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Emma Meets: Lloyd Powell, Head of ACCA Cymru Wales from ACCA

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Emma Peterson,  Director FinTech Awards Wales & Finance Awards Wales Meets:

Lloyd Powell,

Head,

ACCA Cymru Wales. 

Continuing this new 11 part series of ‘Emma Meets', Emma Peterson, Director of Recruit 121 Finance & Accounting Solutions, finds out more about the sponsors of the up and coming Finance Awards Wales 2022. Finance Awards Wales is designed to recognise, attract and invest in the talented finance professionals working in Wales, showcasing the best of the best in the finance industry. In this edition, Emma meets Lloyd Powell, the Head of ACCA Cymru.

Tell me about yourself and career to date?

I’ve been with ACCA since 2016. Before joining ACCA I worked in the University sector, mainly focussing on building international and local partnerships – working with overseas partners and FE Colleges in Wales. I live in Cardiff with my three daughters who keep me busy and happy –  I describe my parenting role as a combination of Uber driver and cash machine).

In my role at ACCA I work with colleagues across the UK and with global teams to support our members and students in Wales, and working with our partners, Governments and other business organisations.

Can you give me an overview of your company and what you do?

ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) is the global professional body for professional accountants.

We’re a thriving global community of 233,000 members and 536,000 future members based in 178 countries and regions, who work across a wide range of sectors and industries. We uphold the highest professional and ethical values.

We offer everyone everywhere the opportunity to experience a rewarding career in accountancy, finance and management. Our qualifications and learning opportunities develop strategic business leaders, forward-thinking professionals with the financial, business and digital expertise essential for the creation of sustainable organisations and flourishing societies.

Since 1904, being a force for public good has been embedded in our purpose. In December 2020, we made commitments to the UN Sustainable Development Goals which we are measuring and will report on in our annual integrated report. We believe that accountancy is a cornerstone profession of society and is vital in helping economies, organisations and individuals to grow and prosper. It does this by creating robust trusted financial and business management, combating corruption, ensuring organisations are managed ethically, driving sustainability, and providing rewarding career opportunities.

And through our cutting-edge research, we lead the profession by answering today’s questions and preparing for the future. We’re a not-for-profit organisation. Find out more at accaglobal.com

What has been the biggest challenge the company has faced and how have you responded?

Continuing to support our members and students throughout the pandemic has been a challenge. This has included a range of digital support including practical advice and guidance, wellbeing support and continuing to run events, albeit digitally, to bring members together to discuss the challenges and opportunities and to support their career development. Many of our students also faced a wide range of challenges at work and home, and ensuring they are supported through their studies, and supporting their wellbeing, has been a key focus.

Working as part of a global organisation has been interesting and rewarding, and we have been able to work with colleagues across the world to share ideas about supporting members and students, and to learn new ways of doing things and build up new relationships.

All of this involves working with a wide range of partners, and I am proud of how we have worked collaboratively to support our community of members and students throughout what has been an immensely difficult time.

How do you feel the Welsh economy will fare over the next 12 months?

As everyone knows. the economy faces a number of significant challenges in recovering after covid and also all the growing cost pressures businesses are facing. Businesses are also facing challenges with attracting and retaining talent, and with the journey to net zero. By speaking to members and partners, we are able to gain insights into those pressures.

Hopefully, we will see further recovery during the next 12 months, albeit it’s likely to be more modest than had been predicted. To be slightly more positive, it’s important that we take the best bits of what we learned during the pandemic and apply that to take advantage of the opportunities – collaboration, innovation, flexibility, resilience and positivity.

What plans do you have for your business in 2022?

We’ll continue to support our members and students across Wales, and to work with businesses and partners across Wales to support the finance profession. With Governments, we’ll continue to emphasise the role that accountants and finance professionals play in supporting the businesses and organisations in which they work, in growing the overall economy, and the crucial role that they can play in developing sustainable organisations. Supporting training and skills development will be crucial to Wales’ long term recovery.

We’ll also continue to promote accounting and finance as a great sector to work in: one that is accessible, flexible, offers opportunities in all sectors of the economy and helps to build a stronger economy and society. People have preconceptions about what accountants do, and we’ll continue to try and bust those myths!

Finally, we’ll support members and organisations to better understand the crucial role that accountants and finance professionals can play in building financially and environmentally sustainable organisations.

Why did you choose to sponsor the Finance Awards Wales 2022?

It’s a high profile event and brings together people from all parts of the finance community to celebrate the role that finance professionals play in supporting businesses and organisations in all sectors of the economy. It’s a great opportunity to network, to celebrate the sector and to continue raise ACCA’s profile as

If you have sponsored the awards previously what were your highlights from last year’s ceremony?

Hopefully I’ll be able to attend the awards ceremony in person this year, as I missed it in 2021 due to one of my kids having covid….

Despite not being able to attend on the night, we had great feedback from everyone who attended and it’s such a great opportunity to meet friends and colleagues and to celebrate the fantastic work being achieved by individuals and teams across the entire finance sector.