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02 February 2020 Posted by 


Profession perfectly placed to add value
COMMUNITY volunteer work should be “essential” for budding accountants according to an expert in the field.

Leading CPA accountant Coco Hou believes volunteering should be a pivotal element of an accountant’s career and schedule.
She believes that accountants are uniquely trained to add value as volunteers to charities, community organisations, business networks and startups.
Ms Hou is the CEO of Platinum Professional Training, one of Australia’s largest accounting training and internship providers with offices across all major Australian cities.
 “I tell every young accountant to think about volunteering. It’s an absolute must for anyone who wants a successful and fulfilling career as an accountant.
“Accountants make the best volunteers because they offer a skill that very few people have, and that very few people are willing to give away for free,” Ms Hou said.
She believes that accountants, using their extremely unique skillset, have a lot to offer charitable and community organisations.
“There are thousands of community organisations out there that either lack the capacity to hire an accountant, or don’t see the need for one. As a budding accountant or even one with decades of experience, the value you could add is immeasurable,” Ms Hou said.
“There is an overwhelming need for people with accounting expertise across the community and by volunteering your time, trained accountants can fundamentally change how a community organisation is run. Not only that, they can improve the efficiency of charitable organisations that do amazing work for people in need.”
According to Ms Hou, even professional accountants who have worked in the accounting industry for a long time, are ideally placed to volunteer their time. The ability to give back through one’s expertise is a valuable way to contribute to the community.
“Volunteering is typically something we assume young people do to ‘get ahead’. But even more senior accountants can make volunteering part of their routine,” Ms Hou said.
“Community organisations and charities have boards and committees that need volunteers and helpers. They will jump at the opportunity to have an accountant as a board member.”
According to Ms Hou, volunteering is more than just an ethical thing to do, it can also give you valuable experiences that you can use to further your accounting career.
“Employers will always look favorably upon a candidate who has donated their time and accounting skills to community organisations, charities, startups and business associations. Being the treasurer of a society or club at university helps as well!
Ms Hou is critical of the way many universities teach accounting, in particular their lack of focus on practical skills and software training.


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