As Manager, Technical Accounting at CLP Holdings Limited, Christy Lam CPA helps her team through problem solving and ensures that business proposals follow the latest accounting rules and standards. She tells A Plus what she enjoys about being the in-house go-to person on the application of accounting standards
Photography by Anthony Tung
What is your current role and responsibilities? How is it going so far?
As Manager, Technical Accounting at CLP Holdings Limited, I advise on in-house technical accounting enquiries and offer support and training to our finance teams on the implementation of new accounting standards, policies and regulations. I also review business development proposals to ensure that accounting policies have been properly implemented. I also lend support in the production of our annual and interim reports. I joined CLP just over a year ago, and though the role has been challenging so far, things have been going very well.
What are the most rewarding and challenging aspects of your role, and why?
Reviewing business development proposals can be challenging as it involves working with the operations team, many of whom do not have an accounting background, so my role is to explain accounting implications in a manner that is accessible and easy to understand. Accounting rules and regulations are constantly changing, so another challenge is making sure I’m constantly learning on the job. The most rewarding aspect is the opportunity to constantly develop my technical skills and utilize my knowledge to help colleagues solve their accounting problems. I also appreciate being able to help the company identify any accounting issues in our business development proposals. It’s also a privilege to work for a large utility company like CLP. The company has given me a chance to apply the knowledge that I developed when I was an external auditor, and the experience I gained from auditing different companies in various industries. I also get to apply these insights to the business development of the group.
What inspired you to become an accountant?
I first heard about the career from my aunt, who is a CPA, and found it interesting. I started taking accounting courses in secondary school and quickly learned that it was something I wanted to do. So I studied it in university and began my career as an auditor at one of the Big Four after graduation. Accounting truly is the language of business – it’s a way to analyse the operations of a business, assess its activities and evaluate how it is performing.
Where do you see yourself in the next five to 10 years in your career? Which field do you plan on specializing in, and why?
There is still a lot of opportunities to grow within this company. I hope to advance to a more senior role within the finance department, where I can provide professional guidance and add value to the team and group. I’d also like to continue working in technical accounting. When there are new accounting standards to be implemented, I enjoy being the first one to study and to understand them, and to identify and highlight the potential impact on the group to my colleagues.
What are the biggest lessons you have learned so far from work experience or managers?
You have to be curious and never be afraid to ask questions, whether you’re an external auditor or in-house finance professional. Curiosity really is the key to learning new things. You develop a better relationship with your colleagues or team by being inquisitive. As a member of the in-house finance team, curiosity drives me to understand the rationale of different operations. This helps me to provide the most appropriate advice on accounting treatment and identify whether there is anything being overlooked by the project teams. You also need to embrace change. Most people are afraid of change, but embracing it can lead to new and different opportunities. Being open to change can help you to identify and seize new opportunities that can lead to career growth, maintain your passion for learning new things, and to apply new knowledge to new areas.
Which of the continuing professional development (CPD) courses did you find most helpful in your day-to-day work or in getting you to the next stage of your career?
I recently joined the Institute’s Business Valuation Programme. In my day-to-day work, I need to review some business models in business development proposals, and the programme has definitely helped me to better understand a company’s valuation. I also appreciate the CPD courses on Hong Kong Financial Reporting Standards. The courses detail how new standards will impact financial statements and accounting policies, and cover any related future developments. All of these courses have helped me in my day-to-day work.