In this era where change is the only constant, how can being a Chartered Accountant (CA) add value to an individual’s career? How can a CA remain relevant and continue to create and add value to an organisation?

To inspire young finance professionals who are exploring the various career pathways available for a CA, ISCA Young Professionals Advisory Committee (YPAC) organised the third instalment of the ISCA Career Pathway Talk on 13 December 2018 at ISCA House.

Close to 80 young finance professionals attended the session

Speakers for the evening: (From left) Chan Ying Jian, Group Chief Financial Officer, BreadTalk Group; Belinda Teo, Chairperson, YPAC and Assurance Senior Manager, Ernst & Young LLP; Sarjit Singh, Executive Chairman, Ardent Associates LLP; Julie Yeap, Founder and Managing Director, Mastering Success; Genevieve Chua, Managing Director, Spicers Asia, and Suriani Norahim, Division Director for Finance & Accounting, Robert Half; with them is Fann Kor, Director, Audit Quality & Standards Development, Continuing Professional Education and Industry Support, ISCA

The session began with a sharing session by Suriani Norahim, Division Director for Finance & Accounting, Robert Half, on the new and growing recruitment trends in 2018 and 2019. As observed, there has been an increasing demand for roles involving artificial intelligence and data analytics which automate mundane tasks to focus on big picture analysis for management decision-making. In addition, organisations are also placing higher value on employees’ soft skills like communication and negotiation.

The panel discussion, moderated by Belinda Teo, Chairperson of YPAC and Assurance Senior Manager of Ernst & Young LLP, provided young professionals with valuable insights on how being a CA would give them an edge in their careers, regardless of the paths they were to take. The panellists, who are all accountants by training, agreed that the rigorous accounting education during their school days allowed them to glean meaningful insights from financial numbers and provided them with the foundation to understand how an organisation functions. This knowledge has increased their mobility and marketability, with two out of the four panellists venturing out of their comfort zones to pursue their passion in public speaking and entrepreneurship.

As the leaders of their respective organisations, the panellists highlighted that besides focusing on the daily grind, it is equally, if not more, important to network and forge relationships. They also encouraged the attendees to stay abreast of current affairs, as well as understand how these issues would impact their careers and lives. The panellists concluded the discussion with candid anecdotes of their journey, which elicited much chatter and laughter. The attendees went home with valuable words of advice to continually learn, upskill and network to adapt to the dynamic business environment.

Attendees had a surprise treat of traditional ice-cream awaiting them after the session

The evening ended on a sweet note as attendees gathered for an unexpected treat of traditional ice-cream while mingling among the crowd.

If you are keen to join us for our next instalment of the ISCA Career Pathway Talk series, do register your interest with us. Also follow us on our ISCA YPAC Instagram account to receive first-hand updates on the latest YPAC happenings.