You have control over your career.
Whether you’re a nurse, a musician, an architect, a writer, or an accountant, your job title is just one of the endless number of things you can be – just one of the hats that you wear.
Nope, you don’t have to fit into a cookie cutter role.
One individual who knows that well is Alfred Zagloul, also known as Alfred Drinking Coffee, who has almost completed the Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) program. You’d never guess that a love for coffee and a career as a junior accountant could lead you to become a social influencer, but Alfred is proving that it can.
You can harvest your skills to branch out into other fields.
Now Alfred works in the most creative career that he could have dreamt of; working as an accountant (and coffee drinker) here at Daily Hive, as well as managing his highly sought-after Instagram page. Followers of the coffee fanatic can’t help but be captivated by his colour-coordinated Instagram posts and sharp coffee reviews. And this even extends to a global scale as he was recently featured in a Buzzfeed Japan article.
We’ve teamed up with the Chartered Professional Accountants of BC (CPABC), and sat down with Alfred to find out how accounting transformed his life.
Where did the concept for ‘Alfred Drinking Coffee’ come from?
I’ve been obsessed with coffee for a while, so my coworkers told me since we’re big on social media we should create an account displaying the coffee that I drink. We wanted to make it seem like a “typical accountant” or what people view a typical accountant to be, reviewing coffee. We decided on the serious look and analyzing the coffee as best as possible.
How have you used social media to leverage your brand?
I’ve tried to partner with companies to help improve my reach on social media and grow the brand, whether it’s doing giveaways with coffee companies around the city, or increasing my reach by expanding from just Instagram to building my website or creating a Facebook page for the account. They are all linked, but it allows me to build the brand. I have also been able to monetize the brand in terms of sponsored articles or merchandise.
What do you do to connect with people through your Instagram account?
The biggest thing I do is engage with followers. So I try to reply to comments, like pictures of people following me. In terms of connecting with people, I’ve managed to meet some key coffee owners in the city through this account and get work with them.
Did you ever anticipate that your Instagram account would gain such popularity?
Honestly I’m in shock people like the page now. When we first started we thought it would just be funny to a few people in the office. I’m glad people like the page to be honest, and I hope they keep liking it.
What is it about your CPA that’s helped you get a creative career?
Well, if it wasn’t for my pursuit of CPA, I never would have had the opportunity to work for Daily Hive, which means I never would have met the coworkers that motivated me to start the account. Also, without CPA, I never would have thought of monetizing the account and evaluating how best to do so.
What kind of advice would you give to an accountant aspiring to pursue a creative career?
The best advice I can give is find something you’re passionate about and pursue it. I was passionate about coffee and found an avenue that allowed me to showcase that passion and could realistically lead to a career in coffee one day. But to run it successfully I have to use my accounting knowledge to ensure that I am not only being creative, but I am able to run a business successfully as it grows. Accounting doesn’t have to be a boring career as the public perceives it. The knowledge you get from obtaining a CPA designation can be used in a million different ways to help you achieve your goals.
What does a typical day working at Daily Hive look like for you?
I start off making or getting coffee for my Instagram post, I take a coffee picture, then after posting it I typically start responding to emails, then just work on financials. Most days I’ll be working with different departments to help in whatever manner I can from an accounting standpoint to best help the business.
Daily Hive’s CEO and co-founder, Karm Sumal, CPA, CGA, has an accounting designation.
“Having accounting knowledge allowed me to understand the cash needs of my business. It’s an advantage that many entrepreneurs wish they had because knowing your cash flow is key to growing your business,” said Karm.
CPAs navigate through disruptive change by anticipating the unexpected, making sense of complexity, and transforming data into strategy. They are trusted, collaborative leaders with renowned financial expertise and ethical fortitude to challenge. CPAs create real value for organizations and economies.