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31 March 2020: Coronavirus Update. The situation is fast moving and we are continuing to monitor the global situation and its impact on our members, staff, exam candidates, students and the profession. More information for Members and Students in My CIMA.

Sarah Ghosh

Director, Lean Finance Consultancy

"The value for me of the CGMA designation is the increase in global reach in terms of recognition and the resources we are able to share across CIMA and AICPA to generate world class thought leadership publications."

Please tell us why you chose to study CIMA
I decided to study CIMA (whilst working at Electronic Data Systems) as I was attracted by the range of subjects covered across the 3 levels and the potential opportunities this would offer in terms of my career progression.

The CIMA qualification is extremely relevant in the roles I undertake with clients as they need to be assured that I have the operational, management and strategic experience to deliver what they require, and having the designations gives them that assurance.

How did your career progress after qualifying?
I continued to gain experience as a strategic management accountant. After 6 years with EDS I transferred across to consultancy, and worked at PwC for a couple of years on client assignments focused on IT implementations and finance process projects.

In this demanding environment I was able to apply both my systems engineering and finance backgrounds to complex client issues and work with them to implement workable solutions. I then made a decision to take a career break to focus on raising a family, and returned to the workplace as a contractor after 7 years.

Once I had started to build up a network again I decided to set up my own company – Lean Finance Consultancy Ltd. Since then I have worked with clients in the technology, healthcare, telecoms and public sectors and undertaken a number of roles across business integration, programme  / change management to name a few.

Please describe your current role
Being a consultant means that no two roles are ever the same, the diversity of the work I have undertaken has allowed me deepen my knowledge on the challenges CFOs and FDs face and how these can be resolved. 

What have been the benefits of the CGMA designation?
As a CGMA the value I bring in my role as a consultant to clients is being able to share the latest thought leadership and be an advocate of initiatives such as the GMAP. I am able to increase awareness and provide a narrative around the excellent collaborative work being done by CIMA and AICPA across a range of topics. 

What makes your career so enjoyable?
During my career I have had the opportunity to work with both large and small companies, including Lloyds Register and St Georges NHS Trust. I enjoy working with organisations across sectors as each client is different in terms of culture and the routes they have taken.

The challenges they are facing however are similar, such as implementing IT solutions, managing change and improving the quality of decision making. What drives me is being able to get to know an organisation and how it operates, understand the motivations of the people who work there and be able to identify ways that they can improve systems / processes to become more efficient and effective in supporting the business.

What is your most memorable career achievement?
My most memorable career achievement to date has been to set up and lead a Transformation Programme to deliver mobile working for a community service provider and the benefits this has delivered to patients.

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