As it’s Mental Health Awareness Week, we’re delighted to catch up with Kath Haines, CEO of CABA, the charity that focuses on wellbeing for accountants. She talks about her career, life and Accountex with Accounting Insight News Editor Ian Moss…
The here and now….
What are your favourite early career memories, Kath?
To be asked to buy a calculator during my first auditing job. I was so used to solving problems by mental arithmetic!
How did you get into this business?
I have always had a passion for numbers, and was delighted to land a temporary holiday job at the Inland Revenue where I worked for an accountant. This sparked my interest into the profession and I have never looked back.
What can accountants and finance professionals learn from you, in a nutshell!?
The importance of wellbeing and looking after yourself. Life’s too short, so do something you enjoy, both in your career and personal life.
What’s on the horizon for you and the sector?
The technological changes I referred to above are likely to have a huge impact on the ways in which accountants work in the future. For us at CABA it’s about us being there for those who struggle with these changes, making sure that we have the help and advice to both prepare and support them.
As an influential voice, what impact do you want to have on the industry this year and in the long run?
To continue to encourage good mental health and removing the remaining stigma associated with it. I would also like to focus on growing the awareness around the importance of wellbeing, and how it can make an employee more productive and engaged. Our whitepaper scratched the surface of how looking at wellbeing holistically can provide great business benefit, so I want to help forge a strong understanding of how wellbeing positively impacts an employee’s performance, to help deliver a true wellbeing ROI.
What are your expectations for Accountex 2018?
To be part of an informative event and keep abreast of changes in the industry. I am hoping that we can generate a buzz at the event. We have a stand where we will be offering lots of advice on how to look after your own wellbeing.
Where did you grow up?
Were you any good at maths at school?
I always had a passion for maths and was proud to achieve a Combined Science degree (BSc) from Leicester University, where maths was a key part. I came from a family of teachers so it was presumed that I would do that, but I wanted to do something different.