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Monique Malcolm-Hay

Monique's route to chartered accountancy has taken her to PwC Dubai. She is an advocate of equality, diversity and inclusion in accountancy and has done incredible work to support these values. She is also a co-founder of New Gen Accountants, a community of accountants who support those looking for a career in finance.

Monique Malcolm Hay

Monique Malcolm-Hay Business Restructuring Services Senior Consultant, PwC

ICAEW route: Graduate

Industry: Insolvency

Location: Dubai

Monique's story...

Why did you choose the ACA over other accounting qualifications?

I chose the ACA because ICAEW’s success and prestige matches my ambitions. I researched the market and ICAEW was an obvious choice with the high proportion of FTSE 100 companies having ICAEW members at board level. Therefore I was excited about where the ACA would take me in my career

Tell us about your career journey and what you do day to day in your role.

I started on a graduate scheme where I moved between different departments and learnt a huge amount about business, myself and what I wanted to do. I am now a senior consultant in Business Recovery, helping organisations get out of financial trouble and reducing the impact when they can’t. I feel trusted to work on major projects like the largest trading insolvency in UK history..

Who inspired you to become a chartered accountant?

I was inspired by a PwC Senior Manager whilst studying abroad at the University of Florida. I could see how passionate he was about a career in accountancy, about what it meant to him and how his ambitions were being exceeded by the opportunities. I am so glad I met him as I feel the same way and seek opportunities to try to inspire others to the same career as I chose through a non-profit organisation I started named, New Gen Accountants.

Chartered accountancy is more than you'd imagine. How does you career support this?

The knowledge, skills and experiences I have gained have enabled me to do voluntary work, adding value to the school where I am a Governor and several small charities. One of the most exciting things in the world today is in emerging technologies and being at PwC means I am at the leading edge of how technologies disrupt and solve today's and tomorrow's problems.

Do you think there is such a thing as a stereotypical accountant?

When I was at university, I must confess that I believed the accountant stereotype and to be honest, very occasionally I meet one.

However, I work alongside people from many different backgrounds and nationalities with a wide variety of interests and passions and I cannot think of anyone that 'fits' the stereotype of an accountant.

The profession where the stereotype was born does not really exist today and I am very proud to be an ICAEW Chartered Accountant. It would take me too long to explain the variety of roles and tasks that a chartered accountant does that are outside of the stereotype!

What was the transition like moving from UK to Dubai? Can you talk us through any opportunities and challenges you’ve faced?

Living away from family and friends has been the main challenge, however due to the global connectivity which exists as a result of technology, it’s been easy to keep in touch with everyone back home. Also, given that the population in the UAE is 89% expats, it’s been quite easy to make new friends too.

Since moving to Dubai, I’ve had the opportunity to implement new processes within government organisations and learn about different cultures whilst working with people from a range of countries such as Russia, Argentina, Lebanon and many more.

What do you love the most about what you do?

I love that I can work on challenging projects which allow me to solve complex problems and also connect two of my passions at work; learning about other cultures and making a positive social impact. Accountancy is a global profession which means that there is an opportunity to work with people around the world. I have also been able to use my accounting knowledge to advise and support public sector organisations and charities.