Arlene Clapham Risk and Assurance Manager

What has been your career path so far?

I never knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. My first “proper” job was working as a Forensics Assistant for an accountancy practice in Bristol, where I began my ACCA studies. The next few years were spent travelling and squeezing in the occasional exam.

I moved to London and looked for jobs in the charity sector and was lucky enough to get the role of Audit Manager for an international NGO.

The role required a lot of travel to regional centres in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Eastern Europe and I learnt a lot about how programmes are delivered on the ground and the value of sharing best practice.

What came next?

In 2008, I joined the risk and assurance team at the British Red Cross where I learnt about UK service delivery and fundraising for the first time as well as working on a variety of finance, international, human resources, and IT project assignments.

Despite my qualification, I am glad that neither role focussed on accounting. I prefer working in internal audit, reviewing governance arrangements, policy, procedures, and compliance.

What do you enjoy about the charity sector?

I love the fact there is so much to learn. I enjoy working with people to identify what is working well and suggesting ways of improving.

I like that Sayer Vincent clients are all charities and social enterprises, and we support them by providing risk and assurance services. The firm gives a lot back to the sector, with so many publications and training seminars, which makes me proud to work here.

What do you get up to outside of work?

Having time to myself doesn’t happen often, but I am at my happiest spending time with my two boys.