Emma Meets – Rob Alder – Business Development Manager – AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians)
Emma Peterson, Director FinTech Awards Wales & Finance Awards Wales Meeting:
Business Development Manager,
AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians)
Tell us about your business and what is your role within the business?
The AAT is the UK’s leading qualification and professional body for technical accountants and bookkeepers, with approximately 130,000 members in over 100 countries. We offer a range of qualifications open to anyone, regardless of previous education or age, such as the AAT Accountancy Qualifications which provide a degree-free route to public accounting.
Within AAT, my role is that of Head of Business Development. I worked at AAT for 16 years, moving from creating the business development function to leading teams spanning AAT’s UK and international markets.
Why did you choose to sponsor the Finance Awards Wales 2020?
2020 is the 40th anniversary of AAT, and during this time we have a strong track record in developing thousands of Wales-based students to acquire the qualifications needed to enter the financial industry. But we are always keenly aware of our responsibility to spotlight the financial profession as an exciting and rewarding career, as businesses of all shapes and sizes require highly skilled financial staff. The Finance Awards Wales demonstrate the outstanding work of individuals and businesses across the country, and as such also encourage others to join the industry and grow its talent pool.
What impact do you think prices have had on the finance industry in Wales?
The stellar list of previous winners and nominees, both in terms of senior finance professionals and emerging stars, has in turn helped attract an impressive pool of sponsors, to which AAT is happy to add their name. The awards not only celebrate success, but serve as an example for the rest of the financial industry, which can only help raise standards.
How do you think the Welsh economy will perform over the next 12 months?
It’s incredibly difficult to predict right now. Brexit may finally be upon us, but the details of how the UK will operate in practice outside the EU are not yet in place – many new trade deals are in the works. development, as well as how we operate with the rest of Europe during this time of transition. However, the general election in December brought some certainty and clarity to businesses and could therefore help encourage long-term business investment.
What do you think of the rise of AI and technology in the financial industry?
We’re excited about it – it’s a huge opportunity for those working in the industry. Automation has already removed the more mundane manual tasks of accountants, allowing them to focus on the most interesting and value-added areas such as producing management information and analyzing trends. It also means that accountants report on data in real time, rather than filing receipts that are less than a year old, and thus have a much clearer picture of a company’s current financial situation. .
What plans do you have for your business in 2021?
Much work is already underway this year as we prepare to launch our latest range of accounting qualifications in 2021 as well as the introduction of T levels – AAT is responsible for creating accounting and finance qualifications. In addition, we will be watching Brexit negotiations closely, as the new immigration rules could lead to changes in student recruitment and funding.
Over the past few years, we have sought to lead by example in making sure we act as a responsible company on a variety of high-profile topics, including gender pay and prompt payment to suppliers. We want to focus on sustainability this year, and while we have already taken steps to improve our carbon footprint, I know we can do more. This is a key area that accountants should also consider, which is why we will also be communicating several messages on accounting for the future of the world. Plus, we have a 40th anniversary to celebrate!