It's all so KOSI for Cathal as Newry business counts on growth
In the My Kind of Job spotlight this week is Cahal Crilly from international consulting house KOSI Corporation
What is your job?
I am finance director of KOSI Corporation (www.kosicorp.com) in Newry
How did you get there?
I joined KOSI from University in 2011 as a trainee accountant and completed my exams while working on government audit and accountancy programmes - that was fantastic experience. KOSI was established in 2010 and focuses on financial management across national and international governments. KOSI has been in growth mode since I joined and I moved up the ranks to chief accountant before being appointed finance director in January.
Do you have a typical day?
No, I can't say there is a typical day. I do try to put structure on each day but KOSI's reach is deep and diverse with programmes in a number of government departments and public bodies in Ireland and the UK as well as internationally. My day starts early, we have projects in Asia, Africa and Europe as well as our programmes in the UK and Ireland so we are always monitoring key currency movements. With our outsourced programmes there are always challenges and decisions to be made on the systems and technology front. There is continuous communication throughout the day between the KOSI teams, we have some great characters in the business and because we are in growth mode there is a great togetherness and team ethic.
What qualifications do you have?
I completed a BSc (hons) finance degree in QUB and then completed my CIMA exams while at KOSI. Accountancy and audit are core competencies at KOSI with ACA, ACCA, CIMA, CPA qualified accountants in the organisation, but with our work in the justice sector and the success of systems like FIN-KAST which has been rolled out across the Health Service in Ireland there is a cadre of the team with other specialisms, for example law, IT and digital development.
What other skills do you need in your role?
Respect and courtesy to others. I think you need to be supportive to colleagues who are part of your team. Also, because my work is challenging I have to have a bit of courage and confidence to find solutions to problems when solutions are not immediately obvious. That means being methodical, but also, because our work is varied, it is important to be innovative and flexible.
What is the best thing about your job?
There are so many things. I think the best is that it doesn't feel like work, there is very much a team ethos and we all share in and enjoy the successes. For example, in the face of Brexit we have recently been awarded a renewal of our Department of Agriculture outsourced accountancy services programme for up to the next four years which was a shot in the arm for confidence. And when the international team came back from the Himalayas last month with a new contract to roll out IPSAS in Bhutan everyone was delighted - a few volunteers are having the walking boots polished up in readiness for a call up!
And the worst?
I think it has to be the vagaries of international travel – we work in a lot of exotic places like Jamaica, the Maldives, Italy, etc but there is never a good ‘delay in departure time.'
What do you think are the greatest challenges/pressures of the job?
We try not to do pressure at KOSI. Don't get me wrong, we work hard but it is important that people can work in a positive environment and we work hard to sustain that. The challenge is to grow the business in a structured and sustainable way. We do advisory, outsourcing and technology at KOSI and thankfully all of the business graphs are going in the right direction.
What did you want to be when you were at school?
A professional footballer (doesn't everyone?)
What advice would you give someone considering entering your profession?
The accountancy profession is very diverse. The fantastic thing about KOSI is the type and variety of work we do, for example financial systems development or the forensic accounting work, such as supporting the Moran inquiry into the London Olympic and Rio Olympic Games. If I was considering entering the profession I would look to get a broad spectrum of experience before concentrating on a particular aspect of accountancy.
How do you like to relax outside of work?
I have a great interest in sport and fitness. I have played senior football for Castlewellan GFC for 10 years and that is a separate labour of love with a great bunch of friends.