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Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM)
Johan Idris studied Accounting & Finance and then completed Bachelor in Accounting & Finance at University Putra Malaysia (UPM). Johan is also a member of the Malaysian Institute of Certified Public Accountants (MICPA).
I have always been interested in business and the share market, and accounting and finance was the only programme available at that time! Being ethical with strong integrity, having a great sense of trust and acting professionally were some of the qualities that motivated me to be a professional accountant. Prior to joining KPMG, I was working with one of the other Big 4s. Oil and gas is an industry which has always been my favourite and KPMG is the only Malaysian Fortune 500 player of the industry. This was the biggest pull factor for me to join KPMG. I joined KPMG’s audit department in 1999 as a senior manager and a year thereafter, I was promoted to be the head of department.
The turning point
I am truly blessed to be in the right place at the right time. Younger talents were needed to take on the senior leadership of the firm and I was able to seize the moment.
One of my greatest achievements would be passing my MICPA exams. I had my doubts at first but to my surprise, I ended up being the first UPM graduate to pass the MICPA professional exams. After that accomplishment, I became more optimistic and forward looking.
Advice for graduates
First and foremost, never take an easy way out. Always know your options and opportunities before embarking on something. Do not go for short term gains; patience and hard work will pay off. Exams may be tough but the fruits are sweet.
Key skills for future leaders
Leaders should win the hearts and minds of their people. It is with the people’s support and a strong leadership that a company will grow and stay strong. Leaders are about doing the right thing when no one is looking. To be better, it’s about serving others and not yourself. It’s about everybody around you, NOT you! It is vital for leaders to consistently support their people, embrace diversity and allow another’s point of view. Soft skills are essential and business leaders must ensure relationships turn into trust. Audit business is never an individual sport, it’s a team sport – the ability to fit together and harness each other’s strengths.