ACA urges young Bermudians to take advantage of accounting
Sydney Neal ACA is encouraging young Bermudians to follow her into accounting.
She has just qualified herself, but she is already well-versed with the wide range of opportunities open to her. She has heard an earful of it from her family.
Sydney graduated from Warwick Academy, where she completed the IB programme, then went on to graduate in 2017 from business school at a Canadian university in Montreal and then entered the KPMG UK (London Office) graduate programme in 2018.
On the island visiting family for the holidays, she said: “I decided to pursue the ACA ICAEW [Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales] professional qualification after graduating from McGill University Desautels Business School because I did not have a particular career path in mind.”
The ICAEW chartered accountant qualification, the ACA, is one of the most advanced learning and professional development programmes available.
ACAs are always in demand and the qualification equips students to perform at the highest levels of accountancy, business and finance. They are valued around the world in the private and the public sector.
Accountants are definitely valued in Bermuda. Even today there is a serious shortage of qualified Bermudian accountants.
“I had many different interests,” Sydney said, “and therefore was advised by friends and family members who were also ACAs that this was a great opportunity and launch pad to gain important business acumen and skills that would be highly transferable to any future career.
“I entered the KPMG London graduate programme in September 2018, and now, three years and 15 exams later, I am a qualified ACA.
“It was extremely challenging at times, especially trying to balance work and study, but now I believe there will be numerous professional opportunities available.
“I would highly recommend this programme to any Bermudian who is not only interested in accounting but broadening their skill set.”
Accountants are in high demand in the insurance industry but Sydney is not certain that would be the right fit for her.
She is not ruling anything out but said: “Whilst living in London I have developed a love for the restaurant and hospitality industry.
“I hope to combine this keen interest with my ACA, whether it be consulting, business development or private equity for restaurant groups based in London.
“In the longer term, I want to return home to Bermuda and apply my experience gained abroad to the local business community.”