- Rebecca Glover is CFO of World Vision Australia and has been with the organisation in various roles since 2006.
- Glover has thrived in the NFP sector and has found helping the less fortunate immensely rewarding.
- Three tips for young CAs considering a career in the NFP sector.
When Rebecca Glover told a colleague she was leaving the top four accounting firm she worked for to join World Vision Australia she was warned the move was career suicide.
But Glover, who now oversees annual revenue of approximately A$400m as World Vision Australia CFO, has forged a career in the not-for-profit (NFP) sector that is every bit as challenging and compelling as the corporate world.
“There is a suggestion the not for profit sector isn’t a serious career,” Glover says. “I fundamentally challenge that.”
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Having joined PwC Australia as a trainee, Glover worked full-time on tax, auditing and advisory for clients with revenues below A$1b while studying part time.
“It was a great opportunity to try my hand at different disciplines of accounting and get exposure to a broad range of industries as well,” says Glover.
Seeking more than money
When Glover completed her CA qualification at PwC, she became an attractive target for other firms. But she sought more than money; she wanted to be strategic about her next career move.
Glover sponsored a young girl from Sri Lanka through World Vision and had pinned a photo of the child up on her desk at PwC. When the Indian Ocean tsunami struck the coasts of 13 Asian countries on Boxing Day 2004, killing more than 200,000 people, PwC was tasked with forming a team to audit World Vision Australia’s relief response, for which the charity raised A$100m.
Glover was directed to audit the funds sent to the emergency relief operations in Thailand. Amid the devastation and uncertainty, she was amazed at the scale and speed of the relief operation.
Glover vividly recalls local children playing in the child-friendly spaces World Vision built as part of its contribution to the recovery in Thailand.
“I found that to be a really eye-opening experience,” she says. “I hadn’t appreciated the diversity and challenge – the actual running of operations – of a humanitarian response.
“I came back from that experience absolutely fascinated by the operation of such an organisation and the breadth of skills required to deliver on that.”
Glover’s world vision
In 2006 Glover accepted a full-time senior project finance analyst position with World Vision Australia and worked on project deployment, financial management and strategic resource allocation.
In the ensuing years Glover worked her way up the hierarchy at World Vision Australia and in October 2014 she was promoted to her current CFO role. As CFO, Glover oversees the organisation’s finance, risk, legal and compliance, as well as budgeting and planning.
“World Vision is one of the largest private humanitarian organisations,” Glover says. “It has the same kinds of challenges, processes, rigor and sense of professionalism that you would expect of any organisation of that size.”
“I came back from that experience absolutely fascinatedby the operation of such an organisation and the breadth of skills required to deliver on that.”
Glover has thrived in the NFP sector and has found helping the less fortunate through World Vision immensely rewarding – without limiting her capacity to learn and develop her skill set.
“I spend my day job helping to try to change the situation for others and overseeing and making decisions that actually affect the lives of others,” she says.
“I’ve had an incredibly rewarding career by moving into not for profits. I’ve had amazing exposure to different streams of the business world and the opportunity to move around the organisation, globally and locally.”
Glover says for young accountants considering a career in the not-for-profit sector there are plenty of diverse and interesting career paths.
Tips for young CAs
There are plenty of diverse and interesting career paths in the NFP sector. Here are Glover’s three tips for young CAs considering working for an NFP organisation.
Begin volunteering for NFPs. This is the best way to understand whether the NFP route is right for you. Many organisations have skilled volunteering programs and specifically seek skill sets for board roles and advisory committees. CAs are in high demand.
Consider seeking opportunities to work on NFP clients to get an understanding of the issues facing the sector.
Get involved with your firm’s corporate social responsibility initiatives.
is part of an ongoing Careers column offering tips and advice for
provisional members of CA ANZ and younger full members. For more information on
the Chartered Accountants Program, as well as inspiring stories of young
chartered accountants, visit youunlimitedanz.com now.