What are your current responsibilities? How is the work going so far?
My main responsibilities include conducting academic research, university teaching, and providing departmental and faculty-level service. Regarding academic research, I focus on auditing, financial reporting, and societal trust issues. For example, one of my research projects examines whether and how societal trust, an informal monitoring mechanism, matters in multinational group audits. Societal trust refers to a willingness to trust and the trustworthiness of the associated party. A higher level of societal trust among auditors in the group audit is expected to restrain component auditors’ opportunistic behaviour, improve the information environment, and enhance communications between the principal auditor and component auditors, resulting in higher group audit quality. Because of my prior experience as an auditor, my aim is for my research to contribute to academic literature while also having practical implications for practitioners. I also teach financial accounting, which is a foundation course for business students. In terms of service, I serve on the Sub-Committee for Assurance of Learning of Undergraduate Business Programmes, as well as on the Staff-Student Consultation Sub-Committee for Bachelor of Business Administration. This is my first year working as a faculty member, fresh from completing my Ph.D. studies. I enjoy all the work and responsibilities that come with it, and I am actively seeking ways to improve and excel in each aspect of my role. I am truly grateful to have joined Lingnan University, where I am fortunate to have a welcoming work environment, and colleagues who are both supportive and friendly.
What are the most rewarding and challenging aspects of your role, and why?
The most rewarding part is receiving feedback from academic scholars and colleagues, which helps me to continuously improve my research. It is fulfilling to see my research work being valued and agreed upon by other scholars. As for teaching, the most rewarding aspects are helping students understand complex accounting questions, and seeing my students make progress in their studies. I feel grateful whenever students say that they like my teaching methods and express their appreciation. The most difficult aspect of my work is achieving positive outcomes from research projects, despite investing significant time and effort. The investigation and data analysis process can be demanding, especially when preliminary results are unexpected and do not align with documented literature or my observations in practice. In such cases, I have to re-examine my research models, review the literature, redefine my hypothesis, and reorganize my data to move closer to the truth. Furthermore, balancing time between academic research, teaching duties, and service provision poses a challenge. Each responsibility requires a substantial amount of time and effort. Research demands a high level of concentration, and indepth learning and thinking, while teaching and services require strong communication and interpersonal skills. It can be challenging to develop each skill set, and be able to switch quickly between tasks within a short period of time.
What inspired you to follow a career in accountancy?
I majored in accounting and management information systems in my undergraduate studies at City University of Hong Kong. Like many accounting students, I was inspired by several university teachers who shared their prior industry experience in addition to imparting accounting knowledge. I was eager to apply the knowledge I gained in my studies to practical situations. Consequently, after graduating, I worked as an auditor at an international accounting firm and began my journey towards becoming a CPA.
What are the biggest lessons you have learned so far from work experience or managers?
It is crucial to find an area that we are passionate about and have a sense of mission. Equally important is an ongoing dedication to learning and growth. In today’s constantly evolving world, academics need to identify their own passions while also staying up-to-date with the latest research methods and models, being informed about current business and research trends, and keeping pace with changes in accounting standards and regulations. I firmly believe that doing so is necessary for achieving success and making a meaningful impact.
Where do you see yourself in the next five to 10 years in your career?
I plan to continue my work at the university, contributing to and making an impact in the field of accounting education. One of my goals is to specialize in academic research that not only fills gaps in the literature, but also has practical implications for standard setters, regulators, and practitioners. I believe in bridging the gap between research and practice. I want to continue teaching and nurturing future accountants and accounting experts, as well as serving as a communication channel to connect academics, practitioners, and students to cultivate a better, more sustainable, and transparent accounting profession.