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Nukman Ahmad Fuaad

What's your job about?

EY is a multinational professional services organisation which operates across four service lines – Assurance, Tax, Advisory & Transaction Advisory Services. I am currently an Associate within the Assurance team, focusing on performing Financial Statement audits.

The best way to describe what I do in the Assurance team is that I ensure that the numbers presented within a company’s financial statements are materially correct for its users and that all relevant disclosures are made in line with applicable accounting standards.

Each associate is assigned to multiple engagements throughout the year and depending on the size & complexity of the clients, the length of time the engagements can go on from 1 week to 6 months.

A standard engagement can be divided into 4 key milestones – planning, the interim, year-end & conclusion of the audit. The planning stage is when the team identifies relevant risks for the audit. The interim and the year-end involves understanding significant processes in the company as well as performing controls & substantive testing to obtain evidence that the numbers presented within the financial statements are materially correct. Lastly, the conclusion stage is when we issue the audit report resulting in the issuance of the financial statements to the relevant users.

What's your background?

I was born and raised in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and moved to Auckland, New Zealand to pursue my tertiary education in 2015.

Being accepted into one of Malaysia’s best boarding school was a key turning point in my life. It taught me to be independent, enhanced my soft skills and made me a better individual, holistically. I was then offered a scholarship to pursue my tertiary education in New Zealand and ultimately, obtain a Chartered Accountant qualification.

I was accepted into the EY Summer Internship Programme in the middle of my second year of university studies. The process of obtaining the internship position involved several different processes, which included undergoing two online assessments, a group activity and an interview. Subsequent to the completion of the internship, EY offered me a second internship offer for the following year as well as a graduate role offer for me to take up upon the completion of my studies.

Could someone with a different background do your job?

Without a doubt, yes! As long as you turn up to work with a positive mindset and are open to learning new things, the sky’s the limit.

I feel that to be successful in my role, you would need to be equipped with adequate accounting knowledge (don’t worry, it will come with experience) and strong communication skills – interacting with the clients is something we do almost every day!

What's the coolest thing about your job?

One reason I find my job fulfilling is the ability to identify issues/risks and recommend actions to the management of ways to resolve them, be it process-wise or accounting-wise and therefore, making a positive impact to the business and its relevant stakeholders.

In addition, being exposed to clients of multiple industries (e.g. financial services, retirement villages & manufacturing) allows me to not only develop my accounting knowledge but also expand my general knowledge as to how these businesses are being run.

Last but not least, the celebratory event that is organised at the end of every engagement is something we look forward to! 

What are the limitations of your job?

Especially during busy seasons, there could be instances of engagement teams working till late night across a number of days or weeks, and possibly even on the weekends. The sheer amount of work that needs be completed before the deadline could at times be overwhelming! In saying that, this is balanced well with plenty of downtimes throughout the year.

3 pieces of advice for yourself when you were a student...

  1. Be actively involved in extra-curricular activities – I find that this is a great way to make meaningful connections, and sets you apart from other graduates. One of the things EY loved about my CV was the contributions I had made on the football pitch!
  2. You work to live, not live to work – No matter how busy you are, always make time for your loved ones.
  3. Follow your passion – “Do what you love, and you’ll never have to work another day in your life”.