Head of ACCA Ireland
Liz Hughes studied at University College Dublin and graduated with a BA Hons in History and the Classics before completing a postgraduate diploma in Business Studies from the National University of Ireland Galway.
Liz has a diverse background working in IT, marketing and business development and took up her current position as head of ACCA Ireland three and a half years ago.
I normally have an early start as I am keen to make the most of the day ahead.
My first engagement is an ACCA Business Leaders Forum breakfast event in Dublin.
The forum is a great opportunity to engage with stakeholders and provides useful insight from high profile speakers who share best practice, knowledge and expertise.
Seven recently qualified accountants were also rewarded at the event for achieving first place in Ireland in ACCA’s professional qualifications which is testament to the high level of skilled young people that exist here.
I head back to the office and get straight down to business responding to emails, checking voicemails and making calls.
Normally, I spend some time reading through the daily newspapers and online news sites to keep on top of any changes in tax or legislation in addition to general news about the sector and industry.
At least once every month I have a conference call with my colleagues in Hong Kong, Pakistan and Bejing to share best practice and expertise.
We are currently working on a global project and use the forum to discuss new global growth strategies and address any issues facing national marketplaces.
Mid-morning, I review a research paper ‘Future pathways to finance leadership’ which I will present to a CFO Group later in the month.
This particular report outlines the skills and experiences that will be needed by the CFOs of the future.
I usually present research papers to different stakeholder groups every couple of months and on this occasion the research commissioned by ACCA and IMA (Institute of Management Accountants) will provide the opportunity to discuss the impact of how and where business is done and how the finance function operates.
12.30 – 1.00pm
Then it’s back to business as usual as I respond to emails from colleagues and have a call with one of the management team to provide advice on budgetary control in relation to another ACCA project that they are currently working on.
Normally I just have a quick lunch at my desk as my schedule is pretty busy however today I meet one of ACCA’s members for lunch.
I meet with members on a regular basis to get their feedback on the issues that are affecting the profession and also discuss some of the new products and services that ACCA provide.
This type of interaction is invaluable in ensuring that we are meeting our members’ needs and expectations.
I have a meeting with the internal management team about strategic planning for 2014/15.
Our overall strategy is determined by ACCA’s Global Council and implemented across all ACCA’s global markets which currently has four members from across the island of Ireland including Anthony Harbinson, ACCA deputy president who will assume the role of president in September 2014.
We discuss growing membership, employer relationships and how we can engage and inform relevant stakeholders about the flexibility of the ACCA qualification.
Ultimately, our objective is all about employability and we endeavour to ensure that we provide the best global accountancy qualification which in turn empowers ACCA’s students and members to develop the best possible careers with top employers.
In the afternoon I spend some time reviewing ACCA’s communications output.
We are currently evolving our digital communications strategy and updating our network to engage directly with our members and non-members through LinkedIn and Twitter @ACCAIreland by providing up to date and relevant news within the accounting industry.
I take a short break and sit down with a cup of coffee giving an opportunity to catch up on current finance industry news.
I respond to my emails and make plans for the following day which is an important element in helping to keep organised.
Then, I have a meeting with the internal communications team to review internal issues and challenges and events.
I help managers’ prioritise workloads so that the daily operations run smoothly and efficiently.
After work I like to keep active and play tennis twice per week which helps me relax and unwind.
Although I probably won’t make it to Wimbledon anytime soon I enjoy hitting the court after a hectic day.
Once I get home I usually spend some time making dinner and catching up with friends and family in London, Spain or just down the road in County Carlow.
On occasion and of course weather permitting, I might go for a quick walk in the evenings as it is a great way to revitalize and boost energy levels.
I am usually in bed around 10.30pm and believe it or not indulge in some bedtime reading with the latest copy of the Economist.
I like to stay informed about changes in the financial markets and this is the only time I get to do it!