When Ruslan Golovanov was thinking about which career path to take, Russia’s fast-growing economy meant finance professionals were in high demand. Unfortunately, for many, universities in the country lacked adequate numbers of finance lecturers, meaning Ruslan had to seek out a different route.
‘I looked for a qualification that would give me a comprehensive understanding, that is well recognised by employers and would empower me to ask relevant questions in a professional community. There was only one choice – ACCA has been the leading professional association throughout the century,’ says Ruslan.
Ruslan began his ACCA studies after university while in his first job, where he prepared financial statements and made tax calculations.
‘I looked for a qualification that would give me a comprehensive understanding, that is well recognised by employers. There was only one choice – ACCA has been the leading professional association throughout the century’
‘ACCA was undoubtedly helpful day-to-day – it supported my performance in the eyes of my boss and contributed to career progression,’ he says.
Working full-time while studying ACCA is a challenge, with the exams presenting a real test of dedication, self-motivation and organisation.
‘The most important thing,’ believes Ruslan, ‘is to invest sufficient time in exam preparation – most students fail because they are poorly prepared.
‘During my final exam session I prepared for two hours during work days, eight hours on Saturdays, and Sundays were a day-off. It allowed me to pass the three final exams. At the time I couldn’t afford courses for financial reasons. I was studying with an e-textbook, which I downloaded for £5. What I’m trying to say is that exam preparation does not need to cost much money; it costs a lot of time.’
Ruslan’s rapid progress up the career ladder has seen him operate as a senior manager, financial controller and now head of IFRS at RosCorp. He partly attributes his success to the depth of technical and structural understanding he gained through ACCA, and the confidence this gives him.
‘ACCA enables me to look courageously at arising issues. Your boss sees this assurance and is inclined to pass responsibility down the chain.’
He also believes that keeping abreast of professional developments, such as technology and regulatory changes, is crucial – something achieved through CPD. Additionally, he cites strategic thinking as an element people should start developing early in their career.
But the most valuable assets are people.
‘The ability to inspire is highly valued. I always search scrupulously for talent, looking through hundreds of CVs and holding scores of interviews. When your team is based on talent striving for synergy, then you do not need praise – the work done is the best recommendation.’