Jasim Khawaja

Published on:
January 7, 2021

Head WB and Credit Risk Audit, United Arab Bank

What does ACCA mean to you: “ACCA” – the four magical letters have set up a clear direction for my career.

ACCA Journey: I started ACCA qualification immediately after completing A-Levels as this was the only globally recognised qualification that would allow flexibility to work and study at the same time. The decision paid off quickly and as soon as I completed ACCA Part 1 (currently foundation stage), I was selected by a Platinum rated ACCA training organization from there I switched to one of the top five local banks and then to the largest foreign bank in Pakistan. ACCA continued to give me the wings and has helped me fly high when I got a global transfer within the Group to be based out of UAE. While I am (by the grace of Almighty) Heading Corporate Banking and Credit Risk Audits in one of the leading Banks in UAE, a smooth and enriching sail would not have been possible without having ACCA as my base qualification.

Not only professional but ACCA helped me with my academic journey as well by laying a strong foundation for all my subsequent qualifications such as Chartered Accountancy from the ICAEW, Certified Internal Auditor, Certified Fraud Examiner and obviously a prestigious undergrad degree from the Oxford Brookes University (OBU). 

Highs and Lows: No journey is a journey that doesn’t have its highs and lows. I have had some rough patches both within my personal and professional lives. But one thing that has kept me composed and going during the testing times is my trust in the Almighty and the support of my family members especially by elder brother who raised me as his own child after having lost my dad at a young age.

For a majority of professionals, we feel the best each time we get a promotion, a pay-rise, a business class trip, etc. Yes, I have by the grace of Almighty had many such moments in my career, but the best memory I have is when I saw the tears of joy rolling down my mom’s eyes on seeing my final ACCA result that read “passed”.

As I said earlier, a journey has to have “lows” included somewhere. Despite having what it needs, we somehow do not get the right sort of recognition when we feel we deserve the most. But this is never the end of the world and as it is said “everything is in the equilibrium in the long run”. What I have learnt from such lows in my career is that one should never get disheartened if things don’t fall into place the first time as your perseverance definitely pays off. If once you don’t succeed, “TRY AGAIN”!!

ACCA Community: ACCA publications and events have been a great source of learning all along. While the journal helps in staying abreast with the latest developments within the fields of Accountancy and Auditing, the events help in socializing and networking, that is one of the keys to success. The events have been more of a family fanfare over the last few years as I usually attend these with my wife Fizza who happens to be an ACCA member as well.

Apart from this, I have been mentoring and helping applicants towards their successful OBU submissions and preparing students for their Audit and Assurance exams in the past, These continue to be closer to my heart as I am able to share my experiences with ACCA aspirants.