Who is Stacia Wilkinson?
I am an extrovert at my core and I really enjoy meeting and working with lots of different people. I am passionate about life and love to mold and watch people develop beyond what they ever imagined was possible. God, my family and my circle of friends keep me sane and when I am not working – I am sharing some of my best days with them.
What does a typical day for you look like?
A typical pre-COVID day would have found me in the office by 7:30am as I like to have some quiet time before the staff hit the audit floor to review my calendar and mentally walk through the day to come. In my current position my days are long (12-14 hours), go pretty quickly and are filled with a combination of internal and external obligations. There are many departmental, client or counselee meetings, file reviews and financial statement reviews and I am usually juggling these responsibilities for multiple clients at any one time. Once the normal workday ends, I head off to the gym and then its home for quiet time with my husband and meal prep for the following day and most often during meal prep - some more work.
Post-COVID, my days are still filled with the same responsibilities but now managed virtually. Without the physical structure of the office, I find I have to take specific care to plan my days specifically in respect of breaks for exercise and for meals. My quiet time now has been moved to 7:30pm because as soon as I log onto my laptop on mornings; there is always something or someone waiting to be addressed.
What was your first job?
My first job was at the age of 16, fresh out of school as a Cashier at Furniture Limited.
What are the qualifications needed to become an Auditor?
The first step to qualify for the position of an auditor would generally be a bachelor's degree in the field of finance, accounting or business administration. However, as the role of the auditor changes in light of the various digital advancements and audit approaches – someone who also has a background in IT now looks attractive. Once you have secured that entry-level position, firms will also require specific accounting certifications or designations like CPA, ACCA or CISA.
What made you choose this field as a career path?
I joined the Accounting field during my second year into university and this was after I was approached by family members and some of my lecturers about the option to switch. I am by nature a very friendly and inquisitive person and I had a lecturer who would always joke that I would make either a good detective or a great auditor.
Once I left university and secured an audit position – I found it gave me the opportunity to put my detective skills to work and the bonus was that from month to month I got the opportunity to work with and interact with many different people. I earned my accounting designation very quickly, moved on to a larger firm and the switch has not been a decision that I have regretted at all.
What advice would you give someone who is interested in pursuing a career similar to yours?
Know what you want! Finding the fit for your personality is essential but always be mindful that something different may turn out to be something great.
Be curious and don’t settle! The best way to excel is to stay interested and interesting (to employers & clients) while learning as much as you can every day. The world is constantly changing and the field of audit has evolved significantly since I started this career approximately 7 years ago. There is always something new to learn and to keep you engaged as you chart your path to being the best.
Manage your career! You need to be an advocate for yourself and not assume that others will have the same passion and drive as you do. This does not mean walking the path alone but rather you should seek to leverage the knowledge of mentors and leaders who have walked the path before you.
What keeps you motivated?
I am passionate about my work simply because I love what I do. I thrive on challenge and constantly set goals for myself, so there is always another level or accomplishment to achieve. I am not very comfortable with settling and this pushes me to learn new skills and find opportunities to improve personally and professionally which helps me work better and smarter.