Kevin Li CPA

Kevin Li CPA, Head of Finance at Feeld, a dating app incorporated in the United Kingdom, has helped to strengthen the finance function since joining the start-up. He tells A Plus about the importance of leadership skills as a finance professional and why a business mindset is crucial to driving growth in any company


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

I’m the Head of Finance at Feeld, a United Kingdom-incorporated start-up that runs a dating app. My role covers the full spectrum of the finance functions such as operations, reporting, financial planning and analysis, and business partnering. Things have been exciting so far. Since joining in April, I’ve been focused on leading a project to relaunch its finance team to drive growth. We’ve since expanded the team and scaled processes and deliverables quite quickly. I’ve been doing my best to deliver results, all while learning new things each day and adapting to the culture and the environment in the company. It was equally important to keep a business mindset and familiarize myself with our app’s users. We have an inclusive community and there are more than 20 gender and sexuality options available. Most of them were completely new to me at the start.

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

The biggst challenge is definitely relaunching the finance function. In particular, leading and transforming it into a strategic finance department that could support decision-making – something beyond traditional finance operations. We are achieving it by enhancing the team’s business and financial acumen, and establishing ourselves as a trusted partner to the business. During the transformation, on one hand, I have to keep up with the pace of business growth, and on the other hand, I am playing catch-up with areas that need improvement. It is about knowing how to do both simultaneously. The most satisfying thing is looking back at our accomplishments over the past seven months and seeing how quickly the finance team has developed. I was running it alone at the start, but I’ve since hired  a finance manager to support me on projects, manage external contractor resources, and grow the team together.

What inspired you to become an accountant?

I was a science student in secondary school. In form six, I began learning about the principles of accounting and wanted to know more. I pursued an accounting and finance degree at the University of Hong Kong and decided to become an accountant, so I joined KPMG where I stayed for nearly four years, before moving into the commercial sector and joining a multinational technology company.

Where do you see yourself in the next five to 10 years in your career? Which field do you plan on specializing in, and why?

I’d like to stay in a leading role of finance function and also focus on business partnering – I enjoy supporting businesses decisions with my finance expertise. I also appreciate how skills in finance are transferrable. Since each industry has different performance metrics and business models, it’s important to engage in self-study and to also learn from colleagues to fully understand the business. By doing so, I am able to help my current and previous companies to build finance functions that suits their needs and growth plans.

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

The QP is a very systematic programme that equips professionals with a strong foundation in accounting and finance and also trains one’s mindset. For example, the financial reporting module taught me the need to always refer to principles as well as apply professional judgement when facing complex scenarios. This mindset continues to guide me in my career today. Last but not least, the CPA qualification is a highly recognized qualification in Hong Kong and overseas.

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