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My ACA experience: Farah Halijah Halim

Not even a difficult pregnancy could stop Farah Halijah Halim from completing the ACA at EY, and now as Audit Manager she has the best of both worlds: being a chartered accountant at the top of her game and a doting mother.

Farah Halijah Halim, Audit Manager, EY

Farah Halijah Halim Audit Manager, EY

ICAEW route: Graduate

Industry: Audit and assurance

Location: Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur

Farah Halijah Halim's story...

I first heard about the ACA from a partner at EY when I interviewed at the firm. After hearing about how prestigious and renowned the qualification is, I decided to enrol for the programme the moment I accepted my employment at EY.

I began my career as an Audit Associate in 2009. Undertaking the ACA alongside my new employment was a challenge for me; I had to quickly learn how to balance my time between demands at work, studies and my home life.

The ACA really helped me to prepare for my current role as an Audit Manager, where I’m responsible for identifying and assessing risks and their potential influences on my clients’ business and financials.

In addition, I also play the role of leader, counsellor and partner to my team members; coaching, mentoring and empowering younger Associates to ensure that they are well equipped to play their respective roles on the job.

In 2013, I had a rather difficult pregnancy and found it impossible to get out of bed for months. Many doubts crept in and I considered giving up all together. 

But the support and encouragement from my bosses, colleagues and associates helped me to keep on believing that I can have the best of both worlds – to be a chartered accountant at the top of my game, as well as a doting mother to my beautiful baby. 

If there is one word I could use to describe my journey over the last seven years, I would say it has been very fulfilling and that doing the ACA has truly been my stepping stone towards so many opportunities. 

I consider myself fortunate that throughout my ACA journey, I was surrounded by so many supportive ICAEW Chartered Accountants - people who are talented, ambitious, self-driven and determined; truly the best in their field.

If there’s a memory that would sum it all up, it would be the one I have of meeting a client just after I had qualified. I handed them my business card and they remarked “Wow, ICAEW!” 

The reaction made my heart skip a beat, knowing that I had made it.

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