Ross Allen

Assistant Manager, Alternative Fund Services, HSBC Ireland

Degree subject BSc Finance

Job title Assistant Manager, Alternative Fund Services
Employer HSBC Ireland

I chose to work in finance because I have always been a big fan of numbers. I became a certified public accountant (CPA) and now manage a team of seven people, producing monthly evaluations for hedge fund companies. This involves investing in long and short-term securities to generate gains even when share prices go down. I also have to ensure that evaluations are completed accurately and on time.

My employer was very accommodating while I was juggling work and study. I was allowed a few hours off each week to study, with more time during exam periods. As part of my CPA qualification, a qualified accountant in my firm reviewed my daily work and verified that I was receiving the relevant information and experience. This balance between work and study is very important as employers look for accountants who are both book-smart and capable of fulfilling daily work tasks.

The CPA Institute provides a great deal of flexibility during study, training and exams. I chose to take the maximum number of exams in each sitting to complete the qualification quickly but I could have spread them out to make them more manageable.

Becoming a certified public accountant has presented great opportunities for career development and opened up possibilities that otherwise would not have existed. The qualification has also helped to build my reputation in the business community.