First impressions

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 29 January, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 29 January, 2011, 12:00am

With his sights initially set on advertising or marketing, Ivan Au, CPA (Aust.), assurance partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers, changed direction after learning about the accounting profession through friends following an accounting foundation course at university.

'My first impressions about accounting were you worked on your own and it was boring, but I discovered this was not the case. I was completely wrong,' Au says. 'I work with colleagues, I meet all sorts of interesting people and there is a lot of excitement in what I do.

'With a CPA Australia qualification, there is a lot of flexibility. Even within the professional accounting services, the options are broad. These include financial assurance, tax, and business and process advisory.'

Au advises those joining the industry to develop a sense of openness to the business environment and to have a clear vision of what they want to achieve.

Josephine Chan, CPA (Aust.), has also been able to make good use of her qualification to advance her career.

'The exciting thing about having a CPA (Aust.) qualification is that it has so many practical applications, from accounting and finance to business management,' says Chan, an internal auditor at DBS Bank.

'What I discovered while I was studying for the CPA Program is the more that I learned about a topic, the more interesting it became. The program not only develops your technical and analytical abilities, it also teaches you to explore different concepts and solutions that help you to think out of the box.

'You also learn skills that are important for making informed decisions. For example, the various ways of identifying and managing risk, which is useful in my position.'

Chan says the distance-learning programme offers flexibility, a big plus for people who need to structure their study time around work.