#230: An Image Make-over for Finance and Accounting

with Susan Ní Chríodáin


Our Guest Mentor:

Susan is not only a member of Chartered Accountants Ireland but now an Image Consultant for finance teams and leaders.  As accountants are often stereotyped leaving their uniqueness hidden behind the numbers Susan works with those who want to see, and be seen, beyond the numbers.  

She has worked and lived in Ireland, Australia, Uganda, Sudan, Kenya, UK and Switzerland.  Work travel included time in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Cambodia, DRC, Indonesia, India, Laos, Malawi, Mozambique, Niger, Northern Iraq, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe.   

Susan has experience working with the Big 4 and in Insurance, Hospitality, Film and International Humanitarian and Development sectors.  Finance roles include Auditor, Project Accountant, Financial Controller, Compliance Officer, Director of Finance and a Finance Consultant.  Non-Finance roles include Program Manager, Director of Operations and Teaching Fellow. 

Susan loves to learn and has completed courses and studies in areas as diverse as Political Science, Mental Health First Aid, Coaching, Science of Well-Being, Brain & Behaviour, Social Impact Strategy, Effective Negotiation, Women’s Studies and more. 

Susan is an active volunteer and sits on the Boards of Asylum Welcome and Movement to Inspire

Key Quotes From the Episode: 

It’s so important to have good relationships with the people you work with, being able to be understood, being brought in at the right time, being someone who isn’t invited just because you are from finance but actually because you are in the room to add value and people see that in you.[13:20] 

“People are afraid of numbers and when you are afraid of something you don’t want to deal with it.”[15:20] 

“70% of people will feel this (Imposter Syndrome), will fell they are not qualified enough to do the job that others can do it better.”[26:35] 

 (Other resources and how to connect with Susan below). 

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Key Points From the Episode: 

–  Areas of conflict in the business as non-finance people are afraid of numbers 

Image make-over for finance to help everyone see it as a cool, rewarding and amazing career 

Tips for Finance and Accounting Professional to move from backseat to the front row; 

  • Connect with others in non-technical manner 
  • Eat with or have lunch with somebody outside of finance 
  • Volunteer to be part of a committee at work 
  • Build good working relationships 

Ways to combat Imposter syndrome; 

  • Always believe in your self 
  • Take and nurture appreciative dialogue  
  • Journal your successes 

Time Stamped Show Notes 

[03:12] – Susan shares her career journey earlier when she wanted to be a sports coach but took Bachelor of Commerce in Nat’l University of Ireland, Galway. Worked with Deloitte, went to Australia and learned that there was more to life than work. Worked in a hotel back in Ireland but wanted to travel more so she volunteered with GOAL.  She went to Uganda as Financial Controller and was later promoted to Roving Technical Team based in Nairobi. 

[06:58] – Susan’s transition from one country to another and back to University and later to another Non-Profit Organization. 

[15:19] – Areas of conflict in the business as non-finance people can be afraid of numbers and it is the role of finance professionals to help them understand it. 

[18:49] – Image make-over for finance to help everyone see it as a cool, rewarding and amazing career. 

[29:16]  Stereotype of Finance and Accounting professionals that others need to see that it changed. 

[21:34] – Tips for Finance and Accounting Professional to move from backseat to the front row; 

  • connect with others in a non-technical manner 
  • Eat with or have lunch with somebody new 
  • Volunteer to be part of a committee at work 
  • Build good working relationships 

[24:12] – Imposter syndrome is holding us back for no reason at all by doubting ourselves thinking that we are not qualified in doing our jobs. 

[27:03] – Ways to combat Imposter syndrome; 

  • Always believe in your self 
  • Take and nurture appreciative dialogue  
  • Journal your successes 

[29:29] – The best advice Susan ever received from her Dad. 

[31:31] – Resources Susan recommend to our audience to check. 

[34:51] – Best way to connect to Susan  

[35:20] – Susan parting thoughts to our audience on making the most out of everything. 

Resources Mentioned: 

Online   

Amy Cuddy TED talkshttps://www.ted.com/speakers/amy_cuddy 

TEDx talk on Imposter Syndrome: https://youtu.be/zNBmHXS3A6I 

HBR articles. These are two of my favourites: 

https://hbr.org/2016/07/everyone-suffers-from-imposter-syndrome-heres-how-to-handle-it 

https://hbr.org/2008/04/embrace-your-inner-imposter 

Books: 

Paperback  

Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl   

https://www.amazon.com/Mans-Search-Meaning-Viktor-Frankl/dp/080701429X  

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain  

https://www.amazon.com/Quiet-Power-Introverts-World-Talking/dp/0307352153 

Connect with today’s guest: 

LinkedIn Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/susannichriodain/  

Company Website: https://www.beyond-thenumbers.com/  

Email: susan@beyond-thenumbers.com 


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