Help­ing to pass on the ba­ton from a men­tor

China Daily (Canada) - - HONG KONG - By DUAN TING in Hong Kong tingduan@chi­nadai­

Ini­tially, Ivan Au, di­vi­sional pres­i­dent of Greater China for CPA Aus­tralia, thought that ad­ver­tis­ing and mar­ket­ing might have been his cup of tea as sev­eral of his fam­ily mem­bers were al­ready in the me­dia business.

He later changed his mind and joined the Univer­sity of Syd­ney, Aus­tralia, with the ul­ti­mate goal of be­com­ing a busi­ness­man. He opted for mar­ket­ing and ac­coun­tancy, and went on to ob­tain a Master of Com­merce (ac­count­ing and fi­nance) de­gree at the univer­sity.

“This is the lan­guage of business and it tells sto­ries of business,” he ar­gues.

Upon grad­u­a­tion, Au re­al­ized it’s more im­por­tant to qual­ify as an ac­coun­tant and so he looked to CPA Aus­tralia. He says he’s grate­ful hav­ing had a good men­tor who did ac­count­ing and had worked for a pro­fes­sional ac­count­ing firm and who shared with him lots of advice.

Au sub­se­quently joined ac­count­ing gi­ant Price­wa­ter­house­Coop­ers (PwC) af­ter work­ing at the Univer­sity of Syd­ney as an as­so­ciate lec­turer for nearly two years. He’s now an as­sur­ance part­ner at PwC.

Au has more than 18 years of ac­count­ing and as­sur­ance ex­pe­ri­ence, spe­cial­iz­ing in multi-lo­ca­tion as­sur­ance projects re­lat­ing to China’s out­bound in­vest­ments, ini­tial pub­lic of­fer­ings and merg­ers and ac­qui­si­tions.

Join­ing CPA Aus­tralia in 2000, Au thinks it’s an ex­cel­lent plat­form for net­work­ing and has since been work­ing in var­i­ous com­mit­tees within the or­ga­ni­za­tion.

As di­vi­sional pres­i­dent for Greater China, Au speaks on be­half of CPA Aus­tralia as an ad­vi­sor — con­tribut­ing ideas on the strat­egy and di­rec­tion of CPA Aus­tralia for the ben­e­fit of its mem­bers, pro­vid­ing them the fo­rum for pro­fes­sional de­bate on rel­e­vant is­sues, in­clud­ing ac­count­ing, fi­nance, law and ethics and pro­mot­ing the skills, qual­i­fi­ca­tions and pro­fes­sion­al­ism of mem­bers.

Along with fel­low mem­bers, he also helps to de­velop in­formed view­points on mat­ters im­pact­ing mem­bers and the pro­fes­sion.

Au founded the Young Achiev­ers Com­mit­tee in CPA Aus­tralia as he’s pas­sion­ate about nur­tur­ing the fu­ture gen­er­a­tion of ac­coun­tants, and very much en­joys shar­ing his in­dus­try ex­pe­ri­ence and knowl­edge with young peo­ple. The Young Achiev­ers Com­mit­tee was started in 2012 as a work­ing group, and trans­formed into a com­mit­tee a year later. As an ad­vi­sor to the com­mit­tee, he says he al­ways tries to com­bine work with fun dur­ing train­ing or net­work­ing events, and en­cour­ages young mem­bers to be in­volved in the community and sports.

To those from the younger gen­er­a­tion who would like to take the plunge in the ac­count­ing in­dus­try, his advice is they should also fo­cus on net­work­ing as one of its val­ues is that com­mu­ni­ca­tion gen­er­ates in­tel­lec­tual in­for­ma­tion which en­ables them to pick up knowl­edge be­yond their own hori­zon.

In man­age­ment, Au says hav­ing a clear di­rec­tion is vi­tal and the path taken should be adored by ev­ery team mem­ber, while the man­age­ment should make sure that ev­ery­one in the team does have a say.


CPA Aus­tralia ex­ec­u­tive Ivan Au says the de­mand for ac­coun­tants has grown in tan­dem with the Chinese main­land’s rapid eco­nomic growth. Ivan Au, di­vi­sional pres­i­dent for Greater China at CPA Aus­tralia

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