When Determination and Desire meet – an ACCA Member Success Story

Zaheera Mahomed qualified as a Member of ACCA in January 2017 – in Just under four years. Zaheera not only worked through the course modules, but held down full time employment at a multi-national. We asked Zaheera to share some of her insights and guidance below:

What is your current job title, can you tell us a bit about what you do?

Acting Head of Finance – South & Southern Africa.

Why did you choose to follow a career in accounting?

I was keen to understand how businesses make money and operate. I am a detailed person, finance was the better career option suiting my skills.

What is it about the world of finance that attracted you to it?

The influence that finance has on a business especially in terms of helping deliver business strategy. Using the numbers to tell a story and provide insight into business decisions – past, present and future, resonated with me.

Why did you choose ACCA?

The ability to link my passion for reporting and planning together with fueling my commercial enthusiasm.

How did you find out about the qualification?

Research and discussions with professional peers as I wanted to find the balance between finance and business and not just controls and reporting.

Did you self-study or did you study through a learning provider?

Self study.

Were you working full time?

Yes, working full time with a large portfolio of responsibility.

How long did it take you to complete all your ACCA exams?

It took me 4 years to complete. I received exemptions for 7 of the foundation subjects. So I had to complete 2 foundation and 5 professional level subjects.

What kept you motivated and pushing on?

I wanted a globally recognised qualification and ACCA met my requirements to have the best of both worlds in terms of content (finance plus entrepreneurial components) so my excitement to have found this, fueled my determination and desire to just go for it!

Do you have any study tips for ACCA students, what resources did you utilise to prepare for exams?

I used BPP study material. My advice is to really want it, stay disciplined, dedicated and focused on the end goal because at the end, becoming an ACCA Member is simply fantastic.

Those 4 letters elevate how people respond to you and it also comes with a sense of confidence to allow you to tackle the professional environment head on. This qualification engages you to understand business in a complete context not just the financial aspects.

Where do you see your ACCA membership taking your career in the future?

Since the qualification is globally recognised, I am currently working for an incredible multi national and cementing my experience as a Head of Finance for the biggest market in my region. These things together will be my platform to pursue international opportunities.

What is your dream job?

To work with the CEO in formulating strategy and being involved with the delivery. I want to be a board member and I am currently looking for Non-Executive Director roles to begin this journey.

Entrepreneurship-a greener pasture for young people

Younger people naturally have a longer lifespan to spare, they have enough time to nature and pursue they passion, goals, and ambitions. The path of entrepreneurship is a “greener” one, it is quite contrary to looking for someone to employ you, and it grants you full control of your career. Through entrepreneurship young people can determine their own success.

Although it is quite tricky for young people to get their foot in their ideal career paths, the widened out financial aid of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SME) allows them to action their business ideas.

The global drive for economic recovery has placed a huge focus on supporting SMEs as a vehicle for job creation, economic stability and wealth creation. With globalisation creating internationally dispersed supply chains that benefit from easier and more cost effective logistics, and equally easier and more cost effective communications, ensuring that SMEs make the most of these opportunities is a promising area for policymakers to pursue.

The ACCA Global Forum for SMEs has been considering issues within SMEs for some time, in February 2014, the forum cited supply chain finance as one of the most promising tools for financing small businesses around the world, and noted the potential for further innovation in the sector.

According to SME’s, the main reasons for business failure are often cash flow related. Businesses of different magnitudes all need financial stability to operate sustainably.

Why now?

There has been a significant rise in the funding marketplace, the platform where willing lenders meet willing borrowers to close funding has been significantly active. This is a great opportunity for young people to commence and build their own empires, even in economically critical times.