If you believe that most of the world’s chartered accountants come from a finance and business background, then think again. In fact, at ICAEW, one of the oldest leading accountancy bodies globally, the majority of chartered accountants actually come from a background that is not finance or business.
One such individual is Aneesha Veriah, who decided to pursue the prestigious ICAEW ACA programme upon completing her medical degree. We had the exciting opportunity to talk to Aneesha about why she made the important decision to switch her career focus. Aneesha also shares how the ICAEW ACA prepared her to become a vibrant entrepreneur who heads The Bowery Group, an independent group of restaurants, as well as manage two consultancies.
1. You first studied medicine at King’s College in the UK as part of your academic journey. Why did you make the decision to switch your focus and pursue the ICAEW ACA?
When I was pursuing medicine in the UK I excelled in my studies of anatomy and surgery, so my long-term objective was to open up a chain of plastic surgery practices. However, as I progressed in my studies, I realised that I was ultimately more attracted to the business aspect of my dream, rather than the medical side of it. This was no surprise, as I grew up with a dad who trained as a chartered accountant (in fact he is an ICAEW member!) and became a successful businessman.
Fortunately, King’s College allowed me to major in Physiology in my 3rd year so I could graduate with a degree. I then decided to pursue chartered accountancy and fulfill my business aspirations. I took up the ICAEW ACA as I knew that its prestige is respected and recognised around the world.
2. After working as a consultant with KPMG and PwC, you co-founded The Bowery Group. How did your ICAEW ACA journey prepare you to become an entrepreneur and successfully run your own business?
No other qualificiation offers the mobility like the ICAEW ACA qualification. When I was working as a consultant, I took on the role of a business advisor, offering high-level strategic advice to drive businesses forward, improve profit margins, and increase market share for clients across various industries. It was during this time that I also gained extensive business insight into the challenges and opportunities organisations face and how to navigate them.
When I co-founded The Bowery Group, I found that my experience, enabled me to apply my acute business awareness and strong personal judgement to build a business that I am very passionate about. Indeed, the ICAEW ACA has provided me an advantage in learning how to tackle the challenges of setting up my own business and becoming a successful entrepreneur.
3. As you managed your own company, you simultaneously worked at your family’s consulting businesses. Can you elaborate how you juggle work in two different environments?
I genuinely love what I do with all three businesses. Besides heading The Bowery Group, I also work with my family’s two consulting businesses – Rabin & Associates and Real Time Group. Taking up the ICAEW ACA has sharpened my ability to be mentally agile and organised, as well as manage change, so I am able to strategically work across different industries and stay on top of my responsibilities.
4. You have worked in several countries around the world, including the UK and Malaysia. How has the ICAEW ACA prepared you to work on the global stage?
I was able to adapt easily to working across different geographical locations, because the ACA programme helped me develop a holistic international mindset, where I am able to pursue my passion anywhere I go.
It is extremely satisfying to witness how all of the invaluable business and life skillsets I have developed throughout my ACA journey can be applied in any part of the world I choose to be. It has been a rewarding and exciting journey and I am glad I made this life-changing choice.
5. In one sentence, can you describe which aspect of the ICAEW ACA has been most valuable to you?
My ICAEW ACA experience has truly been worthwhile, as it is internationally recognised and provided me with high standards of technical competency and global mobility, which are applicable across various industries.
Ready to Embark on an Exciting Global Career Like Aneesha’s? Learn about the ICAEW ACA and Full Scholarships Available!
If you’re considering kick-starting your own dynamic career journey like Aneesha’s then learn more about the ICAEW ACA to fast-track your professional career aspirations. You can contact ICAEW Malaysia via:
It’s worth noting that you don’t actually need an accounting background to study the ICAEW ACA. And for school leavers, you can start the programme as soon as you complete the SPM or O-Levels examinations.