Adele Yim CPA, Head of Risk Advisory Services at Mazars, on the value of audit experience and how there is more to risk management than simply protecting businesses from risk
What are the three biggest lessons in your career so far?
The first is the importance of networking, which is about building and nurturing long-term, mutually beneficial relationships with the people you meet. The connections you create today may come in handy in the future. The next thing would be to never stop learning. This will help you to stay relevant in today’s ever-changing business environment, which sees developments in regulatory requirements, corporate governance, and the growing interest in environmental, social and governance. Lastly, keep an eye on technological advancements in the market. This will provide you with a competitive advantage in delivering services to clients.
What do you like most about specializing in risk advisory?
In risk advisory, our objective is to anticipate and respond to a business’ operational, financial and compliance risks. This starts with reviewing our clients’ systems to ensure that the right processes are in place and enhancing them if necessary. These enhancements help to accelerate growth, minimize costs, maximize opportunities, and streamline critical processes. These experiences are valuable as they allow me to gain new knowledge and take on challenges through the process. Through evaluating and commenting on clients’ business operations, I have the opportunity to help companies in a diverse range of industries, including manufacturing, retailing, food and beverage, and financial services.
In what ways has your CPA qualification helped you in your career?
My CPA qualification has opened opportunities for me to meet professionals from various fields and backgrounds. Through the networking events and seminars organized by the Institute, I’ve been able to stay updated on the latest developments in regulatory requirements and within the accounting profession. I’ve also been able to exchange views with other professionals, and gain different perspectives. This has equipped me with the skills to handle a diverse range of work and challenges.
Why is it important for companies today to look at risk management as a value add?
Every business decision comes with some level of risk. Enterprise risk management emphasizes the identification of risk in a company and the ability to effectively manage these risks. It also ensures compliance with rules and regulations. It essentially refers to a company’s ability to manage uncertainty and to consider how much risk to accept as it strives to increase its own value. With fewer uncertainties, we are able to help companies to plan ahead, and meet their goals and objectives in an efficient manner. A proper risk management strategy in the business’ operations can improve the reputation of a company and create confidence among its stakeholders, including employees and customers.
How does your audit experience help you in your role?
There are actually overlapping areas and skills. When I was an external auditor, I gained several skills, including those in research, interviewing and logical analysis. With better logical analysis skills, I can efficiently understand the company based on its financial performance. I also learned that the financial performance of an organization is closely linked to how effective its internal audit function is in overseeing internal controls, risk management and governance. With an in-depth understanding of a company, I can bring valuable risk management services to clients.