|Hear it straight – from a CPA|
|기사 작성일 : 15-06-15 10:09|
As Canada’s preeminent business and accounting designation, the Chartered Professional Accountant designation blends technical accounting competencies with essential business competencies like critical thinking, teamwork, and leadership. But what is life as a CPA actually like? To provide some insight, we’ve asked Chartered Professional Accountants to discuss their careers, their lives and their individual paths to success. In this edition we feature Christina Cho, CPA, CA, Grant Thornton, LLP.
In simple terms, what is a CPA?
CPAs are highly trained business professionals who apply their skills and knowledge in various business settings by providing reliable financial and operational advice upon which critical business decisions are made. We are ‘wealth creators’ and financial & business partners.
How is being a Chartered Professional Accountant interesting?
The most attractive part of being a CPA is having a wide variety of career opportunities, from various business sectors and clients. No other career offers the same mobility that the CPA qualification does. Some CPAs are engaged in public practice, like myself, others work in the industry sector while some are employed by government bodies. A lot of CPAs add value to their organizations in roles such as Controller, CFO, CEO or President.
Has being a Chartered Professional Accountant been different from your expectations? (If so, how?)
When I was a university student, I attended a lot of CPA information sessions on-campus to ensure this was the career I wanted. I also talked with industry professionals to see what the life of an accountant would be like. Of course, there are some challenging aspects of my job but I don’t think there have been any surprises from my original expectations.
What is the most interesting part of being a CPA?
I work for Grant Thornton, LLP and most of my clients are private companies operating in industries ranging from manufacturing, professional service providers, even people from music and food industries to not-for-profit organizations. The most interesting part for me is that I get to network with people from other industries as it allows me to develop a great network in virtually every sector.
Has CPA changed your life?
From my experience as a CPA, I have become more of a ‘people-person’ and ‘social-person’. It has come not only from relationships I have developed with clients from different industries but also from the fun internal and external office events I have had with my colleagues at work.
What’s the one perception people have about CPA that you’d like to change?
Some people might think of CPAs as number crunchers, or people who mainly deal with audits and taxes. However, the profession has changed. We might be a part of the management team of various organizations and businesses, or we may be entrepreneurs running our own businesses or consultancy firms, playing a significant role in businesses.
What do you look forward to accomplishing in your career that you haven’t done yet?
I’d like to volunteer more for not-for-profit organizations who seek accounting and finance related advice for their organizations. This will allow me the opportunity to meet with people from other industries I have not yet met. I also would like to share more of my experiences as a CPA with future CPAs so please feel free to contact me anytime.
What made you believe that becoming a Chartered Professional Accountant was the right path for you?
I am currently a treasurer/director involved in one of the NPOs in the music industry in Vancouver. As a treasurer, I ensure the financial information is accurate, monitor internal controls, collaborate with the external auditors, and make high-level strategic decisions for the organization. As such, when I am able to help not-for-profit bodies on various significant financial matters, I believe a CPA was the right path for me as it makes me feel happy that I can give back my experiences and skills to the community.
Did becoming a Chartered Professional Accountant help you get ahead in the business world?
When I was a CPA articling student, I had opportunities to audit one of the brewing companies in town. It opened me up to a great opportunity to communicate with the management and board members of the company. I was able to learn about how businesses are operated and run on a day to day basis from the very beginning of my articling period.
What do you say to young professionals looking to get a better career?
Don’t ever give up on growing and learning in your career. If you are a CPA student, keep pursuing your goal even if it seems hard because it will definitely pay off. My CPA designation has opened up a world of opportunities for me. If you’re a student who is undecided, I would suggest taking advantage of the information sessions offered by CPABC to find the best fit for what you’re looking for.
To learn more about the CPA designation, register for an upcoming info session at goCPAbc.ca.
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