the suits

Irene Currie is a great believer in the idea that the modern accountant has to be a lot more flexible than before. But many of her colleagues might well feel that she has taken that belief a bit far - by going into corporate communications. Nor is she carrying out this role in a sleepy backwater. She is doing it at Scottish Nuclear when the preparations for privatisation are, arguably, giving it a higher profile than at any time before.

She is, however, no stranger to the sell-off procedure. Before joining Scottish Nuclear as assistant to the chairman and chief executive three years ago, she worked at Scottish Power, which was then going through much the same process. One of her roles there was setting up financial systems at one of the divisions. She was only 25 then and the job involved working with a lot of male engineers, she says ruefully.

Surviving the experience has apparently given her the confidence to relish her present role, which is, she admits, "an ever-growing portfolio". Dubbed a "bright spark" by some waggish former colleagues in the electricity company, she is certainly a long way from the conventional view of the public-sector accountant. But then she seems to have always done the unexpected.

At an early age she won a school prize for adding up, but read languages when she went to Glasgow University. In her own words, she "fell into" accountancy when she joined Strathclyde council on graduation, and gained her Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy qualifications. Doing such tasks as introducing financial systems was, she insists, "a lot of fun".

Nevertheless, she was soon off to Scottish Power and then on to the state- owned nuclear organisation. Having never intended to be an accountant, she saw sitting alongside the company's most senior executives as an opportunity to broaden her experience. And this led naturally into an involvement with public relations.

While acknowledging that she has come a long way from her beginnings, Ms Currie, 32, claims she has not left accountancy behind but taken it with her. "Accountancy exams are much wider than just doing figures," she says.

Fair enough. But she did help to confirm the view that there was a stereotype from which to break free when she recalled how a former colleague had congratulated her on her latest appointment with the words "an accountant who can communicate".

ROGER TRAPP

Independent Partners; Do you need financial advice on your investments, pension or insurance? Book a free consultation with an independent Financial Adviser at VouchedFor.co.uk

Finacial products from our partners
Property search
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    Recruitment Genius: Financial Adviser

    £20000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you recently QCA Level 4 qu...

    SThree: Graduate Recruitment Resourcer

    £20000 - £22500 per annum + OTE £30K: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...

    Guru Careers: Application Support Analyst / 1st Line Support

    £25 - 30k: Guru Careers: We are seeking an Application Support Analyst / 1st L...

    Guru Careers: .NET Developer / Web Developer

    £45K - £55K (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a full stack .NET D...

    Day In a Page

    Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

    Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

    How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
    Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

    Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

    Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
    Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

    Aviation history is littered with grand failures

    But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
    Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

    Fortress Europe?

    Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
    Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

    Never mind what you're wearing

    It's what you're reclining on that matters
    General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

    Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

    The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
    Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

    Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

    Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
    Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

    Marginal Streets project documents voters

    Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
    Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

    The real-life kingdom of Westeros

    Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
    How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

    How to survive a Twitter mauling

    Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
    Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

    At dawn, the young remember the young

    A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
    Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

    Follow the money as never before

    Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

    Samuel West interview

    The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
    General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

    Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

    Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
    Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

    Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

    The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence