Saturday, July 4, 2015

Concept on Achievement

Ladies and gents,

It's been 5 years since I last posted, and, as they say, people get different as time passes.
I thought I'd give it a shot to see if I've still got it in me.

There are several cornerstones to completeness or fulfillment of life, and achievement certainly is one of them. When we're toddlers, it was an achievement to take our first step, then an achievement to utter our first word, be it something as simple of the two syllable word "ma-ma" or "pa-pa". Then, you go to preschool and learn to write alphabets and count. Fast forward, it was an achievement to graduate school to most of us, and finally university to us more fortunate ones. Finally, you're ready to take on the world, and move on to making a living for yourself.

When you're making a living for yourself, it gets slightly tougher to have an impactful achievement. Perhaps, coming up with an idea that changes the world, winning a Nobel Prize, or just driving your Lamborghini to your penthouse in the heart of the city. Everyone has a different idea on achievements, and I appreciate that, but I hope you get the idea of impactfulness.

I've come up with a concept of achievements, and would love to share it with you guys.
There are 3 elements to achieving in life, which I'll explain below.

The first element is what I'd like to call ambition. You may call them goals or dreams or targets, I hope you get the picture. Ambition, the way I'd put it, is your mind in action. It's literally, something which your mind could do at this very moment.  So, set your ambitions high, reach for the sky. It's better to aim for the sun and land at the moon than aiming for nothing, and missing altogether. After all, you miss 100% of the shots which you don't take. Ambition is a good first step to take if you'd really like to make some changes. Everyone makes New Year's resolutions, and there's a reason why most of us make the same ones, year on year. It's really easy to have ambition, nevertheless it's definitely necessary to achieve in life.

The second element is sweat and blood, or hard work. This element is your body in action. I'd consider it the crux of achievement. You wanna make something happen, you gotta be willing to stick to what you're doing and not give up. As Nike would put it, "Just Do It". It's called HARDwork for a reason, it is difficult after all. But, if you're willing to stick to working on your ambition, it could materialize, which depends on the third element.

The third element is destiny. It's these things which you'd like to call luck, gamble, risk, or God's will, you get the point. This is your soul, just reaping what it deserves. The beauty about destiny is, there's not much that you can do about it. So just pray to God, for the willpower to continue on with getting to your achievement.

The beauty about these elements, it that you could follow them in the order I've presented them, or interchangeably. Allow me to illustrate it with an example of how it works.

A student looks up to an entrepreneur, and would like to be like him. One day while attending a seminar, the entrepreneur happened to be present, and he found out that this hero of his was an ICAEW Chartered Accountant (ACA). He too decides to follow suit. His dream was to become a ACA just like his hero, and so, his ambition was set. He decided to enroll into college, and studied hard to pass his exams. Let's take a step closer, and examine how we prepare for exams. We turn pages using our hands, and our eyes do the reading, and our body gets fatigued. Hard work, is your body in action. You write notes, your ears do the listening, you get what I mean. Ultimately, you sit for your exams and the finals results are out. Then, he sits for his finals and gets the results texted to him, his destiny is now achieved.

Alternatively, you could look at it this way. It was his destiny to attend the seminar and meet the entrepreneur. So, destiny came first after all. But, he couldn't have completed his course without hard work, nor ambition.

If you wanna win the lottery, you gotta have the ambition or a dream that you're gonna win. Then, most importantly, you gotta put in the effort to actually buy the lottery ticket. Hoping to strike lottery without buying the ticket, is plain obnoxious. To even have any chance of achieving your destiny getting lucky with the lottery, you gotta buy the ticket. So, enough of dreaming, starting working on getting your ticket.

Set your ambitions high, work hard, and destiny will come naturally. If you just work hard without ambition, then good luck with that. Hard work would make you good, but to go from good to great, it's gotta be paired with ambition.

If you know what you're worth, then go out there and prove to yourself that you are worth it.
Remember: ambition, hard work and destiny. Mind, body, and soul.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

We're Auditors, Not Bankers

Hi there. It's really been quite a while since I last posted, & I think I'd probably be doing it more often now. As most of you should already know, I've been working in the audit line for more than a year now & it's definitely amazing. In this post, I'd like to share some insights of the professional so you may widen your horizon of knowledge & widen your options for a career path.

Most of you would already know, that there are the Big 4 + 2 firms in the audit practice. They are ranked as below (you may click on the URL below the image for a link to the website).
Ernst & Young
Grant Thornton

Kindly do note, that all these firm's are international networks of practice which operate in the view of profits as separate entities in their own countries (e.g. US, UK, Malaysia).

