Responding to COVID-19: insight, support and guidance

Carly Wilson

Karly WilsonCarly Wilson works as a Finance Manager at UK Acquisitions, Civica Ltd, where she manages the Financial Acquisition and integration process for all of Civica’s UK acquisitions. This includes business process mapping, lean management reviews and management and financial accounting.

Carly started as a Trainee Accountant with NHS Wales in 2000 and studied for her AAT qualification during this time, before progressing onto the CIPFA qualification in 2004. She then worked for an English Police Authority and later as a Senior Accountant for a Welsh Council, before becoming Planning and Resource Manager for Education Services for another local authority in 2008.

In 2017 she made the decision to move into the public sector working for Civica UK, where she was seconded to Melbourne, Australia. She then returned to the UK and moved into her current position in 2018.

Why did you choose the CIPFA Professional Accountancy Qualification?

CIPFA seemed to be the market leading institute for public services and was widely supported by public sector employers for whom I was an employee at the time. It was also broad and covered topics like leadership and management, as well as finance so I felt it would give me a good diverse skillet to work across any sector.

What advice would you give to young people who are looking to pursue a career in public finance?

Don’t be put off by the term 'finance'. Many people think that it’s all about numbers but accountancy is so much more than that.

Why did you choose accountancy as a career?

I had always been interested in finance and I was always better with numbers at school, than I was with words, so accountancy seemed a logical career.

Why did you choose to work in public services?

Initially I was drawn to the private sector. I didn’t really associate hospitals, councils, etc. with accountancy but when I was studying for my A-Levels I undertook a work experience placement with the NHS and it swayed me to public services instead. I was interested by the diverse range of opportunities. All of my studying was supported by my employer which I’m very grateful for. I was lucky enough to secure a trainee position early in my career.

How has CIPFA helped you in your career?

CIPFA is so broad that it gives you a variety of skills to work in a senior position. In the past when I’ve worked in operational roles that have less financial focus people often ask me why I don’t work in finance even though I’m a Chartered Accountant, but the skills that CIPFA taught me, coupled with the experience I’ve gained by working across various different organisations, has given me the versatility to be flexible and explore opportunities that you wouldn’t expect a Chartered Accountant to be able to.

What’s your favourite thing about your job?

I love working on projects that transform the way organisations work and involve setting up new processes. I’m very much a people person so my current role is right up my street as I work across a variety of businesses and meet a range of different people along the way.

What are your ambitions for the future?

I am always keen to develop myself and gain more experience. I’m not really driven by money, I’m more interested in being in a role that motivates me to make a difference and gives me the freedom to use my skills to improve things. I would definitely like to continue being involved in transformational type and development type activities.