Alexander Borissov: Euler Hermes
Role: financial accountant
Location: United Kingdom
Highlights: career progression
Alexander Borissov MA MBA ACMA gained an MA in Economics from Moscow State University, followed by an MBA from Huron University, London. After a period of time working as a Risk Manager for Banco Santander and as a Credit Risk Underwriter at the Royal Bank of Scotland, Alex joined Euler Hermes UK as a Financial Accountant in 2001.
Were you one of the brainy kids at school?
I think ‘competitive’ is a better word. In retrospect I should have spent more time messing around but everything’s worked out pretty well really.
So why accountancy?
If you want to know how a business is performing, the place to look is its finance function. I also enjoy working in a corporate environment and setting high standards and striving to achieve them.
Ok, so why CIMA?
It’s more practical than any academic qualification and provides a wealth of solutions to real life cases. My MBA gave me a great understanding of how marketing, management, IT and finance fit together in a business situation but CIMA really put flesh on the bones. Going into greater depth and learning how these things look on the ground. I particularly enjoyed company law and the tax component – really tough to learn, but I’ve really drawn on those skills especially in my current role. I feel CIMA really stimulated conceptual thinking.
Do you think CIMA has helped you in your career?
When I joined Euler Hermes I was made responsible for a complete accounting cycle of a subsidiary with an £8m annual turnover. I think having the CIMA letters assures my managers that the accounts are being dealt with by someone who has proved their ability. I also contribute to the monthly and quarterly reporting cycle and to the annual statutory reporting and compliance requirement of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. Again, a lot of trust is placed that CIMA people are going to get it right – the first time.
Do you admit you’re an accountant at parties?
With no hesitation! Although in my spare time I paint in oil and acrylics and I’ve been lucky enough to exhibit at various locations in London and in Geneva. Usually people are more interested in my art than my accounting.
Where do you want to be in five or ten years? What are your aspirations?
CIMA’s Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programme is going to become an essential tool keeping my joints welloiled. It’s so critical for accountants to keep on top of new developments and changes in legislation. Cezanne was a lawyer before he turned to art and Rousseau worked as a customs officer. I’m going to continue my accountancy career while I develop my artistic skills; they really are a great combination and help me keep a solid work-life balance.