I didn't intentionally pick accounting or finance for my career. It just so happened that my father is a businessperson and, when I was young, he started to teach me how to do bookkeeping. I would do the books and records by myself, and found it quite interesting to make them balance. From that point on it actually aroused my interest so, when I went into university, I decided to go for accounting and finance.
I chose ACCA because it provides comprehensive training that helps future career development. ACCA is also a globally-recognised accounting body and, by having this qualification, it gives my career continuous support whether I choose to stay in Hong Kong or move overseas. Furthermore, ACCA lets employers and potential employers know that I'm very determined to work in this field, and also enhances opportunities for promotion.
Can you tell us a little about your career so far?
After graduation, I joined one of the ‘Big Four’ as an auditor. A couple of years later, I moved into corporate finance, undertaking accounting and financial tasks. My career progressed from there.
As a CFO, my job description spans fundamental internal management reporting, external reporting, taxation, corporate finance structure and industrial relations. I’ve been working so long in the accounting field that I'm interested in every aspect. If I were to pick one or two areas that I'm extremely interested in, I would say number one is corporate finance because it allows me to help a company to maximise benefit and minimise cost. For example, when a company needs to look for capital, I can recommend to the board whether equity, debt or bank loan is more cost efficient.
Another perspective of my role is industrial relations. By having meetings with different investors, potential investors or financial analysts, I'm able to help them or introduce them to the company. At the same time, I can listen to their recommendations, which gives us greater insight.
Can you offer any advice for prospective ACCA students?
For those interested in completing the ACCA Qualification, I have two pieces of advice. First, be determined to achieve it. Second, do it earlier rather than later to get the greatest benefit.