Natalya Kane

What advice and tips would you give a member who is deciding on their first role in industry?

-    I found it very useful before I left KPMG to discuss my career path with my manager who I had worked with directly for a number of years. I would recommend talking with the institute and your peers as well as your manager as they will be able to help you identify your strengths & weaknesses.

-    Think about what area of accounting you enjoyed/ did not enjoy studying or what type of tasks you liked most during your training as this will give you an indication of the type of role that will suit you. For me I knew I liked interacting with people on a day to day basis and providing information that could be used to improve operations & performance and so my first role was in management accounting.

-    I think it’s important to have a list of potential industries which you have an interest in. What do you enjoy outside of work; do you have any hobbies or interests that could be combined with your qualification? Finding a role in an industry/ sector you have a genuine interest in will make the role!

-    Think about the size of the company you want to work for, your role, your growth & the requirements in the job will vary depending on the company size.

What have you enjoyed most about your role in industry?

-    I am now working in a sector that I love and this makes the role really enjoyable because the results of my work are very interesting to me. What I like most about my role is the variety of the tasks and projects which I am involved in. Day to day my tasks change from finance orientated tasks, to financial reporting and management accounting, to strategic analysis, but I also get to complete tasks, the results of which have a real impact on the business from price reviews, tenders for potential clients, to cost reviews, and supplier negotiations. Providing and acting on information which improves and drives the business is very rewarding.

What have been the biggest challenges for you in terms of adapting to an industry role?

-    I found during my training that there was always a very clear requirement of tasks/ audit tests which needed to be complete for a file. In business I found that it was down to me to think about the most effective way to present information and get the desired results by working directly with the user to gain an understanding of what their information requirements were.  Whilst challenging, there was also more flexibility to present information in a number of different ways or introduce new tools to assist the business to make informed and positive decisions.

-    Being so close to the profit and loss accounts and producing management accounts wasn't something which I would have had previous experience in and this was challenging at the beginning. However being in this position allows you to fully understand how the business works and what impact certain decisions have on the bottom line which is very interesting.

How has being a Chartered Accountant benefited you in your role?

-    I found the FAE and the diversity of the subjects studied so beneficial to my current role which combines not only finance & accounting but strategy, marketing & HR. Having studied these subjects I feel more confident being involved in all of these areas.

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