Eugene Koh Wye Xiang
Associate Audit Head (VP)
Ever since I was little, my ambition has always been to build a career in the banking and insurance industries. Hence, I pursued a professional qualification in accounting, finance and business to steer me closer to my goal. I started my career as an external auditor in the Big Four and my audit reviews were mostly focused on the insurance industry, which taught me invaluable lessons on the “figures” in financial statements. Subsequently, banking was the next natural choice and auditing remains the best for me to continue learning about the banking operations at a fast pace.
Into the company
In 2015, I wanted to gain exposure in banking after a number of years conducting financial audit within the insurance industry. Most importantly, I wanted to learn about the banking strategies employed and operations established. Therefore, I sent an email to the former Group Chief Internal Auditor (GCIA) to express my interest. Shortly after, an interview was scheduled for a role in AmBank Group’s Internal Audit Department. I was interviewed by two esteemed individuals who were both deputies to the previous GCIA. This was subsequently followed by an interview with the previous GCIA before successfully securing the job. Indeed, this was a humbling experience.
Generally, auditing, whether internal or external, is a challenging role which grants exponential growth and invaluable knowledge and experience. The daily hustle of an Internal Auditor is of course, performing the required fieldwork to substantiate an opinion. However, there is more than meets the eye as an enormous amount of time is also spent in understanding the business, establishing an annual audit plan, identifying the key risks and controls within the business, carving the appropriate audit procedures, writing a holistic audit report which presents a balanced view, and most importantly, engaging with Heads of Business Units as a trusted advisor to improve governance.
Personally, an auditor needs to be an all-rounder, someone who is not only technically competent but also possesses the people skills required to drive stakeholder management. This is vital to ensure the audit work carried out is meaningful, the quality is up to standard and the audit findings/ improvement points are well accepted by the Heads of Business Units. As we move into the era of “Big Data” and Digital Banking, knowledge in data analysis and programming will indeed be an added competitive advantage as the audit profession moves in tandem with the trend to enable “Continuous Auditing”.
Then and now
Over the years, I have come to realise that a degree/qualification acts as a passport for entry into the workforce. As a millennial myself, switching my mindset from carefree student life to being career-driven was a rather difficult task, but having an end-goal in mind to build a career in banking and being supervised by a good mentor/ superior definitely helped me through this journey. A note to millennials: follow the adage of “Choose Your Boss, Not Your Job!”
Culture: ★★★★★ 100%
Work-life balance: ★★★★★ 100%
Travel opportunities: ★★★★ 80%
Professional development: ★★★★★ 100%
Personal growth: ★★★★★ 100%