CA Career Profiles

Montage CA Career Profiles

Studying to become a Chartered Accountant will set you apart and being ‘chartered’ takes you way beyond traditional accountancy and business training.

The CA qualification is a prestigious and internationally respected qualification that will provide you with the knowledge, skills and values you need to be a highly regarded and sought-after business professional.

Read where the CA qualification has taken some our CAs in their career.

Lee Evans CA, Qantas

I work for Qantas Loyalty which is the rewards and loyalty program of Australia’s national carrier, Qantas. It’s a very diversified business, with a core frequent flyer coalition program and breakout growth businesses that reward Qantas Frequent Flyer members with points on everything from flights and hotel stays, to grocery shopping and even walking. The diversity of the business provides exposure to different verticals (incl financial services, retail, insurance, data & analytics) with core finance responsibilities including business partnering with a number of Loyalty business units, finance lead on key strategic and commercial initiatives (incl business case development and investment appraisal) and long range financial planning for the Loyalty Group.

The CA is a good stepping stone from University into the working world via your training contract, providing a good mix of further study with regular application through work. There is a good breadth of curriculum which doesn’t tie you into one line of work, which can provide future optionality. The CA qualification provides a great launchpad for your career. Furthermore, you’ll build a large professional network and importantly you’ll make some lifelong friends.

The CA is a well respected qualification and holds you in good stead for your career. ICAS provides regular content from the industry as well as opportunities for continued professional development. Whilst studying for my CA, I took on the role of National Student Body Chair for ICAS, and thoroughly enjoyed organising events up and down the UK getting the opportunity to broaden my network and attend some great functions.

As the CA is a well respected qualification, employers know that they are getting a certain quality of candidate, so from that point of view it ticks the hygiene factor box. Employers can look for a wide variety of qualities when going through a recruitment process; however I’m sure all employers would want an individual who can build relationships quickly, is a good problem solver and is someone who has an appetite to develop and learn.

The CA is a fantastic qualification and it is worth investing your time to develop your skillset post university. It’s far from an easy qualification to gain, but that’s what makes it respected. It helps you develop your technical knowledge to transfer into the world of work as well as giving you a great opportunity to build your network. It doesn’t constrain you to a purely finance career, and provides many transferable skills. When opportunities present themselves, consider them thoroughly, but don’t be afraid of the unknown.

The qualification gives you a 'VIP Pass' to work with and for some of the brightest minds across multiple industries.

Lee Evans, Commercial Finance Manager, Qantas (Qantas Loyalty)

Claire Monaghan CA, RSM

I am a corporate audit partner in RSM’s Edinburgh office.  As audit partner it is my responsibility to ensure that my clients’ financial statements present a true and fair view of the results in the year and are subject to appropriate challenge.  I am responsible for the client relationship and regularly catch ups with my clients to ensure I keep up to date with what is going on with their business enabling me to support their changing business needs.

My client portfolio spans a number of sectors but I specialise in food and drink and professional services. By focusing on specific sectors, I can add value by being able to comment on specific sector issues and can share good practice while delivering tailored technical advice.

My role also involves a lot of business development and networking. I enjoy learning about new clients, building new relationships and identifying where I can provide support as their advisor. Edinburgh, as a small city, is excellent for networking with both clients and intermediaries. It’s always nice to go to events and engage with new and existing contacts.

I trained and qualified with RSM who supported me through my CA qualification and then through various promotions to partner through our own in-house development programmes. Getting my CA qualification was essential to a career in practice. The CA qualification provides good analytical skills and sound technical knowledge on which to build as standards change and/or develop. The CA qualification is recognised and respected worldwide.  People understand the work and commitment that is required to obtain the qualification and to maintain technical knowledge.

The CA qualification instils a good work ethic as real commitment is required to study for your qualification while also working full time. This work ethic has helped me maintain focus throughout my career.

Commitment is key.  The CA qualification is not easy but does offer considerable opportunities.  While I have stayed in practice a few friends have moved into a variety of jobs in industry – CA opens a lot of doors.

A CA career is about much more than debits and credits.  My role as trusted advisor secures a ringside seat to a number of businesses at different stages in their lifecycle.  No two days are ever the same.

The CA qualification is recognised and respected worldwide.

Claire Monaghan, Partner, RSM UK Audit LLP

Peter Ferguson CA, UK Green Investment Bank Limited

I work for the UK Green Investment Bank as their Senior Compliance Manager. GIB was the world’s first green bank and our role is to invest capital into renewable energy projects in the UK with a specific focus on the offshore wind, waste and energy efficiency sectors. My role is to ensure GIB has a robust and effective compliance framework and I advise the business on relevant legislation, identify and monitoring compliance risks, manage financial crime due diligence and ensure GIB is in compliance with its policies and procedures. The role is wide ranging and to be successful I need to be embedded in the organisation and maintain excellent relationships to ensure I am involved early in all projects and transactions. Prior to this I worked at PwC within their Assurance practice is Edinburgh, leading a number of audits across a range of Financial Services clients.

Studying for the CA qualification is tough and I had to work harder than ever before to get my qualification. The biggest impact, aside from the invaluable technical and financial training, was that I quickly learned the importance of having a strong work ethic which has given me the drive to continually challenge myself, has allowed me to progress quickly at PwC and ultimately opened up the opportunity to move to GIB.

The ICAS community is global and by taking advantage of being a member gives you access to an incredible network of successful CA’s. There are also so many opportunities to give something back and I now mentor for the ICAS Foundation where I support a university student through his accountancy degree which allows me to share some of my insights and provide support him whenever he needs it.

There is no doubt it helped when I was joining GIB. I was moving to a new sector to take up a role in Compliance but with the CA qualification behind me I could demonstrate that my skills were flexible and that I could adapt to the challenge. I’ve also been able to use my CA experience to work across a number of other areas and projects within GIB which demonstrates how flexible the qualification can be.

When people tell you that being a CA gives you the opportunity to do whatever you want they are telling the truth. My advice is to get the qualification and try as many new roles and challenges as you can until you find the role that is best for you. There is no set path for a CA but there is a no doubt that having the letters on your CV gives you an advantage in your career.

When people tell you that being a CA gives you the opportunity to do whatever you want they are telling the truth.

Peter Ferguson, Senior Compliance Manager, UK Green Investment Bank Limited

Ed Brewerton CA, Apache Canada

I am currently the Manager of Finance and Accounting at Apache Canada Ltd. It's an incredibly diverse role and no two days are the same. I have a very talented team of eight accountants to assist me with meeting the Canadian finance department goals and objectives such as; analysis of recent business performance against forecast and timely and accurate internal and external filings.

I was lucky to be hired by a Big Four firm and went through the CA training program with them. From there, the CA qualification has helped me secure each new job. I was granted a transfer to Canada and the associated work-visa shortly after learning I passed my TPE exam. After working in public practice there, I was recruited to work for a subsidiary of ExxonMobil. I then moved to my currently role - both of those job descriptions stated that the CA qualification was a must-have.

I am very proud to be a CA, it is a profession that lives long in my family. When I came to Canada, I quickly found that those two letters were more widely recognised than quite typical job titles.

The CA qualification has undoubtedly helped me experience things on a personal and professional level that I could not have imagined when I started out my career. The opportunities are endless if you are prepared to work and take advantage of them. The qualification gives you a 'VIP Pass' to work with and for some of the brightest minds across multiple industries.

The qualification gives you a 'VIP Pass' to work with and for some of the brightest minds across multiple industries.

Ed Brewerton, Manager of Finance and Accounting, Apache Canada

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