Bill Yu

Bill Yu, Auditor at the Hong Kong government’s Audit Commission, tells A Plus why he chose accounting over banking, and how the Institute’s Qualification Programme (QP) equipped him with the right set of skills to pursue his goals

What is your current role and responsibilities? How is it going so far?

I’m an auditor at the Audit Commission of the Hong Kong government and working in one of the divisions responsible for value for money (VFM) audits. We audit different government bureaux and departments to assess the economy, efficiency and effectiveness in discharging their functions. I’m involved in preparing one of the chapters in our Director of Audit’s Report, which is published by the Audit Commission twice a year. Everything is going very well so far. I have met many senior officers and colleagues who are all very experienced, friendly, and willing to offer advice.

What are the most rewarding and challenging aspects of your role, and why?

It’s a challenge digesting the large amount of files and records, and presenting our findings in a clear and detailed manner. The results of the VFM audits are published in the Director of Audit’s Reports and uploaded to the Audit Commission’s website where it can be viewed by the public. Often, the issues I write about involve technical terms, or relate to complicated procedures that are hard to understand at first. For me, it’s rewarding when the departments we’ve audited consider our suggestions, and see how their work can be further improved to make better value for money.

What inspired you to become an accountant?

I actually didn’t intend on becoming an accountant at first. I majored in quantitative finance at university and, like my peers, I wanted to work in the banking industry after graduation. But that all changed after I attended a number of recruitment talks organized by different accounting firms. I learned how challenging yet dynamic the profession is, and how I would gain a lot knowledge in a short period of time.

What has been the biggest challenge you have faced in your career so far and how did you overcome it?

Before this role, I worked at KPMG for more than five years, and the biggest challenge was going from the private to the public sector. Everything is different – from the work requirements all the way to the work culture. I want to thank the senior officers and colleagues who have been very patient and supportive in sharing their experiences and helping me with the overall transition.

What are the biggest lessons you have learned so far from work experience or managers?

Never stop learning. As accountants, we must not sit still. It is our job to keep abreast with new rules and regulations, and to help organizations comply with the requirements. It’s also important to keep learning in general – it’s a big world out there, and the more you learn, the more you realize how little you actually know.

How do you think the QP has helped you in your career so far, or prepared you for your current role?

I felt my knowledge in accounting was quite limited even after graduation, so I found Module A, Financial Reporting, and Module D, Taxation, to be most useful when I first started off as an auditor. The programme’s comprehensive and well-structured curriculum really helped me to develop logical thinking and organization skills, especially through the workshops, which I found very practical.

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October 2019 issue
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