Date posted: 21/01/2019 5 mins. min read

BDO’s Sherif Andrawes FCA shares the moments that made him

How did Sherif Andrawes, BDO’s Global Leader, Natural Resources, go from rocket science in Glasgow to accounting in Perth, WA?

In Brief

  • Sherif Andrawes was always interested in accounting, but at his father’s urging first studied aeronautical engineering.
  • Andrawes’ first Perth stint was from 1994 to 1996. But within a week of returning to London, he wanted to move back to Perth.
  • He became a BDO partner in 2001, chairman of BDO in Western Australia in 2009, and BDO Global Leader, Natural Resources in April 2018.


Sherif Andrawes FCA 

I was born in Cairo in 1966 to an Egyptian father and English mother. We moved to Scotland after Dad got a job as professor of engineering at Glasgow’s University of Strathclyde.


Sherif Andrawes FCA

Since early high school I wanted to be an accountant, but Dad said “Accounting is boring; you love planes,” so I enrolled in aeronautical engineering. I graduated with Honours in 1987, with a thesis in hypersonic rocket science. It was during this period I met my future wife, Barbara. We actually grew up on the same street and went to the same Glasgow high school, but she was a cool muso and I was a nerd, so we’d never spoken.


Sherif Andrawes FCA

After graduating in 1987, I still wanted to go into finance (to Dad’s dismay!). I knocked back job offers from Rolls-Royce and British Aerospace and moved to London to get my chartered accountant designation. Barbara moved with me the day after our engagement party. I became a CA while working at Moores Rowland (which merged with BDO in 1999).


Gordon Gekko

In the late 1980s, I specialised in the audit of commodity, futures and options traders. The guys on the London trading desks were a bunch of Gordon Gekko wannabes who didn’t want to listen to an auditor. I did the futures and options traders exam to shut them up.

“The guys on the London trading desks were a bunch of Gordon Gekko wannabes… I did the futures and options traders exam to shut them up.”
Sherif Andrawes FCA


Sherif Andrawes FCA

In 1994, I put my hand up for a secondment to Bermuda, got promised Melbourne, and at the last minute that was changed to Perth. Barbara was too pregnant to travel, so I met our second son for the first time at Perth Airport when he was five weeks old.


Sherif Andrawes FCA

After an 18-month Perth secondment, we went home to London in 1996, and within a week wanted to move back to Perth. Eventually I became BDO WA chair, from 2009 to 2018.


Sherif Andrawes FCA

Since 2007, I’ve coached women’s football. After years of coaching teenage boys it is incredibly refreshing! Now I coach the Fremantle City Women’s Metro South Division 2 squad.


Sherif Andrawes FCA

In April 2018, I became BDO Global Leader, Natural Resources. I feel lucky to have this global role and still get to live in Perth. The new job means more travel but that’s OK. I get to the airport early to watch the planes take off and track them on my radar app.