Profile Suzy Kerton CA being a CA will open doors for you

Suzy Kerson with Baker TIlley Argentina

Suzy Kerton CA is CFO of Clear Books, specialists in on-line accounting software for small businesses. She qualified as a CA in 2012 while working with Baker Tilly.

She was highly commended in last year’s One Young CA competition and was the youngest in FD Magazine’s 35 under 35 list.

She’s taken a few minutes to offer some advice to people studying to become CAs.

Suzy Kerson CA

Networking is really important

You never know how life will change and how the people you meet will turn out to be an important contact to you.

I made good business connections while I was working in audit at Baker Tilly. It’s really good to maintain the relationships you build when you’re studying. Looking back, I see how important it is to build those relationships in your business life.

Have confidence in yourself and your qualification

When my boss approached me about the role of CFO at Clear Books, I had never done anything like that before. But I took Richard Branson’s advice. He once said: “If someone offers you an amazing opportunity and you’re not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later.”

Be confident in your ability and believe in yourself.

This is exactly what I did when I took the role as CFO at Clear Books. Be confident in your ability and believe in yourself. If an opportunity arises, have the confidence to step out of your comfort zone and know that you’ll be able to do it.

The CA qualification covers so many aspects of that business and finance that you should have confidence that you have the skills to be able to do the more challenging roles.

Your options will be unlimited

Don’t think you have to stay in a traditional career – eventually there will be other opportunities not just in audit or accounting. Going into an industry can be so eye-opening, there are so many routes.

Be worthy of the CA label

I’m mentoring a younger colleague at Clear Books. I try to motivate him more and explain how it was for me - that becoming an accountant is such an important job. Accountants have to be trustworthy people in society and we have to live up to that reputation.

I urge my colleague to be motivated to do a good job all the time and to have a strong work ethic. I learned from ICAS that it’s important to always be your best and to have a work ethic. When you’re studying, you have to study all the time to pass. It’s now really ingrained in me, so I expect high standards of others.

The hard work will pay off

My message for trainee CAs is to keep studying and doing well. I’ve only had benefit from being a CA. It has got me to do all the things I wanted like, for example, going on secondment to Argentina. It was such a fantastic opportunity I would never have had if without being qualified and working for Baker Tilly.

So, I would say take advantage of the opportunities that come your way. You never know what it will lead to – if there’s an event, then go and network with people. Always try to do that.

Suzy is a keen sportswoman and has completed several events for charity. She’s doing a 2.5km swimathon for Sport Relief so would appreciate some sponsorship support.

Suzy is talking at an ICAS event called Inspiring a Generation: Values into Action, which is in London next month.


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