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Paul S. Mendy, Dignified Ambitious Accountant

Apr 9, 2008, 4:58 AM | Article By: By Augustine Kanjia

Paul S. Mendy an ambitious, and yet dignified Accountant whose eagerness to learn more and through honesty dispenses his talent, coupled with his love for God as a devoted Christian, has branded this 39 year old Gambian as one of the finest, hardworking, tenacious and most God fearing accountant. What is needed in dealing with finance especially huge sums that belong to others? It's only a man with clear hands and total honesty with the love for others like Paul S. Mendy that can handle bigger amounts and positions dealing with money.

Augustine Kanjia talks with Paul S. Mendy of PURA to discover his early beginnings, aspirations and his love for Christ as a Catholic and a true son of the Gambian soil. He confides in me here, please read below.

EIG: Could you please tell me about your humble beginnings?

PS Mendy: I am 39 years old. I am married in Church to Elizabeth; a very supportive young lady and we have three kids. I am a Fellow Chartered Certified Accountant and an MBA Finance holder.

EIG: What is your story like about your early job before getting to this position?

PS Mendy: I started my first job with Gamtel in 1991 as an Accounts Clerk, then to Audit Clerk.

EIG: From where did you get your qualification?

PS Mendy: Due to good luck and my performance at the AAT in 1993, two of us were lucky to be awarded scholarship by Gamtel to pursue further studies in London, UK. I did my ACCA for three years. We got distinctions at AAT in The Gambia, which earned us the scholarship to UK by Gamtel. I did my ACCA in London and returned home to work. I worked with Gamtel/Gamcel on my return as Finance Manager for five years. I then moved to the private sector at the First International Bank in 2004 as Head of Finance.

EIG: Were there challenges relating to your AAT studies?

PS Mendy: Yes! But with the help of friends, we bagged distinctions in 1995. In UK, studying was a daunting task especially studying ACCA. My friend finished before me, he went before me though.

EIG: What did you do before going to UK?

PS Mendy: I had clerical job. Coming back I had to prepare budgets, prepared financial statements, treasury management and also financial management and taking key management decisions in financial areas.

EIG: Which schools did you attend that gave you this strong and edifying stance in finance?

PS Mendy: I attended St. Theresa's Secondary School and St. Augustine's SeniorSecondary School from Form 1 - 5 and I did Form Six in the same St. Augustine's Senior Secondary. I further attended MDI, qualifying with MAAT (UK) and FMAAT (UK), AT- Emile Woolf Colleges, UK, ACCA Affiliate, ACCA Body UK, ACCA Fellow member, Manchester Business School-world -wide (Manchester University).

EIG: With all these you gained as a finance man, can the government or other employers trust you in line with your job?

PS Mendy: Yes indeed! I Can boldly say yes to it. The truth and confidence I have gained from where I have worked is very high. Many people including important personnel and the highest body can trust me in terms of finance.

EIG: If you are to be given a more demanding task would you be able to handle it accurately?

PS Mendy: That's not a problem for me. I know with the help of God and my knowledge, I can execute it diligently with deeper satisfaction. All the areas I have worked can testify to this in sincerity.

EIG: How did you gain your confidence?

PS Mendy: I got my confidence from what I have learnt and from my output. During my early days, my mum pushed me quite hard to study, even when I failed she would force me to. I later realised that with determination one can achieve higher goals.

EIG: What do you intend for The Gambia and how can you help others attain this?

PS Mendy: It is for The Gambia to achieve Vision 2020 as enshrined in The Gambia's Vision 2020 blue print. Ok, with the determination, integrity and honesty, as a finance guy, you can put your company or organisation to achieve its goals.

EIG: If given a bigger task outside of the present task, would your competence allow you?

PS Mendy: As I said before, I can execute any financial task especially with the co-operation of my colleagues that I would work with.

EIG: If given a bigger task what would you do to help others?

PS Mendy: As I have just said, with co-operation with my colleagues I can help them to manage their finances. I will teach them in finance, which will give them knowledge in their job to handle their jobs with competence.

EIG: Does anybody commend you for your honesty and hard work?

PS Mendy: Yes indeed! Especially Gamtel. Whenever I go there many always cry for me to go back there to work again.

EIG: Are there problems you face as a finance worker?

PS Mendy:The problems are only from the staff. Finance workers with principles are not liked by many. I always talk to them and you follow the regulations set aside and they would like to follow what is said to them.

EIG: Do you have any suggestions for those who want to follow your footsteps as a finance man?

P.S. Mendy: They should stick to their studies, seek assistance from qualified accountants, take them as mentors. I am always available in the accounting world.

EIG: Have you any words of wisdom for your work mates?

P.S. Mendy: For my colleagues at Pura they should keep up the momentum and continue to exchange ideas, work harder together so that we can take PURA and The Gambia forward to make it the best country in Africa and the world at large.

EIG: What experience would you use to achieve your dream of the above?

P.S. Mendy: At Gamtel, I held Financial Accounts, which included stock valuation and reporting, Management information fuel analysis, Postings cash book transactions, Maintaining staff loans ledgers, Management information - vehicle maintenance analysis. Under positions I was Accounts Clerk. As an Internal Auditor, I did Branch auditing and performance reporting with host of other assignments in related field. I later became senior Audit Clerk and Acting Internal Auditor.

I have also held Financial Accounts position, reviewing Bank Reconciliation statements and six other related functions.

I was also Financial Accountant and Acting Senior Financial Accountant. I worked in the finance department and did the preparation of the company's yearly operational and manpower budgets including seventeen other related jobs. I also served as Finance Manager in the Finance Department and I prepared Management and Financial accounts for Management and I was laison with external auditors with a host of other assignments. I became head of Finance as well.

Well at present at the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) I have worked at the Economic and Finance Department and I am the Principal Financial Analyst/Senior Finance Manager with about fifteen functions attached to the position.

I have also attended a good number of conferences and seminars with lots of certificates and diplomas locally and internationally. These and more would help me achieve my dreams.

EIG: Who has been your mentor?

P.S. Mend: My two former Finance Directors, Alieu Ceesay and Foday Ceesay both of Gamtel.

EIG: How did you get into Finance?

P.S. Mendy: O.K.! During my High School days, I did Commerce and I was lucky to get employment at Gamtel that prompted me to continue with the profession.

EIG: Are you involved in any social activities?

P.S. Mendy: Yes! Reading Newspapers, journals, listening to music, watching TV/ Video, visiting family members and friends. I am also a devoted Catholic. I served as Chairperson for Operation Tile the Church; Kanifing and I serve as part-time lecturer at the University of the Gambia.

EIG: Is there any other necessary thing you think we did not talk about?

P.S. Mendy: We have touched on the main points already.

I think those are important.

EIG: Thank you then!

P.S. Mendy: Thank you for taking your time to interview me.