• Register
Return to: Home > Comments > Youth in accountancy series: Tom Tesfay

Youth in accountancy series: Tom Tesfay

To celebrate international youth day, The Accountant and International Accounting Bulletin asks professionals aged under 35 to share their thoughts on the profession: why they qualify as accountants, whether it was challenging and, now that they are in, how they see the profession and where it is going.


Tom Tesfay

Wilson Wright – member firm of DFK International


Generally, I believe that the profession is perceived highly by the public, and that accountants are well respected by business men and women. The ICAEW / ACCA (and other accountancy institutes) are world renowned and a well-respected authority on many key worldwide business related issues. Therefore, I considered the accountancy profession to be a solid career choice which could open the doors to other careers or jobs.

Even within the accountancy field itself there were so many options as to which way your career could go, for example going into; industry or practice, forensic accounting, management accounting, internal or external auditing, tax advice etc. Leaving University at 21 I knew I wanted to be in a finance role but I did not know necessarily which one. Completing the ACA qualification was a great way to enter the finance sector and understand the opportunities available.

It is a well-paid profession with progression. Looking at many of the CEO’s of the FTSE 100, you will note that many started with a career in finance or accountancy.

Unlike some industries such as media or fashion, I believe you can get far within the finance sector and more specifically accountancy without necessarily ‘knowing the right people’. I believe those who work hard and show a good attitude will progress well. Perception is important as although the adage of accountants being dull still floats around (but is less prevalent), I believe accountants are still considered highly within society.

At times balancing work vs life can be difficult, especially whilst completing exams. Much of your spare time and weekends are spent studying and revising for exams. Another difficulty is that there is a steep learning curve and a significant knowledge gap at the very early stages of being an accountant, because the field is so wide.

Managing client’s expectations and personalities can also be difficult at times especially earlier on in your career, when you may not be overly sure of your position.

I believe the institute could do more to promote the activities it undertakes to cater for prospective young accountants, as for many people the institute is basically just a membership fee. It can feel that the institute is very much exams orientated, without necessarily aiding on the intangible skills required to progress within the sector such as dealing with clients, networking etc.    

Generally I feel like the profession as a whole is on the cusp of some significant changes as technology continually advances. General compliance will become more and more automated and the role of accountants will likely differ in the minds of our clients. Some accountants may struggle with the changes; however the youngest and brightest will likely see this as an opportunity to imprint their personalities on the profession.

Top Content

    Nigeria: building compliance and engagement

    Opportunities created by regulatory and legislative changes in Nigeria are tempered by the fragile state of the economy, although practitioners are generally confident that conditions will improve over the next few years if appropriate steps are taken. Paul Golden reports.

    read more

    Ghana: a quest for consistency

    Ghana’s current economic profile would suggest a fertile landscape for purveyors of accounting services. But inconsistent approaches to compliance and application of standards – coupled with problems in the banking sector and consequent liquidity constraints – have created a challenging environment. Paul Golden writes.

    read more

    Drone technology: audit takes to the skies

    The movement towards a digitised era has already impacted the auditing profession in a number of ways, from blockchain to artificial intelligence. Now firms are taking to sky and using drone technology in their audits. Mishelle Thurai speaks to Big Four firms to find out more.

    read more

    SBC: a new alliance joins the market

    Jonathan Minter speaks to Paul Tutin, chair of founding firm Streets Chartered Accountants, about why the business and its European partners took the decision to launch their own association.

    read more
Privacy Policy

We have updated our privacy policy. In the latest update it explains what cookies are and how we use them on our site. To learn more about cookies and their benefits, please view our privacy policy. Please be aware that parts of this site will not function correctly if you disable cookies. By continuing to use this site, you consent to our use of cookies in accordance with our privacy policy unless you have disabled them.