Putting Lifelong Learning into practice.
Putting Lifelong Learning into practice.
Lachezar Maznev talks about qualifications and the learning curve in the Audit profession.
Who is Lachezar?
My KPMG journey started in 2015 right after I graduated university and had received my bachelor’s degree. As most recent graduates, I was not sure what particular job would suit me best or what was my calling back then so I relied heavily on feedback/recommendations from friends. Fortunately, I already had a few friends who were working for Big4 companies at the time. They were able to point out the advantages of working for such an organization. What tipped the scales for me was career and personal development, workplace culture and the diversity of the job. I went through the recruitment process while I was still in university, then I had the summer off and my professional career started on the first of September 2015 as a Junior Audit Assistant. Since then I have had significant exposure to different businesses and industries, which have helped me grow, develop and build sheer knowledge. Currently, I’m in my role of Senior Audit Assistant in the financial services group where focus is predominantly on clients providing financial services i.e. insurance companies, banks, pension companies, etc.
Why did you choose the Audit profession?
Audit is a dynamic and constantly changing profession, thus it requires the same from the individuals who are engaged in it. Constant learning is a must in order to be able to keep up with the pace of the job. In my humble opinion, the learning curve is the greatest in the first couple of years due to the immense knowledge gained during that period, which is both theoretical and technical. It could provide a phenomenal jump start to any career.
The opportunity to see how different companies operate and function across a variety of sectors gives a person insight and business acumen that cannot be substituted for anything. The possibilities to communicate with people responsible for the running of day-to-day operations of large clients give you the unique opportunity to see their point of view on the business, based on experience gathered for years. Moreover, no two clients are the same, even those operating in the same industry, and there is much to learn from each of them.
What education do you need to be good at what you do?
Solid background in accounting/finance is a necessity in order to boost confidence, especially in the first months. This foundation is then further developed and polished through trainings, additional qualifications and knowledge sharing between team members and colleagues.
Are any other qualifications necessary? What opportunities come out, when you achieve those qualifications?
Postgraduate qualification is an essential part of the auditor profession. Moreover, qualifications are necessary because they make you stand out and make your skills visible to others. In our region the most popular qualification in the accounting and finance field of work is ACCA. It gives you knowledge, which spans across different areas such as financial accounting, management accounting, financial management, corporate governance, performance management. These are all considered core areas in any business and, last but not least - ACCA provides worldwide recognition and access to international opportunities.
What were the most difficult moments through gaining your ACCA qualification?
Passing only a single ACCA exam is time-consuming, requires hard work and could put pressure and increase stress easily, especially when combined with a full-time job and willingness to have a social life. The most difficult moment through gaining my ACCA qualification was how to balance between these three areas. Achieving your goals requires strong commitment, focus, discipline and temporary sacrifices.
What are your lessons learned about yourself and the others after going through the АССА qualification?
If you put the work in, results will follow.
How did KPMG help you through the process?
KPMG has supported me through the entire process of obtaining my qualification and provided me with everything necessary, including financial support, paid leave for each exam, study materials, trainings and support with account administration.
So, is it worth the time and effort?
Without a doubt!
What advice would you give to someone wondering whether to start the ACCA journey?
ACCA helps you build knowledge, skills, analytical thinking, and improves judgement needed at the workplace. If you are ready to do the work, it is the only meaningful choice.
If you are interested to know more about the audit profession, read the interview with Tsvetan Vasilev.