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My ACA experience: Dennis

Dennis is the Chief Financial Officer at VS Media based in Hong Kong. Read about his route into chartered accountancy below.

Dennis Mok

Dennis Mok Chief Financial Officer, VS Media Limited

ICAEW route: Graduate

Industry: Business

Location: Hong Kong

Dennis's story...

Tell us about your career journey and what you do day-to-day in your role. Why is it so that workplaces support and celebrate diversity? Has ICAEW played a role in this?

I began my career with an international accountancy firm before advancing my career as an in-house accountant.

I am now a Chief Financial Officer at VS Media Limited, where day-to-day work affects the running of the financial operations of the company, including monthly management accounts, business forecasting, internal control, tax planning, and the year-end audit process.

VS Media is a digital media network built by creators and powered by content-driven social commerce, which bridges creators and brands together for mutual business growth. It is an honor to be the Department Head of Finance, and it helps develop my cooperation, problem-solving, and leadership skills.
Why did you choose the ACA over other accounting qualifications?

I obtained the ACA accounting qualification through the reciprocal membership agreement with the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants (HKICPA). ICAEW is a very influential and respected professional body - which is well-established all over the world. It is certainly appealing to me, hence why I have a strong drive and ambition to obtain the ACA qualification, which will connect me to a global community of financial experts.
Who or what inspired you to become a chartered accountant?

My inspiration to become a chartered accountant came from my prior studies. I studied accounting and business-related subjects at secondary school, where I developed an interest in and understanding accounting and finance.

Accounting is a passion I have had from an early age, and attaining an accounting qualification of such a high standard, meant a lot to me.

Our accountants are more than you’d imagine. They challenge the traditional accountancy routes and career paths. They have an innovative approach and skill in their work. How do your career path, attitude, and skillset support this?

Working for an innovative and impressive organization like VS Media has meant I can develop my technical knowledge and communication skills. I communicate with several parties like Paid Media and Campaign team, influencers, banks, and other professional parties in my role, so I must keep my skills up to date so that I can provide helpful support and advice from the company perspective.

Do you think there is such a thing as a stereotypical accountant? If so, how do you challenge this stereotype?

Traditionally, an accounting professional is a workaholic. Nowadays, more and more young and ambitious people like me are getting involved in this industry.

I hope my work will induce social changes, which can be by building relationships across the business, and the ability to push ideas forward, as well as supporting and motivating teams and people to perform towards their objectives. For example, I focus on equality and diversity in my current position. An accounting professional is a role suitable for anyone should they want to develop a career in it.
Why did you decide to go down the route you did?

I chose the ACA route because it is a professional qualification and includes the opportunity to work in various sectors. During my working life, I have worked in different industries, such as a professional accountancy firm, garment sourcing, and media. Working in the Media encompasses my values and collaborating with people to make a difference. I haven’t looked back since.
What do you love the most about what you do? 

Everything because I can add value to VS Media by advising the board on the internal controls, processes, and how to operate more profitably. But the technical competence and value-added that being a chartered accountant benefits a business.
At ICAEW, we encourage applicants from all backgrounds. What skills do you bring to your career due to your previous studies, and why did chartered accountancy appeal to you?

My degree covered financial reporting, management accounting, auditing, and taxation, which would help to interact with the board of the company giving them solutions to financial problems. However, if your degree is not related to accounting, no worries. 

You can find numerous resources on the ICAEWs website. I get updates with relevant technical resources for its members, which are written by experts and cover the full range of topics; relevant to accountancy, business, and corporate governance. We can keep a further eye on the information across the industry by becoming a member of ICAEW.

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