James Wilson - Advice to my younger self

James Wilson - Commercial Finance Analyst, McCann Central... What advice would you give to your younger PQ self?

1) What attracted you to your industry?

The job was perfect for the next stage of my development as an accountant and this is what attracted me, I suppose the industry was second to that. Once I found out more about the company and the industry though it definitely heightened my interest.

2) Did you realise that opportunities of this nature were available?

I have done quite a lot of research into different industries but the finance opportunities are in so many varied areas that you quickly realise that you shouldn't pigeon hole yourself to particular industries.

3) In what ways does the nature of the industry affect the accounting work you undertake?

Most accountancy training is centred on manufacturing industries so working in a services industry does change the way you sometimes need to interpret things you have learnt.

4) What insights does your post give you to the more attractive elements of the industry?

Business partnering several of the divisions in the agency gives me some insight into the type of work the business does and sometimes an early look at the creative been produced for our clients.

5) How much operational involvement do you get in the business?

I am the finance contact for my divisions a  large part of my role is ensuring that all teams meet their revenue targets while still following revenue recognition rules we must adhere to.

6) How much impact can you have upon the strategic development of the business?

I am involved in the continuous development and monthly preparation of a management information deck that gets circulated at board level and helps assist in their strategic decision making.

7) How would you compare your current industry to others you have worked in – is it more engaging?

Having come from the construction industry I have found this more engaging but this has been partly due to difference in job roles. My previous roles were in a large scale shared service centre which is a lot different from working in front end business, so this probably skewed the comparison.

8) What piece advice would you give to yourself when you were training as a PQ accountant?

I am currently training as a PQ accountant at the moment but I think the best piece of advice I would give is to realise that it is a big undertaking and carefully plan your work-life-study balance as it does take up a lot of your time.

9) What is your next career step?

Hopefully progress to the next level at work (CFM) and to finish my ACCA qualification.


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