Kenneth Lam manages more than an audit portfolio of manufacturing, trading,shipping, mining and card payment businesses. The Audit Manager at Mazars Hong Kong and Institute member also focuses on capital marketing assignments, including projects on initial public offerings, acquisitions and overseas due diligence.
“My work as a reporting accountant is not limited to compliance work, it also involves providing integrated solutions for tackling questions from regulatory bodies and audit engagement for private and listed companies,” says Lam. “I focus on IPOs and mergers and acquisitions.” He has observed that more and more small- and medium-sized businesses are aiming to raise funding through IPOs, and there are strict supervisions from the Hong Kong stock exchange and the Securities and Futures Commission.
Lam is often busy providing tailored solutions to his clients. “After we submit an IPO application, the HKEX and SFC will send rounds of queries for which all professional parties, including auditors, will furnish replies as quickly aspossible to meet the deadlines of the deliverables. This means you have proper internal meetings first, then the meetings with the client or lawyers and other professional bodies happen on the weekend,” he explains, adding that he has the flexibility to attend these meetings and can gain more knowledge from the advice of other professionals, making him a more well-rounded CPA.
Because these projects do not follow the normal peak and slack trend of auditing, Lam has to find a way to balance out his life, especially now he has his first baby. “My daughter was born just this month so I’ve pushed to finish my tasksand worked even harder so I can be with my wife and the newborn,” says Lam. He also prefers to work later on weeknights, reserve Friday for a night out with friends or colleagues and weekends for as much family time as possible.
As a graduate from City University of Hong Kong, Lam hopes to bridge the link between Mazars and fresh graduates by annually volunteering to introduce the firm at his alma mater.
“Students often ask me how they can differentiate themselves from their peers,” says Lam, “and I tell them that commitment is key. It’s depressing to see people jump out of a firm after only two years with no direction and inadequate experience to become a manager at a commercial company. They end up having to start from the beginning and wasting their past work experience.”
Working on capital marketing assignments also requires strong commitment and discipline. As soon as Lam receives the queries from regulators, he has to be ready to respond quickly. “If a deadline ever lapses on an IPO project, that means we have to resubmit the application and start the approval process over again,” he explains. If the project requires weekends and late nights, Lam regards it as a strength that he can stay for the job. “I love the satisfaction of seeing my clients achievetheir goals,” he says.
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Credits: Tigger Chaturabul for A+ Magazine, September 2016 issue