hard time for asking a silly question, as long as you have been listening and paying attention.
Do you have any advice for anyone wanting to become a CA?
If you are considering become a CA, be prepared to work hard, and remember your end goal. The exams are tough but it’s a challenge worth taking on. My biggest piece of advice is to keep your mind open. Becoming a CA will open up many opportunities, but it’s up to you to recognise them and take advantage.