Our work, as auditors (a.k.a. assurance providers) is with regard to the Financial Statements which comprise of the :
  1. Directors' Report
  2. Balance Sheet
  3. Income Statement
  4. Cash Flow Statement
  5. Statement of Changes in Equity
  6. Notes to the Accounts
Our role is to ensure that the Financial Statements (subject matter) are properly drawn up in accordance with the relevant reporting standards (e.g. FRS, IFRS, PERS). We have to ensure that the accounts show a true & fair view of the company. True in this context, is referring to without fraud & factual. Whereas fair refers to the unbiased condition of the subject matter. Our duty, is to actually prepare a report which is known as the Audit Report as you can see below.
An example of what we do, referring to the Balance Sheet on Cash at Bank balances. Let's say, the amount of Fixed Deposits is $160m, we shall have to confirm this amount. But how?
  • Sight and agree the amount to the bank statement
  • If figure agrees, send a bank letter to the bank
  • Receive the bank confirmation, & ensure amount is true & fair
  • Ensure proper disclosure on security placed for this amount is performed
By taking these steps, the amount is definitely true & fair and therefore shows a clear view on the company's performance. Do note though, that our work is based on materiality, a concept developed for efficiency. Our work depends on the size of the client. If the Profit before Tax figure is small, more work shall have to be done as a small Net Profit margin would mean that the shareholders would require more assurance of the figures, as a loss making company is completely different than if compared to a money making one.

Then, comes the quality control process where reviewing and leadership comes to play. Here's positioning by ranking in a firm :
  1. Managing Partner / Chairman
  2. Partner
  3. Director
  4. Principal
  5. Senior Manager
  6. Manager
  7. Assistant Manager
  8. Supervisor
  9. Senior Associate
  10. Associate
  11. Junior Associate (Assistant)
A piece of advise to all job seekers. Do not hesitate to email me if you require assistance, or are interested in joining SJ Grant Thornton. And yeah, auditors should really quit acting like bankers seriously. It's really getting on my nerves. We're not earning THAT MUCH after all.

Internal auditors are different than compared to external auditors. They work for company's with the NEDS (non-executive directors), ensuring internal controls are operating effectively. Paychecks are paid by the company itself and therefore an independence threat is apparent.
You may email me at .
Cheers. :)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Letter to You

Hola there. I finally managed to put this post up. All right, as you can see above... I'm currently employed in an audit firm, namely SJ Grant Thornton. I'm also being sponsored as an ICAEW trainee here as well. And yeah, auditing is fun. Honestly, it is. And, yeah... I have a message to all of you reading this post. Please refer below.
Dear Potential CEO,

School. A perfect place to train candidates of the most efficient employees. Then comes the million dollar question, where do these people work without employers? There is no specific subject being taught in any school around the globe on being a successful employer. Therefore, the subject that should be learned is financial education.

Financial education is a subject where someone should learn to make things work the opposite way. Employees work for money and employers don't. Employers make money work for them. This is a form of education which has outrageous demands which result in either an oblivious failure or a magnificent success story. Here, I shall divide the matter to four scopes: investment, understanding the market, accounting & law. To be a successful employee, one must know everything about something. Example given, a doctor who specializes in a particular area earns a considerably higher amount of money & reputation than a normal doctor. On the other hand, an employer has to know something about everything. His/her scope has to be limitless to accomplish so.

The art of investing money is the key to making money work for you. It is like science that has formulas which you apply but not necessarily have to memorize. The crux is learning how to make formulas which particularly involves a lot of brain-storming or in a simpler term, thinking. Nevertheless, creativity is the most vital factor in investing. Take note that even in investing, there is something that works like gravity : inflation. Take precaution, think creatively and win.

Before you can actually master the art of investment, you shall have to be able to understand the market. This is the renowned process of supply & demand. The market is like a person with feelings. It's all about emotions, which frequently doesn't comply with logic. Mastering these emotions will take thorough research & understanding. The deeper you get into these emotions, the easier it gets. Pok√©mon cards used to be the "in" thing during my childhood days. Almost every Tom, Dick & Harry had them. Then suddenly, everyone stops and the cards becomes very much dead. There was a tipping point. Therefore, the flow has to be followed and understood so changes can be made.

Next up, understanding financial statements. The one & only way is through accounting. Advanced accounts has to be mastered to fully understand documents & importantly, financial statements. By using the financial statement, one will know whether the investment has potential to succeed or fail which most probably goes unnoticed by the untrained eye. Accounting plays an important role in eradicating fraud too. Anyone could lie, so you'll have to get smart & see through them. In these lies, the genuine truth is hidden.

Lastly, one should learn to utilize the law. The law is supposedly a punishment to the rich, but in practice it really isn't. Taxes are paid by everyone. Employees work, get paid, pay their taxes then spend their money. Employers get paid, spend and pay their taxes with their leftovers by utilizing personal corporations. Almost anything can be accomplished at the tip of your fingers if you understand the law. Use it & never let it outdo you.

If all of these are learned in school, one would definitely be on the road of being a successful employer. Unfortunately, it isn't. So, it's your call. A persistent person believes in destiny, a capricious one in chance.

Happy Diwali :)