Volunteering in international development charities can transform your career

As a certified accountant, making a decision you need a wreck from the habitual however want to present some thing lower back. So you sign on to volunteer with Accounting for International Development (AfID), the global business enterprise that offers volunteering opportunities for accountants at non-governmental corporations (NGOs). You take up your placement on the opposite aspect of the sector after which recognize that you have located your calling, that that is what you need to be doing now not just as a profession break but for the relaxation of your existence.

This is the revel in of many ACCA contributors who volunteer with AfID as well as never appearance returned, in the long run leaving their corporate roles for long-time period careers in global development. An tremendous 20% of AfiD s volunteers grow to be career changers , taking up a complete-time function at an NGO.

Take Will Potten FCCA, who has labored within the airline, electricity and production sectors. He is now a restrained budget accountant at Christian Aid. Potten contacted AfID in 2011, as he wanted to place his accountancy skills to exact use while taking a wreck from his job. He decided to accept a placement in Ghana with an NGO known as Young People We Care (YPWC), a young people-focused corporation.

I desired a alternate of path as well as a little time out from the profession ladder however doing some thing thrilling that become productive at the equal time, he says. After six weeks at YPWC, Potten realised he desired to work complete time in worldwide development. Travelling to programme locations and engaging with the beneficiaries of an employer s work I cannot describe just how rewarding and galvanizing this can be, he says.

Amber Honey ACCA become also interested in the development area. I had reached a point in my profession in which I become a little fatigued as well as wanted some thing one-of-a-kind, she explains. I became also determined to apply the professional talents that I had developed in a tangible manner, as well as AfID supplied precisely that possibility.

Having volunteered in 2017 for the Children Might Foundation in Rwanda, Honey now works for Farm Africa, an NGO working in East Africa. The work we do is inspiring as well as crucial, while at a huge corporate you’regularly feel like a small cog in a huge wheel, she says. I suppose that is the principle difference from my previous job.

Previously in chance advisory at Deloitte, Honey now faces exceptional demanding situations however feels there may be more possibility to be creative and notice her ideas applied across an organization. The work is simply extra difficult than it turned into at Deloitte, as there’s quite a few obligation for management, course as well as increase, she admits. But with all the delivered duty, there is an inherent feeling that my opinion counts as well as that I am valued and heard. Different challenges

The monetary control responsibilities confronted by way of the ones running in NGOs are frequently quite exceptional from the ones within the corporate international. They encompass dealing with donor price range, which generally come from worldwide institutions consisting of the European Union and the United Nations, or from national governments. Each donor can have their personal complex necessities about how their contracts have to be managed and stated on. What they will and gained pay for, and how the undertaking can be funded, is key. The NGO, as an example, may be anticipated to pay in advance for a programme (for which they’ll be reimbursed), which has big ramifications for the NGO s cashflow. Hence the need for economic knowledge.

These problems create results for an agency in terms of monetary risk, sustainability as well as compliance, Potten says. In such an running environment, sturdy monetary acumen, technical talents and in-depth sector expertise are tons in call for.

NGOs additionally seek revel in inside the case of complete-time appointments. Volunteering gives a candidate an idea if the sector fits them and could galvanize recruiters. A seasoned bono placement at a charity distant places holds a great amount of weight in packages, explains AfID spokesperson Jessica Jackson. It shows a clear interest as well as commitment to the sector this is simply as treasured as qualifications.

AfID proactively assists volunteers who want to move into NGOs. It works with greater than 50 enterprises which includes Oxfam, Save the Children as well as ActionAid to link up with finance professionals.

Using your skills for the benefit of others regularly entails some degree of sacrifice. Both Potten as well as Honey took pay cuts once they moved to the NGO quarter, and the work may be hard. You can be sitting in an office somewhere in Africa at 10pm, sifting thru container after container of handwritten vouchers, seeking to recreate a monetary document that was submitted 5 years ago, says Potten.

And Honey warns: It’s now not for the faint-hearted you want to be resilient.

The precious and sundry enjoy will sincerely enhance any CV, but chiefly else comes the uplifting nature of the work. Throughout the arena, wherever you are and some thing you work on, you’ll continue to be stimulated by the people you meet, says Potten.

Honey provides: Test the waters with a volunteer stint first and be organized no longer definitely to trade your profession however additionally to alternate yourself inside the system.

This article changed into first published inside the February/March 2024 China version of Accounting as well as Business magazine