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My ACA experience: Zoe

After completing the ACA qualification at Deloitte and working in tax, Zoe decided to move into industry and followed her passion for fashion. She is now Chief Growth Officer at Vivobarefoot, where she is helping to drive the next stage of their sustainability efforts.

Zoe Wong, head of finance at Depop

Zoe Wong Chief Growth Officer, Vivobarefoot

ICAEW route: Finance degree

Industry: Fashion

Location: Shoreditch, London

Zoe's story...

I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do after university. I knew it would be something related to business and finance, so I figured that accountancy would serve me well for most careers within that field.

I took a gap year before university with Deloitte and worked for them for six months in Audit, and throughout my summers at university. It was a really great introduction to working in the corporate world and I went back to work for them in Tax Consulting once I graduated.

On a typical working day I’ll sit down with business stakeholders to talk through recent spend, or to input into any ongoing projects which will affect finance. 

Once a day, I’ll approve payments for suppliers or expenses and assess our ongoing cash forecast. I’ll also deal with any compliance matters, whether it’s negotiating the renewal of our contracts or filing quarterly VAT returns.

I stayed at Deloitte for a year, before moving into industry and becoming the Finance Manager for the Online Clothing arm at Tesco. I then moved into the Tesco Clothing Franchise business, managing finance as we expanded the business internationally.

I left Tesco to work at a start-up app called Depop, where I have been growing the finance function and helping the business to scale up and grow.

I love working in a areas which I’m passionate about – fashion and ecommerce.

The business stakeholders I support deal with a fair few celebrities and events, so budgeting and forecasting is much more interesting.

All the areas that I’ve worked in have been young, high-growth areas and I’ve really enjoyed seeing the businesses develop and expand internationally. It’s always a personal achievement to see your business growing year on year and it being reported in the press. 

The ACA gives a really broad foundation for anyone wanting to work in business. There have been times when I’ve drawn from my knowledge of the other subjects, like law, to help me solve things at work.

I’m not sure where I’ll be in five years, but I’ve really enjoyed working for a smaller company, so I imagine I’ll either be running the finance operation for a mid-size company, or maybe even starting my own business.

The biggest challenge in my career so far was probably moving out of Tax Consulting and into industry.

I feel like there is a big difference between professional services and working in industry which takes some getting used it. It can also be difficult to find the right fit for you.

Find your route

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