Well what can I say?
The past 48 hours have been a whirlwind of planes, trains, taxis, tube rides and awards.
When I got the call from Craig Vickery (Head of ACCA Scotland) to tell me that I had been awarded the ACCA UK Advocate of the year, I sat in my office and burst into tears. Apologising to Craig for crying on his shoulder (metaphorically) my staff came in to check I was okay as they had heard the cries (of joy) so I shared the news with them.
Sidenote: I was sworn to secrecy on the award so could only tell a few close people ahead of the event in London.
The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) have been a wonderful support to me – ever since I qualified in 1998 (sshh! Don’t mention my age thank you very much) and when I set up Faith Simpson Accountants twelve years ago they have championed and supported me every step of the way.
Considering my route to qualification was slightly different to the norm at that time. I was living in Guernsey post Uni life and was working in retail and tourism speaking french and selling silk ties – (no not “Del Boy” style!). I set up and managed Tie Rack for a local entrepreneur when it was at its peak. In our first year we outsold every Tie Rack in the UK. But keen for fame, fortune and a healthy bank account to support living in the Channel Islands, I went over to the dark side into the financial sector and started training with Deloittes. I would never have realised at the time this was the pivotal moment in my career that sent me on a totally different path to what I had envisioned.
Who’d have known back then that I would end up establishing my own practise in Scotland (Actually shout out to John Clacy Managing partner at Deloittes, Guernsey who said something like this when I left!) , opening three offices, winning business of the year for Scotland in both 2015 and 17 as well as being shortlisted as one of the top 7 female entrepreneurs in Scotland for 3 consecutive years.
So really where could I go from there?
Well apparently being given the accolade of UK Advocate of the year for the ACCA.
So what have the ACCA done for me? Apart from support and linking me up with other business bodies and professionals, they appointed me Vice Chair to the Scotland Committee where we discuss and frame the future of the ACCA in Scotland.
I am privileged enough to be part of an unbiased, inclusive and generous club that champion members and students alike. They encourage change, growth and development.
With a motto of “Thinking Ahead” and “Passport to the World” the association is at its most prominent time of its life.
This was evident on Friday night at the new members dinner at the Hilton on Park Lane, London when Helen Brand CEO of the ACCA, Robert Stenhouse VP and Claire Bennison, Head of ACCA UK all had the same thread throughout their speeches.
The ACCA are not trying to, they are actually shaking up the profession, changing exam content to be more inclusive, flexible and relevant, their methods and route to study are way more inclusive than ever before. As a result, this global institute are breaking down barriers to make a truly global qualification and family of like minded professionals.
I have a student, Iona working for me, who decided university was not the route for her, and she wanted to go into the world of work. Having shown a talent for accountancy Iona has jumped up the ranks at my company and is on the new ACCA route to qualification.
I could not be more proud. A future Advocate for the ACCA in the UK. Hell yes I think so!