In 2011 I was hired as an intern at Dun & Bradstreet in the UAE, before being offered a permanent role as a financial analyst. I led the development of risk management solutions while also being in charge of training and mentoring staff.
I moved to Ontario during the peak of the pandemic, which many people thought a reckless decision. However, I wanted to step outside my comfort zone. I left my job without the safety net of a new position. It was a scary move, but I was appointed by the Bereavement Authority of Ontario (BAO) in January 2021 to head its financial compliance unit, having gained my CPA and CGA qualifications in the autumn of 2020. For an adventure-seeker like me, an accountancy qualification is the passport to roam the globe. It is also a near recession-proof profession.
For an adventure-seeker like me, an accountancy qualification is the passport to roam the globe
I joined the not-for-profit world because our goal is to truly want to make a difference for the consumers. With the pandemic, the bereavement industry has seen an increase both in cremations and the sheer scale of death it has had to handle. I felt the bereavement industry needed professionals like me who have experience in large corporates and can change the way things are being done.
The BAO charges licensing fees, which are our only source of funding – we get no tax dollars. The BAO is a government-delegated authority administering the provision of funerals, directors, cemeteries, crematoriums and related businesses. My core focus is on annual licence renewal and compliance, data integrity and team management. I oversee the processing of annual reporting submissions of about 3,000 licensed operators.
I wanted to get involved in strategic management and consultancy. I feel that working for a traditional accounting firm wouldn’t have exposed me to such varied experiences in a short time span.
If I had the power, I would like to see teachers being paid on a par with high-paying jobs in other professions. This pay increase would increase teacher quality. I believe when teachers get paid more, students do better, which will result in a reduced rate of adult poverty and welfare payments.
I would also try to eliminate global inequality by opening the world’s borders. Countries would still issue passports, but people would be considered humans of the world, and after passing some background checks would be accepted at all ports of entry. That way anyone could take a job and contribute.
I enjoy my job as it allows me to communicate with people both inside and outside the organisation. It requires me to be proactive and keeps me thinking of new ways of improving processes.
I’m proud of my achievements. At Dun & Bradstreet, I was instrumental in setting up the domestic due diligence service in the UAE region. I also improved data quality, enabling SMEs to gain better access to credit, which I believe to be a cornerstone of economic growth.
If I weren’t in finance, I would have become a lawyer. The law is a sector where you have to like people and want to help them make their businesses and lives better.
In my spare time, camping and fishing give my mind a rest. I head to a nearby lake or river and spend time basking in the beauty of nature.