Shubham Gandhi ACCA of BDO Professional Sports Group plays for passion

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Shubham Gandhi, ACCA member and assistant manager at BDO Professional Sports Group, reflects on how his career journey has been driven by a deep passion for both finance and sports, and has led to him to specialising in sports finance at BDO.

content shubham ghandi [square]Why did you want to become an accountant?

During my academic years, subjects like physics, chemistry and biology didn’t resonate with me. However, I excelled in maths and found joy in working with numbers. I qualified as a chartered accountant in India and then decided to pursue the ACCA Qualification along with my Master’s in Sports Business Management from Manchester Metropolitan University. 

Why ACCA?

I chose ACCA due to its global recognition and the opportunities it offers worldwide. Its reputation ensures stability in my career, while its comprehensive curriculum not only imparts financial expertise but also instils professional and ethical values.  

Did you pass all exams first time?

Having qualified as a chartered accountant in India, I earned nine exemptions and had to take four exams – SBL, SBR, APM and AFM. Since I was simultaneously pursuing my Master’s in Sports Business Management, I passed the four exams in three quarterly appearances. 

What is your first sporting memory?

Sports have been an integral part of my life for over two decades. My earliest televised sporting memory dates back to Zinedine Zidane’s infamous headbutt during the 2006 World Cup. 

However, my most cherished moment was witnessing Cristiano Ronaldo’s spectacular overhead kick goal against Juventus in the 2017/18 Champions League quarterfinals.  

On a personal level, captaining India’s football team at the national levels in 2011 remains a highlight. 

Where did you work before BDO?

I worked at Deloitte. The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India requires every student to train for three years. I did my training with Deloitte India from 2016 to 2019. After completing my training and qualifying as a chartered accountant in India, I chose to do my ACCA exams and pursue the Master’s in Sports Business Management. 

How did you get the job at BDO?

BDO has a very strong clientele in the football industry, especially in audit and assurance, and this is the reason that attracted me towards BDO. After gaining my ACCA membership, I applied for the role of audit semi-senior on BDO’s career’s webpage.  

I started networking with people in BDO and the ones working in the football sector. After a few rounds of interviews, I finally joined BDO in November 2021 and kicked off my career in the sports finance domain.  


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How important is it to work in an industry you love?

I have always been passionate about sports. Making an impact on the pitch didn’t quite go as planned, but I was always driven to make an impact off the pitch.   

I want to contribute to this massive yet fragile sports industry and BDO has given me the chance to do so. They always say: ‘Either love what you do or do what you love’, and BDO has always supported me in doing what I love.  

We all spend most of our lives at work and BDO provides me with a role I am passionate about and one that gives me 100% job satisfaction

What does BDO look for in trainees?

BDO is driven by its core purpose of ‘Helping You Succeed’ – helping each and every member of the team. We foster an inspiring, challenging and collaborative environment where our people are encouraged to be themselves and are supported to reach their potential, and strive to deliver quality in all they do.  

Our culture is driven by four key values – be bold, responsible, collaborative and genuine. 

What soft skills are most valuable in your department?

Be yourself – that’s the soft skill BDO values the most because a firm where people can be themselves leads to enhanced success, increases profitability, diverse decision making and – quite simply – makes life more enjoyable. 

What are your responsibilities?

I am currently based in the Manchester office and my key responsibilities as an assistant manager include:

  • conducting rigorous project and financial management on all projects, completing projects within agreed timescales and raising issues in a timely manner
  • understanding needs of the audited entity, suggesting potential solutions on technical matters and communicating and agreeing the needs and potential solutions with managers or partners
  • supervising and coaching the junior members of the team, and
  • building and maintaining strong relationships with new and established audited entities.  

What are your career aspirations?

I am a part of the BDO – Professional Sports Group, which has given me the opportunity to work with various elite level football clubs and understands the needs and contributes to the sports industry. One of my key achievements is representing BDO as a speaker in the ‘Economics of Sport’ webinar organised by InSport Education. My career aspiration is to get more involved in the business development side of the Professional Sports Group and place BDO as the top sports audit and advisory firm in the world.  

This can be achieved by connecting and networking with the people in the sports industry, understanding the needs of the business and eventually bringing in business to the firm. 


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This article was first published in Student Accountant in May 2024 | Get the SA app now

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