Many finance students excel when they have more structure in their studies. As one member of CPA Australia explains, the CPA Program helped to fast-track her career.
A statement on the LinkedIn profile of Alice Lim Hui Ming CPA (Aust.) summarises her approach to life and work: “Success is a journey, not a destination”.
Alice is Senior Manager, Financial Accounting, at Malaysia-based Micron Technology, having recently rotated to a new team in Finance System & Process. It’s another step in her journey in global business services, leading a pioneering team of professionals for accounting process migration for APAC, EMEA, and North America into the Centre of Excellence Accounting & Finance in Penang.
Alice first heard about the CPA Program while at university and has since embarked on a “challenging yet interesting” journey by completing the six compulsory subjects. In particular, she cites the Digital Finance elective as having paid real dividends in her chosen career path by providing the knowledge and tools needed to work with emerging technologies.
For those looking to follow in her footsteps, we asked Alice more about the benefits of the CPA Program.
What are the key differences between the CPA Program and other professional development certifications?
It stands out in its adoption of technology. There are multiple online learning resources, and the exams can be conducted online. It also focuses on interpersonal skills through practical examples that can be applied in business, which leads members to successfully advance into leadership roles.
CPA Australia offers both full-time and self-paced online study with a range of guided learning tools. Did you find this flexibility useful?
The guided learning tools and study plan are great initiatives. I was able to access the study materials anywhere, anytime. With the discipline and perseverance to follow through with the key learning milestones, the support you receive is such that the study and exams can be completed with ease.
Providing 24/7 access to members in remote learning is one of the key advantages of the platform. It enhances the flexibility and agility that industry demands.
In your experience, what value do potential employers place on CPA Australia certification? Does it give jobseekers a competitive edge?
In comparison to a degree, the CPA certification gives you a deeper, more specialised knowledge about accounting, especially with the regular updates you receive. It increases your employability with professional skills, knowledge, and competencies.
CPA Australia’s international network is another advantage for members to explore more opportunities in their career advancement. It’s a professional qualification that will always have you thinking ahead and be globally recognised by top employers.
What do you think might have been different in your career had you not pursued the CPA Australia designation?
I was fortunate enough to land a finance leader role with just three years of professional experience. Without the CPA Australia designation, I doubt I would have had such a smooth journey in advancing my career.
What new doors do you think the CPA Australia designation can open to graduates to progress their careers in the wider business environment?
When recruiting accountants, an increasing number of employers have, as their main criteria, candidates with professional qualifications and relevant market experience. The presence of accountants as board members and in senior management positions shows the importance of their skill sets and ability to contribute to leadership, governance, value creation, and improved financial reporting.
How has your association with CPA Australia helped with developing your soft skills and propensity to work in a team environment?
The updates I receive via email are a great resource I use to navigate to the CPA Australia Library and to read member stories. The monthly INTHEBLACK digital magazine focuses on insights into emotional intelligence, team collaboration in a remote working environment, mental health, professional development, and many other issues, all of which are relevant to finance leaders.
In summary, what do you like most about being a member of CPA Australia?
I feel fortunate to be part of an international network that has more than 170,000 members globally. CPA Australia has regional offices that other members and I can utilise for continuous education and training and, where needed, technical support. I'm also proud to be part of a membership community that challenges my professional growth through networking sessions.
Find out more about CPA Australia’s CPA Program by joining an upcoming information session.
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