I was a pure science student in college, but I decided to explore the possibilities in the business world for my undergraduate studies.
I chose to study in the UK and majored in accounting and finance at the University of Exeter because I was convinced that the course was more in-depth and offered more qualifications than other business majors.
During my undergraduate studies, I had extensive exposure to financial and management accounting, taxation and financial analysis. They provided a strong foundation and the practical skills for me to explore a career in finance and accounting. I am currently pursuing the ACCA Qualification and completed the Ethics and Professional Skills module last year.
Success does not happen overnight and each of our failures is fertiliser for a fruitful life in the future
More importantly, accounting taught me to be prudent. For example, I am more aware of the changes in variances, as well as alert to the abnormalities in numerical and analytical information.
I have been a tax accountant with EY for more than a year. Our team provides clients with services mainly around tax compliance and tax advisory. I primarily assist clients in transmitting profits tax returns together with tax computations, by identifying the taxability and deductibility of incomes and expenses.
My team has to routinely communicate with clients to pin down any irregularities in financial data and to request any missing information. I find it intriguing to figure out problems through discussions with clients and my seniors.
I had not studied anything related to Hong Kong corporate tax and so my first day of work was quite frustrating. But my knowledge and understanding grew exponentially through vigorous discussions with colleagues.
Change has happened quickly but, rather than being an insurmountable challenge, it offers opportunities to evolve
Having developed a broad understanding of Hong Kong tax rules and regulations, I've decided to deepen my knowledge in the field of finance, and I joined the finance team at Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Market in May 2021.
I strongly believe that Hong Kong continues to play a pivotal role as a bridge between investors in mainland China and foreign markets. Despite the recent social movements and the pandemic, Hong Kong remains resilient and embodies the ‘Lion Rock spirit’.
At the same time, the Greater Bay Area provides an option for investors to diversify and find more investment opportunities.
The move from accounting to finance offers opportunities to learn and progress in the profession. Particularly in Hong Kong, change has happened quickly over the past couple of years but, rather than being an insurmountable challenge, it offers opportunities to evolve.
We are now living in a fast-paced society in which everything can change completely in a short period of time. This vibrant environment has given me more possibilities and opportunities to acquire different knowledge in various fields, rather than pose a challenge.
One of my favourite quotes is from Winston Churchill: 'Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.'
We all understand that the pandemic has inconvenienced people from all walks of life. Some may lose their jobs or have a hard time finding a first full-time position. Success does not happen overnight and each of our failures is fertiliser for a fruitful life in the future.