Background: BA Hons Accountancy and Finance from University of Strathclyde and CA Professional Training at RSM UK. Currently RSM UK Audit Director (Glasgow)
Role: ICAS Foundation Trustee and Mentor
Thinking Point: "CAs should be proud of the ICAS Foundation - it is so important that we support its work at whatever point we are at in our careers."
I grew up on the south side of Glasgow. Achieving good grades at school, my teachers encouraged me to think about my future. I was the first in my family to study at university, and I went to the University of Strathclyde Business School as it was both local and had an excellent reputation. I joined RSM UK as an Audit CA Trainee in 2008, and I am now Audit Director in the Glasgow office. We have a diverse portfolio of clients and my role is fast paced, challenging and always interesting - I am lucky to have found the right firm where I can grow and develop.
After qualifying, I wanted to help others by sharing my skills and knowledge, so I volunteered with the ICAS Foundation as I felt an affinity with its work. I know I would have benefited from this type of support at university, particularly in understanding the importance of early relevant experience, but also navigating the incredibly difficult process of moving from university to a professional role. I now share what I have learned with the students I mentor, who benefit from my experience to make informed choices about their own careers. It is very rewarding to hear how they are progressing through their CA training, and through my mentoring, I gain a good understanding of the challenges new CA trainees in my Audit team may be facing.
In 2018, I was asked to join the ICAS Foundation Board of Trustees. All the Trustees are extremely qualified and experienced in their individual fields, and it is a privilege to work together and focus first and foremost on how best we can ensure that every Foundation student succeeds in their university studies, no matter their individual circumstances. My role as a Trustee has helped me learn how I can more effectively support my Audit clients at RSM, and I have also benefited from the shared experience of my fellow Trustees.
For me, the ICAS Foundation represents equal opportunities and fairness. Whatever challenges a student may face early in life, the Foundation’s support can help a student overcome barriers and find a more equal footing in our sector. My experience is that ICAS Foundation students are hardworking, eager to learn and so appreciative of the opportunity they have – many of them are the unique talent that accountancy firms are desperate to recruit.
I believe every CA can make a massive contribution to the future of the profession, whether through a monthly donation to the Foundation or by volunteering as a mentor. I would encourage all CAs to support the ICAS Foundation and discover the positive impact you can have on the lives of their students.
ICAS Foundation Alumni Amy Mellis and Ryan McVey were mentored by Chris Docherty CA while at university. You can read their stories in the Meet Our Students section.
You can support the work of the ICAS Foundation by donating, volunteering to mentor a student or providing an internship or work placement. You can also contact us to discuss a specific area where you would like to help.