A former ACCA Student’s Experience

Michael Mercieca is a Certified Public Accountant. He joined Deloitte Malta in January 2003 and soon after successfully qualified as a Chartered Accountant. Michael pursued further studies and read for the Diploma in Taxation offered by The Malta Institute of Taxation and the Advanced Diploma in International Taxation offered by The Malta Institute of Management.

During his first six years at Deloitte, Michael formed part of the Audit & Assurance team. Following this experience, Michael moved to the Deloitte tax compliance department and since January 2012 he took up a position within the firm’s International Tax Department. As from January 2014 Michael joined Deloitte’s Global Employer Services function in which he focuses on individual tax client requirements and on employer’s tax related matters.

Through the combination of working in both Deloitte’s audit service line and tax service line, Michael has more than ten years of practical knowledge and experience in various industries.

Michael has participated in various training programs both locally and abroad aimed at developing specific skills with a focus on taxation and is also a lecturer for the ACCA tax paper and for various CPE events organized by a number of education providers.

TA. What influenced you to opt for the accountancy profession?

MM: I think that the accountancy profession has come a long way over the past decades. Today an ideal candidate should be a ‘people’s person’ and also be a person who is business oriented and who at the same time understands the importance of ethical and professional business practices. This diverse pool of requirements is one of the factors that influenced me to opt for the accountancy profession. Another factor relates to the various opportunities that the accountancy profession offers, also bolstered by the rapid growth of the Maltese financial services sector in Malta.

TA. Why did you opt for ACCA?

MM: ACCA gives you the advantage of obtaining work experience earlier than a student that opts for another full-time route to qualification like that that is offered by the University of Malta. Furthermore, ACCA is an internationally recognised brand, which is a consideration that I also made at the time since I wanted to keep my options open by also considering taking my career overseas in another country.

TA. Tell us some more about your learning experience.

MM: As I work in a big four firm my learning experience is ongoing. When I graduated and received my qualification certificate I felt extremely satisfied and at the same time relieved. I have learnt, however, that obtaining a qualification does not mean that your studies have ended. Quite the opposite in fact. Indeed, in my case I was only getting started. As a matter this is also being experienced by many other Accountants that I know. I think it stands to reason that given the way that our profession and the landscape surrounding us is changing, any member of the accountancy profession has to study throughout his career to maintain his technical competence and remain up to date with current practices.

This is partly why the profession so interesting and rewarding!

TA. Completing ACCA was…?

MM: Quite tough.

At the academic level, ACCA is a qualification of very high standard. It hence takes dedication and commitment to complete the course of studies in an acceptable time frame.

Also, because I was attending lectures and other educational events during my study days, I managed to make friends and contacts, many of which I still know till today and some of which have now become my business contacts. So I can say that I have benefitted on two levels: on a professional and on a personal level.

TA. What are your career aspirations?

MM: My career aspirations, for the time being, are to continue advancing in my current role, which is that of a personal tax advisor. I like this role because it has provided me with a great deal of exposure to interesting and complex tax matters especially in the area of cross border employment.

I am also lecturing for ACCA and I would like to keep on doing this because I think that passing on knowledge to others is a very rewarding experience.

TA. Any advice you may wish to share with the readers?

MM: You have to love your job in order to succeed – do not settle for anything less.

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