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Real Business : Winter 2008
REAL BUSINESS+#8;ISSUE+#8;2,+#8;2008+#8; 5 take a moment to refocus Can it really be July already? It seems like only yesterday the university year was beginning. Let’s face it: things move rapidly in this fast- paced world, and unless you’re organised you can lose your focus pretty quickly. Before you know it you’ll be finishing up your degree and ready to join the real world out there. That’s where Real Business can help. This issue is chock-full of information about where the CPA designation can take you and how to get there. Our cover story focuses on HSBC, one of the biggest players in the dynamic global banking and financial services market. At a time when transparency of information is becoming ever more important, it’s HSBC’s finance department that plays a key role in providing insight and strategic advice to senior leaders. The finance function, in other words, is the organisation’s engine room. The same could be said for the retail industry, where CPAs are making key decisions that can have immediate impact. Whether it’s hardware, fashion or groceries, we’re talking about one demanding sector. You’ve probably been reading a lot about climate change, but may not have known there are CPAs whose everyday work – in sustainable energy, academia or even banking – is helping to deal with this pressing problem. We shine some (green) light on their work. You’ve also heard of the global credit crunch, right? We explain how this worldwide phenomenon unfolded from dodgy mortgages in the US. Sure, it’s complex, but in the Real Business way, we break it down for you. thE Cpa passport tEam firstname.lastname@example.org ExpEriEncE works What tasks were you assigned? My project had two main deliverables: I examined an existing business process and proposed improvements on it. I also prepared a risk assessment report for the main software tool used in that business process. I then followed up by proposing and initiating steps to close control gaps. What was the highlight? The project that I was given to work on was one of my department’s top priorities to be completed by quarter 1, 2008. It was a major control issue having significant material impact on Intel’s profit and loss sheet. I really appreciated being given such responsibility, and was very motivated in responding to the high expectations that my team had of me. My team members were with me every step of the way, and yet they gave me complete freedom and independence to make decisions. Every moment was therefore very exciting and challenging. What did you think of the work culture? Intelliers (Intel folks) have a very strong Eu-Jin Foo is completing a master of professional accounting at the University of nsw. He also has a bachelor of commerce. He participated in the cpA Australia work Experience program with intel corporation’s operations finance department in Malaysia. identity, and shared work culture. Every individual works hard to excel in and out of the office. I was surprised to see so many highly motivated individuals in one place, each of them genuinely enjoying themselves. Multiculturalism, and the rights of each individual to free action, are fiercely protected by employees. Intelliers have complete freedom in when and where they choose to work – the focus is on results, and the creative freedom in generating those results as each individual sees fit. Any advice for CPA Passport students? I sincerely encourage you to take up an internship through CPA Australia if possible. It is an amazing experience that is really exciting, and puts an incredible variety of opportunities in your hands – which not every internship program can succeed at doing. As my colleagues put it: “Wow, I wish they had this program in my time.” Be prepared to work hard at studies, and actively enjoy your own interests – here at Intel, its called WLE: work life effective. n T his month in our “Mentor as Anything” column we match University of South Australia accounting student Maja (pro- nounced “Myer”) Anderson with David Dahm, CEO of Health & Life, a finance consultancy for medical practitioners. “It was truly inspiring and amazing to meet David,” Maja says, “such a charismatic, intelligent and gracious man.” We thought we’d take a minute to get to know Maja better. RB: What five words describe you? A: Zesty, stylish, enthusiastic, grateful, focused. Q: When are you happiest? A: When I am gliding and surfing. They are both amazing sports that are intertwined with the Earth. Q: What’s playing on your iPod? A: I am a huge fan of lots of types of music, but I must say Little Birdy are my fave at the moment. I also love The John Butler Trio, Rage Against the Machine, Fiona Apple, Everything But The Girl, and any kind of dance because I love to dance. Q: Where will you be in five years? A: In five years I will have completed my degree and the CPA Program, and be working in a small-to-medium-sized accounting firm – the one I’ll join after graduation. Eventually I would like to study forensic accounting. It will mean I’ll have to study at a university outside of South Australia. n a minute with maja randy lar CO mbe
Issue 3 2008