IASeminar's latest ‘Meet the Instructor’ is with Alan Mayo who focusses on Oil and Gas, Public Sector Finance and IFRS courses.
Alan Mayo - IASeminars: Instructor
Q: What got you into accounting in the first place?
When I first left university I didn’t initially see myself being an accountant but I landed myself a job in audit with Price Waterhouse. I worked in audit for almost 10 years and was able to see some good and bad change management in action! I spent some time in Paris and watched a merger with a large independent accounting firm. Sadly, it didn’t go too smoothly, especially when the two firms ended up taking up opposite sides of the corridor in the new building! Luckily this experience helped when I was part of the big PW and eventually C merger in the 90s. I learnt a lot on effective change management and the process went very smoothly.
Q: You teach courses on accounting in the Oil and Gas sector, why do you think this is causing such a stir at the moment?
The current oil crisis is obviously having a huge effect on profits and generating many cost cutting measures. At the same time the values of oil and gas assets on the balance sheet are being severely tested with big impairment write downs in 2015 on top of losses already taken in 2014, for example, BP have just announced a further net $2bn of write downs in 2015 on top of $8bn taken the previous year. No one can reliably predict for how long the oil price will be down at these levels but it is likely to drag on financial results for some years to come.
Then throw into this mix the two new standards on revenue recognition and leasing and the uncertain impact they will have, particularly over the accounting for larger, complex contracts. So you can see there are a lot of issues creating a stir at the moment.
Q: Why do you think the IASeminars Oil and Gas courses are proving so popular?
Well IFRS is meant to give clear guidance but the IASB has left the industry with a big question over how to account for oil and gas exploration activities; should these activities be recorded as asset generating or as an expense? It becomes very complicated and therefore individuals working in this sector want to understand how it works for them. The IASeminars’ courses give clarity on what can and can’t be done.
Q: All work and no play… What do you like to do in your spare time?
Our family has 3 Welsh Springer Spaniels who certainly keep me in walks! And I do fancy myself as a bit of a Bear Grylls when I’m walking in the mountains in Scotland! I also love to scuba dive when I can, especially at the end of a course in an exotic location. Lastly I enjoy painting to relax and my artwork has even been the centre piece of a local play!
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