Stepping out of my comfort zone
by Wong Mei Xuan, Assistant Director, Finance Department
“If we’re growing, we’re always going to be out of our comfort zone.”
When I first applied to IPOS Internal Audit Department 3 years ago, I would not have imagined doing what I am doing now. Ever since I stepped into the workforce, I have always been in the audit profession, and almost by reflex I would instinctively write "auditor" as my occupation each time I filled in a form. In my first two years in IPOS, I learnt about IPOS - the work, the culture and the people through my lens as an internal auditor. I would look at processes and think, are the corporate governance and risk management controls adequate?
In 2018, I was presented with an interesting opportunity – to move to the first line of defence and be the proactive shaper of processes in the Finance Department. After all, IPOS is an innovation agency - shouldn't I myself be innovative about my own career path too? After some deliberation, I decided to make the switch. When I first joined the Finance Department, I implemented the process enhancements I had recommended to Finance Department in my previous capacity as an internal auditor. Some auditors may joke that this is "karma". Instead, I see this as "coming full circle", an interesting opportunity to be on both ends of the audit, and to broaden my horizons. Well-intended rules in the past can become red tape in both the present and future, if they become obsolete. Being on the frontlines operationally, I had the opportunity to identify processes which can be streamlined so as to save time, minimise compliance costs for the public, and reduce enforcement costs for the public service.
My current role provides the opportunity for me to have greater involvement in cross-functional corporate collaboration. One of them was the IPOS office relocation project, where I oversee the finance and governance matters. We closed our beautiful chapter after being in Bras Basah for nearly three decades and began our new exciting chapter in Paya Lebar Quarter this July. I also had a starstruck moment when I had the opportunity to host a foreign guest during IP Week, who happens to be one of the most influential people in the accounting world. It was surreal to converse with the foreign guest on the challenges in implementing FRS116 when he was the accountant who initiated the development of the new lease standard IFRS16. A personal thank you message from him at the end of the event made my day.
Be the change you want to see. I just started my second year in Finance, and have not looked back since. I look forward to continue innovating in my career path ahead.
Mei Xuan (2nd from right) with the HR and Finance ladies on our last day in Manulife Centre at Bras Basah