Helping hands

Mentoring is a win-win situation that enables both mentors and mentees to benefit from sharing knowledge and learning from others.

The concept of mentoring has been around since Ancient Greece’s Homer wrote ‘The Odyssey’ and created the character Mentor – a wise guide to watch over and educate the protagonist’s son while he was at war.

The influential broadcaster Oprah Winfrey said that “a mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself… who allows you to see the higher part of yourself when sometimes it becomes hidden to your own view.”

None of us have achieved anything meaningful without some form of mentorship. Nobody has made it alone. Often we will have been mentors to people even when we don’t realise it.

The transfer of knowledge is clearly one major aspect in mentoring. It is teaching what we’ve learnt, learning what we’ve yet to experience, preparing a mentee by offering tools to further wisdom and understanding.

It is a great opportunity for a mentee to fasttrack their attainment of knowledge, but also to bring in new ideas and fresh perspectives.

There is also a responsibility on them to execute and deliver on the task he or she is being mentored for – to repay the time invested in and the faith bestowed to them by the more experienced and established mentor. Mentoring has allowed our members and affiliates at ACCA to benefit from the vast experience of our network.

Members frequently ask how they can give something back to the profession.

The ACCA Mentoring Programme achieves both goals and helps build the accountancy profession the world needs. It is a great opportunity allowing members to communicate and share experience and knowledge with other members worldwide.

Earlier this year it won the gold award for the Most Innovative Development by an Association at the European Association Awards in Belgium.

This month ACCA are relaunching this programme with several new features. In response to user feedback, we’ve enhanced the programme and made it even easier for members and affiliates to make a connection and achieve their goals, through:

• Simpler, clearer navigation.

• An improved application process.

• More focused profiles – to help users select a match.

Users of the programme will gain valuable experience directly from a fellow member, developing new skills, knowledge, insights and perspectives. They will also build their confidence by setting and achieving development goals, expanding their network, challenging themselves, helping fellow members and giving back to the profession.

The programme is being piloted for ACCA members and affiliates in Hong Kong SAR of China, Ireland, Malaysia, Pakistan, Singapore and the UK.

If you are an ACCA member or affiliate, please go to to join our growing mentoring community.

Clare Hodgson is the head of professional development products at the ACCA