I have been fortunate to be presented the greatest opportunity to be working under AccountServe. There are several reasons that constitute to this amazing experience - mainly being the responsibilities that were designated during and post internship.

Experience as an Intern
I was struggling with the steep learning curve when I first commenced my internship in AccountServe as it was my first accounting-related career and I had little preceding knowledge on XBRL since it was not taught to us in school. However, with ample mentorship and guidance provided, I was able to climb the learning curve swiftly despite the lack of experience.

In no time, I became trained and proficient in my assigned tasks - then I was further assigned the duty to guide my new colleagues in their early months. This experience of coaching gave me the opportunity to be aware of my shortcomings and thereafter improve myself. I was also offered the chance to contribute various suggestions to improve the XBRL workflow. I am appreciative for the opportunities to engage in responsibilities that many interns might not have a chance to.

 

Experience as a Trainee
After the completion of my internship, I rejoined the firm as a trainee in hope that I will be able to achieve more valuable knowledge and pick up skills that I might not be exposed to in other firms. As a trainee, I was entrusted with more responsibilities such as corresponding with the clients directly and also superintending several of my new colleagues’ work. With the newly assigned responsibilities, I had to be extra conscientious and meticulous in my work. The experience of coaching and superintending my juniors’ work gave me extra poise in presenting myself and sharpened the skills I have formerly learnt in my internship.

The work experience here at AccountServe offered me the stage to demonstrate and enhance the technical and soft skills that we were schooled in.

 

Technical skills acquired in XBRL Report Preparation
The preparation of XBRL involves the utilisation of preceding accounting knowledge to analyse the financial figures and the accompanying notes to the financial statements. The five core financial accounting modules taught in school amply equipped me to trounce the challenges in XBRL team. Having said that, there were still occasions that I stumbled upon some accounting terms or treatment that I was unable to comprehend. My mentors provided ample guidance and I was able to brush up on my accounting knowledge.

Through my course of study, I also had the opportunity to be educated on several accounting softwares such as Microsoft Office, MYOB, ACCPAC and SAP. Even though the Bizfinx preparation tool that is used to prepare XBRL was not taught in school, the familiarity in other accounting software aided me to learn the ropes faster. During my time with AccountServe, Microsoft Office was also commonly used and I was exposed to functions that were not imparted to us in school which subsequently helped me to enhance my skills.

 

Honing my Soft Skills
The soft skill that is particularly important is communication skills, both written and verbal. Through the past 10 months, I truly understood the significance of excellent verbal and written communication in the actual working world since I was given opportunities to correspond with auditors and clients.

My school placed high emphasis on equipping us with good communication skills as we have to undertake three diverse communication modules. Through them, we have learnt how to conduct ourselves and converse professionally. We have also learnt how to organise information for effective communication, which I was able to put in good use when working in AccountServe.

In summary, I have attained invaluable understanding of and insights into the accounting industry. Internship in AccountServe is not about running errands for seniors or getting coffee for them. It offers opportunities for you to apply your knowledge and at the same time acquire real-life working experience in the accounting industry. This experience has helped me chart my career path. If you are willing to put yourself out there to master new things, the opportunities are tremendous.

Athena Tay Jia Lin
Ngee Ann Polytechnic, 2016