Rising Stars at Equiom Scotland: An interview with Nadine Riddell and Frazer Malcolm

Friday 20 April 2018

Nadine Riddell and Frazer Malcolm have recently been promoted to Financial Controllers at Equiom Scotland. Their aim is to support Equiom’s continuous growth and expansion into new markets. In their interview with The Executive magazine they discuss how their education and career choices have brought them to their new roles.

Nadine Riddell - Financial Controller, CGMA

Tell us about your background: 'I was born in Inverness and brought up in the seaside town of Nairn. I had an early interest in accounting and I decided to pursue this through Robert Gordon University (RGU) in Aberdeen, where I completed an honours degree in Accounting and Finance. I spent the third year of my degree attending a placement with a global service provider in the oil and gas industry where I was immersed in a range of accounting tasks, ranging from purchase ledger to the preparation of management accounts. After graduating in 2011, I was offered a permanent role as a Trainee Accountant with my placement firm where I was supported to complete my management accounting qualification through the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA). I became an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CGMA) in 2015.'

Why did you join Equiom? 'I began working at Eagle Consulting in 2016 as Assistant Financial Controller. I was attracted by the culture of the organisation which had a clear focus on people and training and gave me the opportunity to develop my management skills. While I had managed staff in the past, it was more from a technical supervision perspective rather than hands-on personnel management. This role has allowed me to challenge myself and develop my management skills by supervising a team of 30 staff at all levels, from trainees to experienced qualified accountants.

In 2017 Eagle Consulting became Equiom Scotland, which presented some fantastic opportunities for me to work alongside experts across a range of disciplines while also considering the expansion of our operations into new territories. In February 2018 I was jointly promoted to Financial Controller for the Management Accounts department along with Frazer Malcolm. Frazer and I have naturally complementary skills that are ideal for managing Equiom Scotland’s largest department. My natural focus is on staff and clients, while Frazer enjoys the technical, process and system challenges. This means that we not only complement each other as a team but we can both remain commercially focused on the department and its impact on the company as a whole.' 

What are you looking forward to in this new role and where do you see challenges? 'I feel my new role as a Financial Controller will allow me to broaden my involvement with other areas of the business, particularly with Business Development, while continuing to support the training and development of the team. We are an accredited training practice with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) and CIMA, as well as the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT), so we are able to support students through their qualifications, providing relevant experience and challenges within the workplace. This is important as it helps to develop staff, contributing to the overall performance of the team. I have always been passionate about accounting and I am looking forward to this new opportunity.'

Frazer Malcolm - Financial Controller, FCCA 

How did you come to be working in accounting? 'I was born and brought up in Fife and lived there until I relocated to the Highlands in 2006. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do when I left secondary school but as maths was a strength of mine, I decided to embark on a career in accounting. After gaining a Higher National Diploma (HND) in accounting at the local college, I applied to local accounting practices in the hope of securing a much coveted training position and began my path into the world of accounting and finance. I spent the next seven years at a local firm, building up the skills required to become a professional accountant. During this time I completed the AAT qualification.

When a role in audit came up in an Inverness accounting firm, I jumped at the chance for a new challenge and the opportunity to connect with the beautiful outdoors that the Highlands has to offer. The move also allowed me to commence my professional qualification through ACCA, and in February 2012 I became a Chartered Certified Accountant, later becoming a fellow of ACCA in February 2017.'

What do you like about working at Equiom and what are the challenges? 'I joined Eagle Consulting in 2010 as an Assistant Accountant in the Compliance Department, which at the time was a team of three. I enjoyed the variety of work that was on offer and really enjoyed being part of a company that looks after their employees. I have always wanted to be part of an organisation that treats you as an individual and not just a number.

In 2014 an opportunity became available for me to transfer to the larger Management Accounts department as Assistant Financial Controller. I was keen to broaden my skill set again and look at how to improve the systems and processes within the department. Since the acquisition, Equiom has invested in a new accounting package for our clients which I have been instrumental in implementing. This innovative new system has allowed us to update our processes and provide automatic, system-generated reporting which is tailored to each client. As well as the technical challenges, I have staff responsibilities which is a new area for me. I enjoy assisting my peers in all areas of accounting and take great pride in seeing my colleagues develop into well rounded accountants. No two days are the same in my role and I enjoy this variation. Equiom definitely gives you broad experience in the world of finance!'

What are your expectations in your new role? 'I am hoping to gain further management experience as I really enjoy being part of a team. I like to get heavily involved in achieving high standards. I also enjoy helping people to progress and understand accounting, and the vital role it has to play in Equiom’s offering.

I think it is important to make sure everyone is happy and enjoys a stimulating working environment. People need to enjoy coming to work and feel they are contributing, doing their best and taking pride in their work. At Equiom, I am constantly learning from exposure to different work scenarios, problem solving and the opportunity to challenge each other to deliver the best for our clients. My aim is to create even more robust systems which produce real-time information for our clients to enable them to make strong business decisions. My ultimate goal is to continue to drive efficiencies and create the most stimulating working environment possible.'

Equiom is an international professional services provider with offices in most of the world’s major global financial centres. If you are interested in working with us please visit our careers page.