Practice, industry, practice – what a journey.
I began my new start six months ago, joining the AAB VFF team and stepping back into a practice environment. It’s been a shock to the system, but the world of practice is not entirely new to me. I started…
Blog15th Apr 2022
I began my new start six months ago, joining the AAB VFF team and stepping back into a practice environment. It’s been a shock to the system, but the world of practice is not entirely new to me.
I started my career as an auditor in a Big Four company, learning my “craft” as I went through all my ICAS exams to gain my CA qualification. I stayed there for nearly six years, and after a while began to ponder what the next move would be. I wasn’t a born auditor, and I had an urge for something new! For me, that was to move away from practice and do something different.
An opportunity arose in a small upstream oil and gas company and it seemed like the perfect next step. All my audit clients had been E&P companies, so it seemed sensible to move into an industry where all my knowledge lay. I stayed at the same company for nearly 12 years and had exposure to lots of different things as the company grew and changed. But again, I found myself in a position where I knew it was time for something new. By chance a shared contact put me in touch with the Virtual Finance Function (VFF) team at AAB and the rest is very recent history.
I have to admit that I never saw myself going back to practice, but VFF feels like the perfect fit for me. Fortuitously the VFF offering is able to combine the skills I learned in both my practice years and my years in industry. I have a great portfolio of E&P clients where I can use my experience from my time in industry to guide and advise finance teams through various projects, ranging from business combinations to ERP implementations, and lots in between. I’m also now involved in some renewable energy companies, which is great to expand my knowledge, while staying in my comfort zone of Energy accounting.
It’s great to be back in a practice environment where I’m surrounded by different experiences and expertise. I no longer have to scratch my head over an indirect tax query – I have a whole team of experts to consult on that!
Similarly, I have numerous team members within VFF to bounce ideas off. There is so much diverse knowledge in the team that I can tap into, it’s been really comforting to be able to grow my knowledge in different areas without the stress of scrambling around for answers on my own.
At this stage in my career getting back into practice also gives me some opportunities to provide some real growth opportunities for the department and company at large. Investing in the wider corporate strategies and really feeling part of a team that’s going to get us where we’re going. Often, in industry roles, progression within teams can be quite difficult, and to really get promotional opportunities you’ve got to hop around between companies. That’s not the case in AAB, as there’s always opportunities for growth for those looking to develop their role. To be honest I left practice thinking I’d likely never return, but so many years down the line I can see all the benefits and I’m really looking forward to playing my part in the future of VFF and AAB.
By Lucy Oddie, Virtual Finance Function Senior Manager.