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World’s fastest accountant targets summer of success

Author: ICAEW Insights

Published: 16 Apr 2024

Eugene Amo-Dadzie
Eugene Amo-Dadzie shares his career story at the New Members’ Ceremony, highlighting the diversity and dynamism of the profession.

Elite-level sprinter Eugene Amo-Dadzie is calculating his way to a gold at this summer’s Paris Olympics after starting to run competitively just six years ago. By day though, he is a Senior Management Accountant at St George, a subsidiary of Berkeley Group.

Welcoming new ICAEW members at Chartered Accountants’ Hall at this month’s New Members Ceremony, Amo-Dadzie recalled the trade-offs he made and discipline he needed to pass all 15 ACA exams. He achieved this goal in 2018, the year he also decided to launch his sprinting career.

Amo-Dadzie, dubbed the world’s fastest accountant, grew up in East London in a West African household. His parents came to Britain from Ghana in the 1980s and gave him career options in the professions: he could be a doctor, lawyer, engineer or accountant.

“Because I liked numbers I went for the accountancy route,” he told members and their families as the keynote speaker at the event at ICAEW’s headquarters in London.

When he took up running again in 2018 – he had run as a child but didn’t pursue it – Amo-Dadzie said he had no grand plan to run for Great Britain, but it was a passion he wanted to follow.

He made a belated breakthrough last summer at the age of 31, breaking through the 10-second barrier for 100m for the first time, before qualifying for his first World Athletics Championships.

Last year, after taking annual leave from his accountancy job, he ran a time of 9.93 seconds at the World Athletics Continental Tour in Graz, Austria, becoming the joint fourth-fastest Briton in history.

Such is his success, in March he signed a sponsorship contract with Nike ahead of this summer’s Paris Olympics. Nike announced the deal with the tagline ‘From 9-5 to 9.9’, referring to his day job and 100m race time.

Amo-Dadzie’s career as an athlete and ACA highlights the diversity and dynamism in the profession. Chartered accountants are united by the drive and dedication needed to pass the ACA, but often have a wide range of interests that complement their work with clients or colleagues.

“I couldn’t have foreseen where the qualification has taken me, but I love the duality of the two scenes. There is a massive amount of prestige attached to the ACA qualification,” he says.

As he told delegates at the event: “Those three letters – ACA – command respect and earning power. So don’t let yourself be undersold.”

Inspiring others with his story, he asked members what they would do with their new qualifications. He implored them to consider their opportunities and demonstrate that chartered accountancy is an exciting profession to join.

“The biggest thing about my story is that I’m just an ordinary civilian. Accountants have this rap for being boring, but I know that there’s something about chartered accountants. They have something else. I’m proof of that. It’s a platform to excel in other areas.”

Amo-Dadzie, who is also a father and chair of governors at his local school, is working hard to debunk any perceptions of accountants as one-dimensional. ICAEW will be following his journey to qualify for the Paris Olympics this summer, and Amo-Dadzie will be speaking at a range of ICAEW events over the next 12 months, including a Black Members Community event in April. 

He finished his speech by saying: “We all have access to the biggest room in the world – the room for improvement. Let the fact that you’ve done the hard graft – that you’ve got the qualification – be that foundation to push off from. You owe it to yourself.”

Black Members Community

Committed to promoting Black talent, this Community will inspire, inform and develop our existing Black members and students throughout their career. Membership is free and open to everyone including non-ICAEW members.

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