Magazine article Financial Management (UK)

Swot Analysis: Why Stop Studying Once You've Got an ACMA after Your Name? Ruth Prickett Hears from Members Who've Gained Other Professional Qualifications and Finds out What This Has Done for Their Careers

Magazine article Financial Management (UK)

Swot Analysis: Why Stop Studying Once You've Got an ACMA after Your Name? Ruth Prickett Hears from Members Who've Gained Other Professional Qualifications and Finds out What This Has Done for Their Careers

Article excerpt

DAVID CAFFERTY ACMA

Senior internal auditor, Zadco, United Arab Emirates.

Other qualification: member of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE).

I got into forensic accountancy when the organisation I was working for fell victim to fraud. The police didn't have the budget to bring in a forensic accountant, so they asked to use me instead. Two years later, my boss in that job, who'd moved to manpower audit with the police, got in touch and I found myself working as a forensic accountant.

I found that the only qualification in this area was with the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, based in Austin, Texas. I had to take a CD-based exam in four parts. At that time the organisation had about 15,000 members, mainly in the US, but it now has 37,000, about 600 of whom are in the UK. It runs regular courses and conferences in the US and Europe. I am now the training director for the association's UK chapter and I produce a programme of between five and eight events a year to help members keep up to date with their CPD requirements. This is vital, because the fraudsters are always one step ahead of us, although most of them don't know that people like us exist--until they meet us in court.

Joining the ACFE was hugely useful because it helped me to develop a network of contacts. If I couldn't deal with something, there was always someone else who could. On one memorable day, for example, I had a senior partner from each of the big four firms working for me free of charge. After that, my boss gave me total support and I had no problem getting my employer to pay my membership fees.

My work often involves crawling all over the books of firms to find out where a fraud is hidden, so you need to understand business processes. My ACFE qualification adds knowledge of criminal practice, relevant regulations and techniques such as interviewing. In one case the Fraud Squad was trying to catch a director who had evaded it three years earlier. I soon realised that a case I'd worked on for my CIMA exams was relevant because it had involved separate legal entities. I saw that the director had defrauded the separate legal entity of his own firm--something that the police had missed because they hadn't been trained in this area. So it was often a case of finding out what they knew, adding what I knew and filling in the gaps. I would also play the accused party so that the police could question me and I would find the best business argument with which to defend myself. This helped them to establish whether there was a criminal case to answer or whether someone's actions could be defended as normal business practice. It's important to remember that it's not always clear whether or not a fraud has been committed. There are lots of grey areas.

Anyone who is interested in this should also check out the Association of Certified Anti-Money-Laundering Specialists, based in Miami, Florida, which is a growing network of people involved in combating money-laundering.

SHIRLEY COOPER ACMA

Procurement and supply chain director at Computacenter.

Other qualifications: deputy chair elect of the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply (CIPS) management board; MBA.

I qualified with CIMA about 20 years ago and I took my MBA about four years later when I felt that I wasn't developing much in my job. I spent many years in purely financial roles in organisations including Tetley's Brewery and Yorkshire Water before Computacenter approached me about the role of UK finance director about seven years ago. But at the interview I was asked whether I'd consider becoming procurement director instead. It seems that there weren't enough qualified people working in procurement and the firm was struggling to find someone with the right background. There's been lots of change in this area since then.

I had no idea about procurement at the time, although I now know that a financial background is a solid basis for the CIPS qualification, because CIMA trains you to think commercially. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.