FOR more than 20 years, Wilma Teviotdale has played a key role in the education of accountants – helping to equip them to deal with the challenges of globalised business.
Soon she will have a high profile role as president of the West Yorkshire Society of Chartered Accountants – one of the largest district societies of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.
And she is pledging to make full use of her experience.
After 13 years in practice as an accountant with a major firm of international chartered accountants, Wilma switched to higher education in 1988 when she became a senior lecturer at Huddersfield University. Seven years later she became its head of accountancy.
A career-long member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, she is currently deputy president of the West Yorkshire Society of Chartered Accountants. Next year, she becomes president of a regional organisation with 5,300 members.
It will be a busy year of office as Wilma presides over meetings and acts as a link between the West Yorkshire society and the institute’s London headquarters.
But her role as an educator will shape her presidency.
She is keen to extent the work of the West Yorkshire society in forging links between the accountancy profession and higher education – especially in meeting Government targets for the employability of graduates.
The importance of closer working between higher education and employers is well recognised in the CBI’s Future Fit report, which deals with the challenges of preparing graduates for the workplace.
Wilma, who lives at Edgerton, said: “It is rare for someone from the field of higher education to hold the job of president, but it does mean that I have a different perspective on the accountancy profession.
“Our aim at the university is to make sure that we have really employable graduates, so we must keep our finger on the pulse of what is happening.”
One of biggest challenges is the globalised economy, meaning that accountancy graduates must be able to deal with business on a worldwide basis.
Wilma has operated globally herself, travelling overseas for the university in forging links abroad. For 10 years, she was a chief examiner for the institute, setting two papers a year in the subject of financial reporting. It was taken by thousands of students worldwide.
Among her duties, Wilma leads the university’s Partners in Accountancy initiative, a collaboration between “gown and practice” designed to give Huddersfield students an exceptional start to their accountancy careers.