Munir Chaer

Published on:
October 26, 2020

ACCA Student & Audit Associate, EY Abu Dhabi

Journey: Personally, I’m a huge fan of tackling new subjects which I had never dabbled in before; during university, I’d use my open electives on courses that have little to no relation to my major, all so that I can expand my umbrella of knowledge just a bit further. It’s been a lot of fun preparing for these papers so far, and I’ve especially enjoyed performance management and taxation, as performance management seemed to be this logical application of accounting whilst also teaching me a few principles/approaches that I can apply to my own personal spending; taxation was just this intricate system of bells and whistles, which practically encompasses every single type of transaction that could possibly happen, that was just impressive to watch in action. Phoenix Financial Training has been there for me from the very beginning, they took me through my fundamental courses and are now by my side as I undertake the applied skills papers; they’ll probably still be my training institute of choice for my strategic professional papers too.

I’m currently seven exams deep into the whole ACCA journey and I’m planning on taking my last two applied skills papers (AA & FR) this December – the date is slowly creeping up on me but I can’t wait to get started on studying for the strategic professional papers. I’ll be eligible to undertake my professional papers once we’re past the December exam window, but my current plan is to tackle each paper in September and December for the next two years; I’m in no rush to complete them even though I did push through five exams in two exam windows this year. It made the most sense to me to have the professional experience requirements line-up with my last professional paper.

Career: It’s been almost two years since I graduated as a mechanical engineer and being thrust into the job market with an unclear vision in my mind for what I wanted for myself; it was challenging as I wasn’t able to find many local postings that were relevant to my education but I would apply to them all the same! That was until I came across a listing from EY searching for a STEM graduate to onboard as an audit associate. At first glance, it didn’t seem too appealing since it was leaps and bounds away from my academic roots, but as I glossed through, I understood that they were willing to spend time and effort in educating and training me towards becoming an ACCA affiliate (one of the stipulations of the employment contract was to have this professional qualification in hand by three years time). After a bit of research, it was clear, from that moment, what the next ten years of my life were going to look like; I finally had a plan for my future in my mind and I put my all into applying for that position, and eventually got it.

ACCA, to me, is my ticket towards becoming an international juggernaut of a candidate. My current aspirations are to take my career westward to Canada, and becoming an ACCA affiliate makes that dream possible and easily achievable.

Inspiration & Pride: My wife, who’s a financial analyst herself, is my biggest supporter in terms of having this qualification under my belt. Even prior to becoming an audit associate, she’d spend her days and nights praying for an opportunity to get me out of engineering (she wasn’t the biggest fan, haha). Whenever an exam window is approaching, she makes sure that everything is taken care of so that I can completely focus on my studies. This woman inspires me everyday with her devotion and commitment to our relationship, herself and her work, and I hope that one day, I can match that dedication and provide her with the support she needs when she needs it most. She’s a bit more of an entrepreneur than I am but she just can’t find or make the time to really commit to any of her ideas, so it’s up to me to stand by her while she pursues her passions one day.