[National Volunteer Week 2019] Member Ambassador Spotlight: Anson Lo, Lifelabs

It’s National Volunteer Week! With this year’s theme being “The Volunteer Factor – Lifting Communities”, we are celebrating and recognizing the exponential impact of our CPABC Member Ambassador Volunteers and their efforts in supporting CPABC’s student recruitment.

With one article everyday this week, this is one of five articles, featuring interviews with our Member Ambassadors.

Meet Anson Lo, CPA, CMA, Senior Finance Manager, Advisory at LifeLabs Medical Laboratory Services

What’s the most memorable moment in your path to becoming a CPA?

The most memorable (both best and worst) experience is all the group work in the CMA program. A big difference between CMA and other legacy designations is the focus on team work, because in the end everyone in the same team shares the same grade for the final board report. At the time, many of us probably felt this grading scheme was “unfair” as the efforts toward completing the report and presentation may not be shared equally among the team members, however most of us now can probably agree that this is also very realistic in the working environment. It is a valuable lesson learned because once we graduate and enter the workforce, we can no longer just focus on our own performance and we are expected to assist, lead, support, delegate, and inspire people we work with constantly. Our success is not depended on individual’s achievement but our ability to work with other people to maximize our collective value.

What do you think is the biggest misconception about CPAs?

The biggest misconception about CPAs is that every accountant is a tax expert. I have been asked the most bizarre and obscure personal and business tax questions, and everytime I respond with “I don’t do tax”, the immediate reaction has always been “but you’re an accountant!”

What is one thing you’d say to someone who wants to become a CPA?

I would say to anyone to just be the best of who you are and pursue all the academic, career or recreational aspirations you may have. Becoming a CPA is a merely a key to kick-start a career in the accounting profession, but how you want to shape the rest of your career is up to your determination, ambition and area of interests.

How has your CPA helped you get to where you are today in your career?

CPA program gave me the basic tools to navigate in this very diverse and intricate profession and the confidence to explore career opportunities that I either did not know about or did not know I’d like. As an independent business consultant, I am pulling knowledge and skills from all stages of my career and I know for a fact that most of the positions I held in my career I would not be considered without a CPA (or previously CMA) designation behind my name. I am still getting inspirations from the CPA community through networking events and volunteer opportunities. The program provides a very encouraging and supportive environment for its members beyond the modules and exams.

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