For Saw Leng Koh FCCA, her career in audit was a fulfilling period with plenty of job satisfaction despite a somewhat hectic life
My seven years in audit was a valuable experience for me and I’m so glad that I started my accountancy career in this area. During this period, I was promoted from accounts assistant to semi senior, then to senior and assistant manager.
It was such a fulfilling period, with much to do and learn. I gained a lot of job satisfaction despite a hectic and busy life and it taught me some important ‘mantras’ that are still so relevant to me today. Let me discuss them.
During one of my early audit assignments I detected a criminal breach of trust where sales transactions were being forged for a higher commission. During the subsequent enquiries, a member of staff admitted the offence and her contract was terminated. At the concluding meeting, our client’s group CFO stated how vital it was to ‘do the right things and do things right, and you'll have nothing to fear or worry, and can sleep well at night’. As a young professional from a small town who was just setting out on a career at an international audit firm, this quote struck a chord with me and helped guide me in the right direction.
It wasn't easy to work in an environment where you were the youngest and most junior member of staff. Consequently, I was naïve and felt intimidated, and it wasn't natural for me to ask a question or seek help. It was my very first boss, Chris Wong, who told me that ‘If you don’t ask, you don’t get’.
During a ‘Mastering peak performance’ training seminar that I once attended, the facilitator called out my name during the sharing session. After nervously mumbling a few words in response, the facilitator told me: ‘What you are about to say, it’s very important and I want you to be heard’. I liked how this made me feel important and that my opinion counted.
This is not something I find easy to do. It’s very natural for us to simply give up when facing obstacles and challenges. It is those individuals who can see an opportunity in every problem who can turn a negative situation around. Therefore, I always try to appreciate every opportunity that comes my way and stay determined.
No matter how good we are, there are always new things to learn and to develop. A good manager will think ‘glass half full’ and consider ways to help develop members of staff and work on helping them to improve and to achieve their full potential. Conversely, some managers see their staff as ‘half empty’, which can negatively impact their staff.