I moved to Singapore aged 18 focused on one goal – to pursue a professional qualification and become an accountant. I wanted to learn the ropes, so I got a job as an accounts assistant and studied part time for the Certified Accounting Technician qualification, followed by ACCA. While working on my ACCA qualification, I joined Baker Tilly as an audit associate.
The bulk of my early career was filled with demanding audit work, evening classes and weekend study sessions. It was a relentless lifestyle, yet incredibly fulfilling. After completing ACCA, I’m proud to have progressed through the ranks to become a partner at Baker Tilly.
IPO projects make me a trusted adviser to the client
As an assurance partner, I play a multifaceted role in reporting accountant services for the initial public offerings (IPOs) of shares on a stock exchange. I lead the entire audit process for the client’s IPO. It involves collaborating with legal, financial and regulatory experts, while upholding assurance standards, providing client services and nurturing staff development.
IPO projects really resonate with me. They make me a trusted adviser to the client. It’s not just a one-off transaction, as we work with them from inception to IPO to being their statutory auditor/business adviser post-listing. I am committed to maintaining close collaboration with aspiring business owners as we continue to support them on their journey towards business growth.
Despite its demanding nature, guiding clients through the transformative process of going public brings me profound satisfaction. Attaining an IPO can have a lasting impact on a company, and witnessing my clients achieve this milestone is a testament to the profound impact of our work.
My proudest moment is celebrating my first client’s IPO success in the Singapore Exchange (SGX) auditorium. As a young audit manager, I was given the chance to lead reporting accountant assignments and help clients get listed. We are often challenged and given responsibilities even at junior grades, and I’m grateful my efforts have been consistently recognised, including my promotion to partner.
To move out of my comfort zone and try something different, I had a stint in another corporate advisory services firm. I quickly realised that my true passion and career development goals align with assurance, so I transitioned back to my assurance career route.
For women to excel, we need to foster a culture of equal opportunity and dismantle barriers
I encourage young women to discover their passions and pursue them with gusto. Find a career that resonates with you and strive for the top. But to pave the way for women to excel, we need to foster a culture of equal opportunity and dismantle barriers, including the persistent gender pay gap. I take pride in contributing to the transformation of this narrative and endeavour to continue to help other aspiring female professionals to reach their goals.
In my journey, mentors have played a pivotal role. While I’ve encountered moments in my career that made me question my chosen path during challenging times, I want to underscore the invaluable role of having a strong support network, particularly mentors. Mentors encouraged me to re-evaluate my priorities and identify my true areas of interest. Their guidance has been instrumental in strengthening my resilience, ultimately paving the way for me to become a partner. Some of the clients I have worked with have been equally inspirational.