Three generations plus Governance Institute

Calculator and spreadsheets with pair of glasses

Being a third-generation accountant, I am constantly reminded what needs to be done in the governance space for small, fast-growing businesses. While accounting is a great head start, there is a broad range of other essential skills that owners and operators need to deal with. To be effective in my role advising these clients I realised I needed to get across these skills fast, particularly in the unfamiliar areas of governance and risk management.

My grandfather was a chief financial officer back in the 1950s and went on to become a certified practising accountant, an early member of Governance Institute and a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators. I remember seeing various certificates on his office wall when I was a young boy so when I was researching further studies it didn’t take long to settle on Governance Institute’s Graduate Diploma of Applied Corporate Governance. My father was also a certified practising accountant, so I guess we have kept it in the family.

I completed the entire course online which was the most effective way of study for me. I read course notes on my iPad before bed — this became the norm as the course material was compelling, structured and of interest. I completed two modules at a time, doubling the workload, but I relished the challenge. I found the online resources offered by Governance Institute convenient and informative and I’m now looking looking forward to becoming an active member of Governance Institute's community.

Sure, you can get an accounting degree and there are many accountants out there, but this course will upskill and stand you in good stead for the future. As a practitioner, the Graduate Diploma of Applied Corporate Governance has differentiated me from my peers. It has diversified my knowledge and the services I can offer, and it as given me an additional area of expertise that I can leverage not only to help my clients but to become more valuable in the marketplace.

So now I’m an accountant, chartered secretary and a chartered tax adviser. I will continue furthering my education as I want to be the adviser of choice for small business owners. I know to stay ahead of the game I have to continually upskill and realise the more I do so, the more value I can add professionally. In fact, I have set my sights on risk management for my next study goal.

But back to governance. I don’t believe the value it provides in creating a successful small business is well understood. I cannot emphasise enough the importance of good governance. And when I explain what governance is and its value to a business, clients ‘get it.’ Today good governance is an essential part of what I do, and for society in general. I have no doubt the tools and skills acquired completing Governance Institute’s Graduate Diploma of Applied Corporate Governance have secured my career. Indeed, I think my grandfather would be very proud that his legacy lives on.

You can find out more about Ben Collins on his website

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