A Star Accountant
Born and raised in Temerloh, Pahang to a teacher mum and TNB executive dad, Nik Aisyah is the third sibling of five. In 2007, she pursued her Bachelor of Commerce, double majoring in Accounting & Corporate Finance in University of Adelaide, Australia before returning home in 2009. When asked why accounting? She responded with an impish smile, “Believe it or not – it was initially the thought of getting the chance to dress up, wear nice clothes and nice shoes every day!”
“But honestly, I chose Accounting because it was my second option after medicine. After taking into account that I had a phobia with blood, bones and wounds – it was a no-brainer, accounting won hands-down. I liked it right away during my foundation level. I knew that I had made the right decision,” she added.
Nik Aisyah takes great pride in her profession. She opines that accounting is a very strong profession with numerous opportunities and various areas for young grads to explore and venture into from accounting firms that hire thousands of accounting graduates every year to commercial organizations with finance/accounting departments or the shared services sector, banking and finance, consultancy companies or even the education sector. The part she really enjoyed about her job was getting to meet and understand clients from various industries – definitely an unrivalled learning experience.
While completing her internship at PwC, Nik Aisyah fell in love with the job and she knew that audit would be a great place to kick-start her career. She returned to PwC as an Associate in March 2010.
“At that point I felt like I was living my dream job. People say that when you love something you will excel at it. It proved to be true as I managed to speed up my career growth just by a little bit by getting a fast track promotion. Working as an auditor exposed me to a diverse clientele which lent to a steep learning curve,” recalls Nik Aisyah, who was made Senior at the firm in less than 2 years. It was during that time that she decided to pursue the MICPA-ICAA Programme part-time and completed the Programme within those 2 years.
Nik Aisyah is a great believer in the MICPA-ICAA Programme, a joint Programme with the Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia (ICAA). She found working and studying part-time as a better option as it helped sharpen her technical knowledge while the work experience taught her how to apply that knowledge. She felt that the study leave helped her refocus after a months of hard work.
Working in an audit firm proved advantageous as there were many others pursuing the same Programme. The support was invaluable as fellow candidates were able to collaborate, share ideas and have open discussions – making the pursuit of MICPA-ICAA Programme easier and more fun.
“The MICPA-ICAA Programme helped me develop my career. It helped me understand my job as an Auditor including the ethical do’s and don’ts of the profession,” she added.
Nik Aisyah is quick to point out the benefits of the MICPA-ICAA Programme: “Complete the Programme and you receive dual membership – MICPA and ICAA, and dual qualifications – Certified Public Accountant, Malaysia and Chartered Accountant, Australia. It is flexible as it allows candidates to study at their own pace and time. There are no regimented class schedules and the online learning platform helps candidates stay on track. Plus it isn’t purely exam orientated. The assignments and presentations help promote a well-rounded candidate. All Programme modules are also very relevant to the profession.”
When asked about her stint on The Apprentice Asia show, she explained that she had reached a point in her life where she was doing well in her career and she had completed the MICPA-ICAA Programme. She felt that staying in a “comfortable” phase was just not satisfying enough. She wanted to do more! When she saw the advertisement for Apprentice Asia on AXN, she jumped at the challenge. “At first I just applied for the sake of knowing where I stood against others in Asia. I didn’t think I would have made it to the top 12!“ she exclaims.
Nik Aisyah shares that the show taught her how to take risks. Being cautious and calculative in every decision she makes in life, participating in The Apprentice Asia was by far the biggest risk she has ever taken, having to quit a job she loved. “Taking that risk was worth it! Every day was an uncertainty, full of challenges and unexpected scenarios. Although there were a few I wish I could have done differently – it was still an adventure of self-discovery. I explored more of my strengths, and came to realize my weaknesses, which was good as I now can tackle them,” she added.
Being on the show helped her realize that she now wanted to expose herself to the management side of a business and experience what it’s like being on the other side of the auditor’s table. She has since joined General Electric International, Inc (GE) as a Statutory & Taxation Consultant for one of GE’s many businesses – Power Generation Services (PGS). She is responsible for coordinating and managing the statutory and taxation process, which heavily involves managing the audit process of PGS for the Asia Pacific region.
She quips: “Working with Tan Sri Dr. Tony Fernandes taught me to believe in myself and take risks. I learned that I could do anything I wanted to as long as I had faith in myself.”
MICPA’s very own rising star has tackled life head-on. Nik Aisyah has made changes in her career and she has made changes in her personal life and there is no holding her back from making the most out of her life. She plans to live life to the fullest and won’t let any opportunity pass her by.
Her advice to the next generation of Accountants?
“There are always solutions for everything, so never stop trying until you make it – and if things don’t work out, make it work your way!”
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