After graduation, Veronica Lee Wing-men joined Ernst & Young as a staff accountant in the audit department Through the firm’s rotation programme, Lee had a chance to move to the tax department, where she excelled and was promoted to manager of tax and business advisory services. She talks to Wong Yat-hei
What’s your academic background?
I have a bachelor of business and administration from the University of Hong Kong.
How do you start your day?
We have meetings and conference calls with clients every day, but these can be held any time, so I have no fixed routine. Aside from the meetings, I would always start my day checking or responding to e-mails. I also call my clients. Then, I would walk through my work list, arrange each task’s priorities and allocate work to my subordinates.
What does your job entail?
Generally, my work includes reviewing my subordinates’ tax compliance or advisory work, providing tax advice and preparing presentation materials for client meetings.
Our advisory work is very extensive; it includes advices on multinational clients on holding structuring planning for their inbound and outbound investments, supply chain management, operation review, tax controversy and many others.
What are the major challenges you’ve encountered so far?
Recently, I had taken up an ongoing assignment from my colleague to assist a listed client to restructure its holding structure as well as inject a new business into a listed group. I was involved in the project in mid-way, so it was difficult for me to catch up. In a short period of time, I needed to understand the whole picture of the case, obtain all parties’ professional advice and accommodate each others’ concerns. After considering all other professionals’ comments and opinions, we helped the client to create a new model for the restructuring.
What have you learned about your career? What are your plans?
The job we do is challenging, but with hard work and optimism, we can be overcome. My immediate professional plan is to be a senior manager this year. For the long term, I would like to be an outstanding tax specialist and to become a partner.
Any advice for those who are planning to enter your industry?
To be successful, you have to be focused. Accounting is a profession, so we must observe a professional manner, showing clients our unremitting effort and providing them the most professional services. Be patient when dealing with a big work load and new challenges.