What is your current role and responsibilities? How is it going so far?
I’m an Assistant Manager at City Super Limited, a supermarket retail chain. I prepare the consolidation of the group’s businesses, which include our city’super supermarkets, LOG-ON lifestyle stores, and cookedDeli, our food court business. I’m in charge of reviewing our affiliate companies’ management reports, account reconciliations, handling the company’s balance sheet and appraising statutory accounts. I also liaise with auditors during year-end audits. I’ve worked here for around half a year and though it has been challenging, I have enjoyed it so far.
What are the most rewarding and challenging aspects of your role, and why?
The most challenging aspect is staying on top of changes to accounting standards and practices, and incorporating technology into our work to help facilitate better and faster results. There are always going to be better ways of doing things, and finding solutions to everyday problems is a constant part of the job. It gets harder to find these solutions, however, as accounting standards change and you need to always be updated on what the correct treatment for a transaction or auditing procedure is. You won’t be able to find solutions if you aren’t prepared or fully knowledgeable of the items you are dealing with. Since being promoted to a more managerial role, using the skills that I had developed to help solve problems and teach younger accountants is the most rewarding aspect of the job. I appreciate the company culture, and I’m grateful for the privilege to work with an energetic, friendly and enthusiastic team.
What inspired you to become an accountant?
I was inspired by my secondary school teacher. I remember that she was also a CPA who had worked at a Big Four as an auditor. Even though she was often very serious and strict, she made the subject interesting. I knew I wanted to be as successful as her. After secondary school, I decided to major in accounting at Hong Kong Shue Yan University.
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 enjoy learning new things through working in different industries, so I look forward to learning as much as I can in this company. I began my career at a local firm and then joined RSM to work in audit. I then worked in the food and beverage industry for three years and now I work in the retail sector. It’s very different from working in audit, where you have the opportunity to work with companies from different industries, sometimes for a few weeks or over a month during audit engagements. By working in the commercial sector, I have the opportunity to learn a lot about the operations behind the company and how they all work together to ensure the business turns profits.
What are the biggest lessons you have learned so far from work experience or managers?
The biggest challenge I’ve faced in my career is applying Hong Kong Financial Reporting Standard 16 Leases at my previous job at Café de Coral, which was a new accounting standard at the time. I had to lead my team to properly apply the new standard and fulfill statutory reporting requirements. I remember having to work closely with the IT, sales and leasing teams to create a new system for our reporting. My time working in audit taught me the importance of time management, which is a skill I believe I have improved upon. I’ve learned the importance of always planning in advance and knowing what I need to accomplish. I’m now able to work more efficiently and manage my time a lot better throughout all my tasks.
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 important course for those who wish to become CPAs. It equips them with the skills to, for example, help companies prepare their statutory financial and tax reports. The business assurance module helped me a lot, especially when I was an auditor. Now that I work in the commercial sector, I’ve found the financial reporting module very useful – it gave me in-depth knowledge in all accounting standards and reporting requirements that I need to follow in my role and taught me how to properly disclose financial statements.