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Kristian has six years’ combined experience at EY and MFW. He will soon be joining IPG Mediabrands as a Senior Finance Analyst.
Kristian Valentine

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24

Audit and Accounts Senior

McCabe Ford Williams

What inspired you to become an ICAEW Chartered Accountant?

I wanted to gain a professional qualification and gain work experience straight from A levels without the need for university. The ACA is a globally recognised professional qualification that opens up opportunities in a variety of industries within the world of accounting and finance, and it was this that inspired me to become an ICAEW Chartered Accountant. 

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

I had someone who was three years above me at my school come back and give a presentation on how to take the route of a higher apprenticeship to become a chartered accountant. During my career I have also had mentors that have worked closely with me to ensure I pass my exams whilst working as an auditor.

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

Speak up and don’t be an observer. If you see behaviour or hear language that you don’t think is appropriate, say something and support the people affected. I feel more comfortable in my workspace knowing that I have support if I’m ever mistreated based on my race. We all contribute to an inclusive and diverse workspace.

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

Diversity is a key component to any organisation that wants creative thought and fresh ideas. People from a variety of backgrounds and cultures will each have their own approach to problem solving and ICAEW does well in focusing on this as a strategy. Diversity within the organisation will also demonstrate to those considering to be an ICAEW Chartered Accountant that anyone and everyone is welcome to gain a professional qualification of this level.

Speak up and don’t be an observer

How do you think the profession is becoming more diverse?

Many firms are focusing on school leaver programmes where students can join a professional firm without the need for a degree. This enables talent from all backgrounds to gain the ACA and ultimately contributes to a diverse organisation. This was the path that I took and it allowed me to become a member of ICAEW, without the need for a degree.

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

Continued work within the black members community. As a new ICAEW member from a Jamaican background, I am excited to share my experience with other black colleagues and learn how to continue to progress as a chartered accountant.

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

Be prepared to take all opportunities that come your way in your career – there will be a lot!

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