As CFO of California Fitness and Yoga Co. Ltd since May 2011, Filipino Rowell Donato Ng Tan CPA (Aust.), who has been working in Vietnam for many years, does not hesitate when recommending CPA Australia Associate membership to all financial practitioners in the Philippines.

Rowell Donato Ng Tan (Rowell) was already working in Vietnam with Deloitte when he first heard about CPA Australia. He had become a CPA right after college in the Philippines and when Vietnam offered a CPA designation for foreigners, he did the same there. Even so, a lack of global recognition left him unsatisfied.

“As soon as I heard about CPA Australia entering Vietnam, I did not think twice about becoming a member,” Rowell says. “Obtaining my CPA Australia designation allowed me to realise my aspiration of having a prestigious designation that is truly acknowledged internationally.”

Although Rowell was a member before CPA Australia’s collaboration with the Professional Regulatory Board of Accountancy (BOA) and Philippines Institute of Certified Public Accountants (PICPA), he believes it now provides an unparalleled new opportunity for his fellow Filipino CPAs.

“Like me, every CPA in the Philippines can now apply for CPA Australia Associate membership by availing the membership pathway agreement (MPA),” he says.

Importantly, CPA Australia is accredited by the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) – CPD (continuing professional development) Council of Accountancy as the first foreign CPD provider. It is working closely with regulatory authorities in the Philippines to constantly improve the competencies of accounting and finance professionals in accordance with international standards of practice.

Members of PICPA can now earn selected accredited CPD hours through discounted online courses offered by CPA Australia.

Resources to get ahead

In particular, Rowell notes that being able to access the vast resources available on the online learning platform of CPA Australia, such as various professional tools, templates, accounting-related literature and specialised courses, has added significant value to his auditing and accounting career.

“For example, the business analysis and financial modelling courses, as well as those on valuations, have been very useful in my present position. Such courses can help you to navigate the complexity of expanding a business and carrying out a fair valuation exercise, whereas reading books and accounting guidelines alone will not make you well equipped to carry out such critical tasks.

“The professional resources section of CPA Australia’s web portal normally comes in handy when there is an accounting matter that I need to understand and be able to apply in my day-to-day work. Without question, the tools and resources available have helped me a lot in building my knowledge and skills, which to date have been instrumental to my career achievements and ability to excel further.”

During his spare time, Rowell says he also listens to CPA Australia’s podcasts, which provide a lot of insights and have helped him to stay up to date with important developments in the profession.

Internationally recognised skill sets

“Being a member of CPA Australia comes with a lot of opportunities,” he adds. Indeed, Rowell’s company recently became part of Fitness and Lifestyle Group [FLG], which is the Asia Pacific’s leading health and wellness group, with headquarters in Australia and regional offices across South East and East Asia.

Accordingly, FLG files its financial statements in accordance with Australian accounting standards, and Rowell says his CPA Australia membership has assisted in terms of ensuring compliance with Australia’s stringent reporting requirements.

“The knowledge I have gained has also been fulfilling in my role as CFO of the group’s subsidiary in Vietnam. In addition, it has opened an opportunity for me to be considered by the group to not only work in Australia but also in other parts of the region where [FLG] has a presence.

“While there are many essential benefits of becoming a member, I can encapsulate them into three of the most significant areas,” Rowell says. “Firstly, if you are looking for ways to be recognised internationally and therefore be able to easily find work opportunities outside the Philippines, becoming a CPA Australia member is one of the answers you can count on.

“Secondly, if you want to fast track your career development and stay ahead of the competition, having the CPA Australia designation behind you is definitely a cut above the rest.

“Thirdly, if you want to keep abreast of all the significant accounting developments in the international arena, or even just intending to pursue CPD, there is a good number of accounting databases, references, and courses readily available once you become a member.

“It is a pathway to being heard and to stand out in the accounting profession, so my advice is to become a member of CPA Australia now.”

Find out more about becoming a CPA by visiting the membership pathway agreement.