Ms. Fazeela Gopalani
With accounting in her blood thanks to her father who was an ACCA member and ran a successful accounting practice in the UK, providing professional financial services to a variety of clients who were private individuals, small businesses and large enterprises it’s no surprise Fazeela was convinced of the power of the ACCA qualification and truly believes that working for ACCA and inspiring others to follow this career path is the utmost tribute to her father. As Head of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) in the Middle East, Fazeela is responsible for leading the operations in 11 countries and representing more than 20,000 students, affiliates and members across the region, who work in all sectors and all levels of business across the Middle East. One of her fundamental roles is as a thought leader and a conversation starter for all things “accounting and finance profession”, in the Middle East, with the purpose of growing the understanding of the value that professionally qualified accountants bring to businesses and economies across the region. Managing and building strategic relationships with regulators, business leaders, partners and the ACCA Middle East stakeholder network to influence debate and conversation around key issues that impact the ongoing economic development of the region is a core part of Fazeela’s role. Alongside linking up the challenges within the accounting world in the Middle East and shining a light on global topics such as sustainability, the audit regulatory environment, digital innovation with the profession and elevating the need to promote and advocate women in the finance function. ACCA believes that accountancy is a cornerstone profession of society that supports both public and private sectors. That’s why we’re committed to the development of a strong global accountancy profession and the many benefits that this brings to society and individuals and why Fazeela acts as a conversation starter raising awareness around the integral role that accountants play to businesses and economies particularly within the Middle East using adoption of VAT, IFRS Changes, public sector moving from cash accounting to accrual accounting, embedding Islamic Finance and not forgetting to mention business sustainability during this current pandemic as validation, given the professions lead on this areas. Fazeela works closely with many educational institutions and government bodies across the region to encourage new generations to not only understand the importance of the almost pandemic proof profession, but the significant role a professionally qualified accountant plays in building economies, thus encouraging the next generation to consider and undertake a career in accountancy and finance, whilst raising the importance of the financial literacy agenda being embedded at an early age. ACCA understands that in this ever-changing global environment young people require resilience and adaptability – skills that are proving to be essential to navigate effectively through whatever situations arise and part of her education agenda is to provide insights and tools that enable the next generation to possess some of the most important skills that employers will be looking for such as creativity, communication and collaboration, alongside empathy and emotional intelligence; and being able to work across demographic lines of differences to harness the power of the collective through effective teamwork. Fazeela ensures that through her leadership in the Middle East, ACCA is seen as a force for public good and remains true to its core values of building a sustainable global profession by re-investing surplus to deliver member value by leveraging our respected research, continue to answer today’s questions that prepares us for tomorrow, actively encourages continued professional development and continues to shape and develop the accounting and finance profession for the next generation. Recent accolades include, named as one of the Top 35 Women of Influence in the Arab world 2021, by CEO Middle East Magazine and winner of the Asia One’s Women Empowerment Award 20/21. Fazeela is an FCCA member and has over 18 years of experience in the field of accounting and finance. Fazeela has been the Head of Education for ACCA in the Middle East and she previously was a Senior Manager at PwC in Dubai. Prior to moving to the Emirates Fazeela managed and owned an accounting practice in the UK providing professional financial services to a variety of clients. Fazeela studied her Bachelor’s degree from University of Birmingham and her MBA from University of Strathclyde. She lives in Dubai with her husband and two children.