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My ACA experience: Nicholas

Since qualifying as an ICAEW Chartered Accountant, Nicholas has helped to freeze a terrorist bank account, investigated insurance claims following a volcanic eruption and travelled to Afghanistan to investigate corruption. Working as a forensic accountant requires attention to detail and total accuracy, he says, but offers some really exciting challenges.

Nicholas Parton

Nicholas Parton Manager, Ernst & Young (EY)

ICAEW route: Finance degree

Industry: Forensic accounting

Location: UK, London

Nicholas's story...

Following the successful completion of a degree in Business Management at the University of Leeds, I decided to pursue a career in forensic accounting and become a chartered accountant.

I am now a fully-qualified ICAEW Chartered Accountant and I managed cases in the financial investigations team at Kroll Advisory Solutions before I joined EY. 

Forensic accountants work closely with legal executives on cases involving fraud, money laundering or even celebrity divorce cases. Forensic accountants are trained to look beyond the numbers and combine accounting, information technology, investigation and problem-solving skills.

All of the work we do in forensics could end up in court, so it is essential that everything is 100% accurate and conceptually well founded. Attention to detail and an inquisitive mind are essential qualities needed to succeed as a forensic accountant. 

Forensic accounting can be challenging at times. I have enjoyed working on a range of interesting cases - from drug lords laundering money in South America to insurance claims following damage caused by volcanic eruptions - where we were asked to value the impact. 

 One exciting case involved going to Afghanistan to investigate an alleged instance of corruption and misappropriation of £35m of tax payers’ money.

Another highlight has been the identification of shipping documents proving the sale of goods from a weapons manufacturer in China and delivery to Iran, as well as a terrorist bank account which was frozen immediately. It’s not fighting on the front line, but I feel like I’ve helped to do my bit. 

It’s exposure to this incredible range of cases that keeps me interested in the field of accounting and I wouldn’t have had these opportunities if it weren’t for my ACA qualification.

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There are a number of different routes to becoming an ICAEW Chartered Accountant. You can start your journey straight from school, while you're at university or after you have graduated. Find out which route is right for you.

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