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Angela qualified with Arthur Andersen in 1998 and then spent 20 years working in industry across various sectors including advertising and PR, legal services, banking, healthcare and recruitment. In 2018 she moved back into practice.
Angela Appiah Shippey

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50

Director, Global Business Services & Outsourcing

BDO UK LLP

What inspired you to become an ICAEW Chartered Accountant?

I always wanted to be an accountant when I was at school because I was good at maths, but when I applied to The Big 6 I was inspired by the excellent all-round business training we received.

Thinking about specific people or experiences, what helped you to get to where you are today and how?

Treating everything I do as a learning experience has helped me. I believe that learning from mistakes drives continuous improvement.

What actions can we all take to become workplace allies and what does this mean to you?

Make time to talk to people to fully understand what drives them. We are all different and to leverage this diversity of thought we need to make a conscious effort to understand our differences.

One of ICAEW’s strategic themes is ‘strengthening the profession by attracting talent and building diversity’. Why do you think this is important?

Without diversity, you risk getting into a cycle of groupthink which can hinder the growth and success of a business. Decisions within this environment are based on narrow spheres of reference which is limiting.

I would like soft skills to have as much kudos as technical skills, and I can see a shift happening already

How do you think the profession is becoming more diverse?

The profession is becoming more diverse because we are calling out diversity imbalances more frequently. I think there is arguably still work to be done.

What would you like to see more of in the future of accountancy?

I would like soft skills to have as much kudos as technical skills, and I can see a shift happening already. I would also like us to move away from this outdated perception of what an accountant ‘should’ be like because we come in all shapes and sizes, and there is room for us all in this industry.

What one piece of advice would you give to someone thinking of joining the profession? 

Do it. It is a wonderful profession, and I am so proud to be a member of ICAEW.

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