AXA XL, a division of AXA, is a global property, casualty and specialty insurance and reinsurance company. In 1990, XL Group opened its first European office in Dublin. Following the acquisition of XL by AXA in 2018 and the formation of AXA XL, this is now the head office of the division’s APAC & Europe Business Unit.

My role as a financial accountant is quite varied. I primarily assist with the quarterly financial close of the Ireland branch and prepare financial statements for our Irish legal entities. My team also produces monthly management accounts for senior management, analysing performance and key variances, as well as several other tasks (budgeting, forecasting, etc).

Our goal is to spend less time compiling data and more time analysing data

The volume of business flowing through our Ireland branch is rapidly accelerating. One of the finance team’s challenges is to adequately deploy our resources to meet the expectations of our various stakeholders. Our reports are increasingly complex, and we work very hard to deliver these without compromising on quality.

Looking to the year ahead, one of our main priorities is to streamline our data processes. We have launched an initiative to simplify our processes and harmonise our reporting systems. Ultimately, our goal is to spend less time compiling data and more time analysing data, which is where we add the most value for the business and our stakeholders.

Climate change is a key challenge for society. The sector is now looking for ways to support its clients as they transform their businesses to become more sustainable. As part of that effort, AXA recently launched the AXA Climate Academy, an educational resource designed to increase awareness – among employees, risk professionals and decision-makers – of the risks posed by climate change. This is something that I personally find very informative.

Remote working can blur the line between work life and personal life

Studying for the ACCA exams while working full-time as an accountant was very challenging, requiring long days and personal sacrifices. But the benefits to my career have been incredibly rewarding and I would recommend the experience to anyone.

Since the pandemic we have seen the arrival of remote working, which can blur the line between work life and personal life. I believe it is increasingly important to set aside time for friends, family and other hobbies, and to fully disconnect from work whenever possible, in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle.