Lifelong learning and active engagement in career planning pays off. Three CPAs show where superior qualifications have taken them.
Zijun Yang ASA
Accounting assistant, JR Business Partners
Zijun Yang ASA embodies the idea that vocational training is the key to the future success of the company.
When Yang moved to Australia in 2015, she already had a Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting from Shanghai University of International Business and Economics.
Because she wanted to build her career in Australia, Yang felt that she needed to understand the local accounting environment and enrolled in a Masters program in Professional Accounting at the University of Adelaide.
While participating in internships as part of his training, Yang decided to enroll in the CPA program. “My supervisors were all CPA qualified, so I gained confidence in the program. “
“He’s recognized internationally, including in mainland China, so there won’t be a problem if I decide to move in the future. The well-structured course and the more detailed manuals gave me a better understanding than before and boosted my confidence in the job search. The broad content of the program broadened my knowledge of this profession and developed my interest in it, ”she says.
After graduating, Yang worked in the accounting department of a South Australian meat processing company, before moving to Sydney in search of further career expansion.
She is not slowing down in training and was among the first to complete the Micro-accreditation CPA Australia in data analysis. “If I learn more about data analytics, it will give me a competitive advantage,” she says.
Alex Lipa CPA
Responsible for financial planning and analysis, coordinator of the catch and finance unit and advisor in economic and statistical e-learning with Swinburne Online
Alex Lipa CPA took a roundabout path towards a career in finance. After graduating from the University of Melbourne with a chemistry degree, he intended to join the police.
When eye disease derailed his law enforcement plans, he decided to investigate a career in finance, opting for a master’s degree in commerce from Deakin University.
“My first lecture was an introduction to microeconomics. I just fell in love with it. You know you’ll be successful when you start researching and reading at your own pace, ”he says.
After graduation, Lipa held positions at the gas company Elgas and the convenience chain 7-Eleven. He then spent nearly three years at Coles Group as a financial partner.
Lipa completed the CPA program as part of a job requirement, but he thinks he would have done it anyway. “It’s an assumption now that if you apply for a job in finance, you’re qualified. “
Since March, Lipa has been with To catch, the Wesfarmers online marketplace. “It’s very different from Coles. It’s like a very big start-up. Part of the reason I’m here is because Wesfarmers wants a little bit of rigor, control, and process around forward planning.
The idea came naturally to Lipa, who admits to being a bit of a career planner. “If you don’t plan for your next role, you won’t be competent for it. “
Lipa’s teaching work at Swinburne puts him in constant contact with the next generation of accountants. When his students contact him, he advises them not to pursue “a weird and constructed idea of what a perfect career is.”
“When I was studying, I imagined my options were accounting firms or banks. Now, in the real world for nine years, I haven’t touched an accounting firm or a bank. I have worked in retail, convenience store, industrial gases and real estate.
There are so many places to go, but if I had closed down, I don’t know where my career would be.
Kalpana Lal FCPA
Head of Unit, Administration and Finance, GIZ Pacific Operations
Kalpana Lal FCPA not only has a demanding role with GIZ Pacific operations, an international sustainable development agency based in Fiji, where she is the only woman and local on the management team. She is also president of Vodafone Fiji and Amalgamated Telecommunications Holdings Limited, and is a director of several other boards.
Lal attributes his accomplishments to professional qualifications, focused training and careful career planning.
“I think it’s very important to have a clear vision and focus on developing yourself, as well as charting a course on where you want to go and how you will get there. I also think that it is important to improve yourself at different stages of your career. You should see professional development as an investment in yourself.
Lal also believes that stepping out of your comfort zone is a good way to develop experiences and skills. This is exactly what she did when she left an auditing career for the nonprofit world several years ago.
“In today’s disruptive world, we must constantly be on the learning curve. Having the right qualification certainly helps open up opportunities.
“I feel that as I grow professionally, I am in a good position to add tremendous value in the various roles as an executive. At GIZ, I am really passionate about adding value through my advisory role.
GIZ has provided Lal with many training opportunities in Asia and Europe, and now she in turn trains others in the Pacific region. It is also aimed at professional organizations, such as CPA Australia, to keep abreast of the latest industry news.
“The training of professional organizations exposes us to current and emerging trends. This creates awareness of how our roles could help organizations adapt and respond to the changes happening around them.