Neo Yen Leng
Senior Audit Manager
Yen Leng graduated with a Bachelor of Accountancy (2nd honours) at Nanyang Technological University (Nanyang Business School). She is also a Chartered Accountant of Singapore.

My company and my job

I joined BDO after I graduated from NTU. My responsibilities include providing assurance services to a portfolio of clients (which comprise listed companies, MNCs and statutory board) and managing a team of approximately 40 team members. On top of that, I participated in internal trainings and talent acquisition activities, something which are close to my heart.

How I got my job

I got to know about BDO during a campus interview held in NTU. I submitted my application during the event and had a short interview on that day itself. I was fortunate to be selected from a pool of over a hundred applications for the second round of interview in BDO’s office. I trust what set me apart from the rest would most likely be my eloquence, positive outlook and asking the right questions.

The highs and lows

I like the challenges and travel opportunities that come with the job. So far, I have travelled to no less than ten countries for engagements. Even though I serve a rather consistent portfolio of clients, the ever-changing business environment brings along a lot of opportunities for me to learn new things. Encouragement from partners and readily available technical resources enable me to carry out my responsibilities competently. I would say the most challenging aspects of being an auditor would be to keep up to pace with the fast-changing environment and accounting standards. In the audit profession, this is what I need to do to be the trusted advisor.

My happiest moment at work

My happiest moment at work would be the appreciation from partners and clients when their expectations and tight deadlines are met. The most memorable project that I have worked on would be an audit engagement which I undertook several years ago which required me to travel to Shanghai to review audit work papers prepared by our member firm. I was just an audit senior back then and had the opportunity to work directly with a partner outside of Singapore. It was an eye-opening opportunity as it was my first experience on doing international engagements. I learnt a lot from the experience, not just about work, but also the differences in our culture.

Training and support

BDO provides both structural and non-structural training – in the form of classroom training and on-the-job training. Depending on the revisions and new releases, the topics span across various Financial Reporting Standards, Singapore Standards on Auditing, Quality, Anti-Money Laundering, Independence, Codes and Ethics. What makes the training different is our management development course, which focus on training of emerging leaders on soft skills like negation, project management, communication, presentation, coaching and team building. As part of the guidance on our career progression, we will be assigned a mentor partner (for managers and above) or assigned a mentor manager who will guide the mentee with the mutual desire for development towards career goals and objectives.

Work-life balance

We are using the Audit Process Tool which allows us to work outside of the office. People no longer need to “camp” in the office to finish up their relevant sections as the tool allows synchronisation after all team members complete their work. This tool, along with other available electronic tools on timesheet, claims and e-Appraisal, definitely enhances work-life balance since we can practically work anytime, anywhere. To me, work-life balance is all about focusing on what you are doing at the moment and not be distracted so that you can achieve the most during work and play. BDO’s culture is that of a big family where we care for each other like our own family members. This makes our work more enjoyable despite the long hours that come with the job at certain time of the year.

Some advice

Know what you want. This is critical for each of us to analyse the options that we have and decide the choice that we want to take.