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My ACA experience: Peter

While enjoying a finance career working across a wide variety of industries in Africa, Peter wanted to expand his career options globally and so decided to study the ACA. As well as providing him with an internationally recognised professional qualification, Peter says the ACA has also helped to strengthen his leadership and communication skills.

Peter Ndungu

Peter Ndungu Finance lead, East African Breweries Ltd

ICAEW route: Non-finance degree

Industry: Food

Location: Kenya

Peter's story...

I chose to study the ACA because I aspire to build an international, career so I wanted a qualification that is internationally recognised and respected. I was also looking for a programme that would stretch and improve my skills so the rigour and depth of the ACA appealed to me.

I am the finance lead for our ‘Route to Consumer’ project. On a normal day I tend to be reviewing or modelling commercial proposition for new sales initiatives, customer trade terms for economics and controls, in project management meetings or engaging with third-party partners.

At East African Breweries one of our leadership standards is ‘Growing Yourself’. As the ACA qualification helps to develop your capability and experience, I see myself as an ambassador for this leadership standard. I support those considering joining the programme to get clarity on how it can contribute to growing oneself. 

The Advanced Level modules of the ACA have also pushed the boundaries on my judgement. I have learned how to quickly review different sets of information, understand how much analysis is required, analyse and communicate observations and recommendations.Quite often, I have had to look beyond the obvious such as when diagnosing embedded ethical issues.

As a result of undertaking the ACA, I have grown in the way I communicate and influence senior leaders. The ACA emphasises the need to understand ones audience and tailor communication appropriately. 

Before the ACA I struggled with this, so it has helped me to adjust and be more effective in my leadership

Succeeding in a wide range of sectors and industries has been the highlight of my career. I have worked across finance operations, project and strategic finance and business support services. 

Working in a wide range of industries, such as oil and gas, telecommunications, food and consumer goods, as well as across sub-Saharan Africa has really enriched my career.

So far the most challenging part of my career has been managing and influencing a wide range of senior stakeholders. Specifically, flexing my leadership style or calling in a range of styles to influence different senior leaders across the organisation.

I strongly recommend the ACA to those who want to be leaders in accounting and finance. You will draw immense value from the technical knowledge and leadership development. The programme is rich in depth and breadth of coverage. 

To build faith in the profession, accountants require a combination of rigorous training, strong ethical framework, compliance and enforcement. These are all pillars that ICAEW aims to strengthen.

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