I have been the CFO of Paxton Access – a manufacturer of door entry, access control and building intelligence solutions – since 2012. I have worked in finance for more than 30 years.

Like most companies in the world, the pandemic challenged us hugely, and significantly affected our sales in Q2, when we went into lockdown the first time. The finance team has been instrumental in helping the company manage the financial impact of this virus. As finance business partners, we’ve worked closely with the key stakeholders of the company to recut our budget and find savings to offset the lost sales.

Our results saw a recovery in Q3, but there is always the risk that the second wave of the virus could impact our performance. One of our key corporate objectives is to build financial resilience. We need to manage this risk and continue with our overall business strategy to deliver innovative products that now integrate Covid-19 solutions.

Accountants are effectively finance business partners who ultimately help to ensure informed business decisions are made for the success of companies. Our profession has changed enormously in the past two decades, and the modern accountant places equal importance on softs skills as well as technical expertise to add value to the business.

The modern accountant places equal importance on soft skills and technical expertise to add value to the business

Like ACCA, at Paxton we love breaking down the stereotype of a ‘typical’ accountant. Every future accountant has a responsibility to ensure that any financial engagement they have with staff is both fruitful and fun.

ACCA has always played, and continues to play, a big part in my working life. I passed the qualification in 2000. My success in every finance role I have done has been driven by ACCA and it has provided me with the expertise and mindset to make a positive contribution. My team studying for the ACCA Qualification are enjoying the same benefits. I have seen their professional confidence grow as they apply their technical learning to the workplace and help drive the financial health of Paxton.

In May this year, we achieved the highly sought-after status of ACCA approved employer – platinum. It was a very proud moment for us and reflects our commitment as a company to continue to develop successful ACCA-qualified accountants of the future.