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Meet the world’s fastest accountant

Author: ICAEW Insights

Published: 06 Jul 2023

A chartered accountant by trade, ICAEW member Eugene Amo-Dadzie leads a double life as an elite-level sprinter. Here he tells how he stunned the athletics scene with a sub-10-second 100m while also balancing the books.

In the world of track and field, records are constantly being broken, and history is made by extraordinary athletes who defy expectations. But what happens when you combine the lightning speed of a world-class sprinter with the meticulousness of a chartered accountant?

Meet Eugene Amo-Dadzie, who has achieved the outstanding feat of running a sub-10-second 100m and is an ICAEW Chartered Accountant. Amo-Dadzie ran 100m in 9.93 seconds at the World Athletics Continental Tour in Graz, Austria, on June 16, making him the fastest man in Europe. However, Team GB runner Zharnel Hughes took this title on 24 June, running a time of 9.83 seconds.

“Every sprinter prays for that day when they turn back to look at the clock and they see nine,” says Amo-Dadzie. “It was an unbelievable feeling. I just roared with pure emotion – it was a special moment for sure.”

That superb sprint wrote Amo-Dadzie’s name into the record books as the joint-sixth quickest time ever over 100m by a British male. It’s an incredible achievement, even more so for a 30-year-old sprinter who only started athletics at the age of 26.

His late entry into the world of athletics happened rather by chance. Having played a football match for his local church next to an athletics event, Amo-Dadzie, a fan of athletics, then watched the races with his best friend and saw the 100m winner clock in at 11.3 seconds.

His friend turned to him and said: “I reckon you could put a pair of spikes on and beat these guys, why don’t you try?” 

“I didn’t have an answer for him,” Amo-Dadzie remembers. “I just said, ‘You know what, yeah let’s give it a go.’” The rest, as they say, is history.

Running the numbers

When he’s not on the track, Amo-Dadzie is running through the spreadsheets as a senior management accountant for property developer St George plc, a subsidiary of The Berkeley Group. After studying finance, accounting and management at university, Amo-Dadzie went on to train as an accountant with ICAEW at a small firm called Shipleys LLP from 2015 to 2018.

“Growing up in a Ghanaian household, my parents expected me to become a doctor, lawyer, accountant, or engineer – something that required a qualification, so they were happy with me choosing accountancy.”

Amo-Dadzie believes there are a lot of transferable skills from accounting to athletics. “If I’ve got a problem at work, I very much approach it in the same way my coach highlights an issue with my technique that he needs me to fix,” he says. “I go away and look at old footage of training videos to work out where I can improve.

“With work if I come across something that I can’t quite figure out, potentially there’s someone else in the business or something else that’s been done previously that I can review.”

And clearly his speed on the track is something that follows through to his professional life. “One of the positive bits of feedback I’ve received from a finance director is that whenever they give me a task, I’m very quick to get it done. They know they can rely on me when there’s a bit of a tight deadline and they need something done fast. I’m living a fast lifestyle in my career and on the track,” he says.

Balancing accountancy and athletics

Dual passions certainly come with challenges, and when things have been busy in the accounting world, Amo-Dadzie has been known to open his laptop by the side of the track.

“As an accountant, you have your month ends and year ends. There have been times where, honestly, mid-session I’ll have to pull out my laptop or my phone to jump on a Teams call.”

Amo-Dadzie has an agreement with his employer where he can train on Tuesdays during the day and make up his hours, although sometimes work commitments mean that he must put athletics to one side to fulfil his work duties.

It can be tough balancing a full-time job and competing in a sport at an elite level. The key to his success is a great support network at both work and his family.

“It’s an individual sport in the sense that people just see me cross the line, but there’s a big support network really holding me down and making it possible for me to pursue this passion.”

Is this the finish line for your accountancy career?

After achieving a sub-10-second sprint, Amo-Dadzie is often asked if sprinting is something he’d like to do full time.

“For me, it’s really grounding after the whirlwind week I’ve just had to put on my suit, come into the office and open my spreadsheet. I feel like it gives me a sense of balance being able to have my accounting qualification, and not have to be 100% every moment on the track,” he replied.

Looking down the track, Amo-Dadzie has goals to elevate both his passions.

“I’m a chartered accountant and I can do that till I’m 80, 90, or even 100 years old. The athletics side of things has a much shorter pathway. We’ll take things one step at a time and, God willing, you’ll see me in Budapest in August at the World Championships representing Great Britain.

“Let’s continue to strive to be the best accountant and the best sprinter that I can be, otherwise I can’t keep calling myself the world’s fastest accountant can I?”

Working with numbers to reach the finish line of success

Meet Eugene Amo-Dadzie, who has achieved the outstanding feat of running a sub-10-second 100m and is an ICAEW Chartered Accountant. Don't miss out on this opportunity to learn from Eugene's experiences and chart your own path to fulfilment.

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