Keywords: internship report accounting, reflective internship report
Chio Lim Stone Forest (CLSF) was founded in 1985 and it started from a textile centre in Jalan Sultan to the present Wilkie Edge in Sophia road. CLSF is a member of RSM International, the 6th largest accounting and consulting firms worldwide, with 736 offices in 76 offices. Member groups in RSM International unite together to offer their clients the premier quality of services.
In Singapore, CLSF is the first Certified Public Accountant (CPA) firm to be ISO 9002 certified and largest CPA firm outside the Big 4. It has extensive experiences with all sizes of clients but caters best to the mid markets in terms of giving advisory services. It also offers a wide spectrum of business services (see Appendix 1) that caters to every stages of a business' growth. Their value system which consists of passion, proactive, practical, personal, perseverance, progressive and professional forms the guiding principle of their service delivery.
CLSF has an open platform where there is no bias towards any race, religion and language. Having an open platform is important as it helps to create a harmonious working environment. In terms of the number of employees, it has 572 staff from 17 nationalities, comprising of 19 partners and 15 directors currently (see Appendix 2). With regards to the revenue earned, it is ranked 10th among the member groups in RSM International (see Appendix 3).
In addition, CLSF is committed to being a socially responsible corporation by contributing back to the society through sponsoring book prizes, bursaries and giving donations to charitable organisations.
What makes CLSF different from any big four firms is that it is ambitious-grown oriented. Building on technical competence, proactive client servicing and an obligation to integrity and professionalism enables CLSP to provide value-added services to clients to help their businesses grow. This can be seen from the fact that the number of employees in the company grew by 17% per annum for the past 22 years due to more and larger clients i.e. listed companies.
Description of job/work assigned (500-600) 594 words
I learnt to perform audit for an investment holding company (ELC Success Pte Ltd). At the start of audit, I prepared lead schedule using the clients' management accounts i.e. trial balance report. Using previous year's template as a guide, I transferred the final audited figures to the last year figures column (2009) in current year's template and then keyed in current year (2010) figures under the unaudited figures. I would ensure the figures in the respective sections such as cash and cash equivalents tied to both balance sheet and profit and loss report before I start my audit planning.
I read the previous year's file to have a better understanding of the client and take note of any outstanding matters for this year's audit. I then proceeded with the completion of planning forms such as engagement risk questionnaire, independence questionnaire, materiality determination form etc to understand the client's business. Engagement risk questionnaire helps to identify the risk level through factors like ownership, management, business environment, financial and liquidity considerations to determine if we should accept/reject the audit. Independence questionnaire is an evaluation of the company's compliance with ethical standards and to ensure that there are no threats to independence. Materiality determination form documents the calculation of planning materiality which guides the extent of the audit procedures performed. It enables us to propose either adjusting or waiver audit adjustments based on the materiality limit.
After completing the planning forms, I arranged for an internal planning meeting with my manager. The meeting highlighted any matters that I had to take note for this year's audit such as investment property, both current and deferred taxes and to review my planning forms at the same time. Once the forms were approved and signed by my manager, I started my audit fieldwork by following the audit procedures closely in the manual audit programme sheets (MAPS) on the various sections like revenue etc. I obtained the analysis of revenue and checked the casts. After which, I agree to the ledger and cross reference the supporting analysis to the lead schedule. I also reviewed and documented the client's revenue recognition policy. For the section on revenue from the use of assets, I performed rental reasonableness test to test the completeness for the quantity of units of assets owned by the company and checked the total revenue by applying the rates in the rental contract. In addition, I scanned the journals to identify any major or unusual transactions.
After completing the programme sheets on the different sections, I drafted current year's financial statements, with the help of an accounting guidelines book and previous year's financial statements. I amended the wordings according to the book and updated the current year's figures based on the audited figures in the lead schedules.
In addition, I was also taught how to do an accounts strike-off for a company that is winding up (Austro Asia Pte Ltd). The purpose of doing a strike-off is to close and zero-rise all accounts. I had to ensure that all expenses are taken up till the date of the strike-off before closing the accounts. Hence, I would look at the bank statement for any movements in the cashbook. Then, I passed adjustments to record any expenses that were incurred i.e. filing, audit and XBRL fees but not yet recorded in the general ledger for that year. I also did statutory audit to certify that the register of members is accurate and there were no changes to be made. After that, I would prepare and send the confirmations to the directors for approval.
Learning experiences & achievements (300-400 words per section)
Before my internship, I was thinking: "Would there be amble opportunities for me to experience the life of an auditor since I am only an intern?" This question was answered after 3 months in CLSF. Indeed, I have gained new knowledge and skills that would prepare me well for the working environment.
Interpersonal Skills 396 words
I am more proactive in terms of asking questions whenever I faced any doubts. This arises because I hope to be given more opportunities to learn and make the most of every opportunity. As such, I would consolidate my doubts and ask whenever I faced anything that is not familiar. Initiative starts with "I" and it helps a lot to take the initiative to clarify doubts.
I keep an open mind about new audit procedures as it is impossible for me to know everything. My first engagement was the most difficult and longest task to complete. I consulted my seniors and the task was made easier with them explaining to me on what I should do. I am grateful that they were always there to guide and assist me.
This was very different from my character in school where I tend to be quieter. I would ask questions at the end of the lessons because I do not want to interrupt the class and I am afraid of asking irrelevant questions. As such, I would consult my friends first before seeking help from my tutors.
Working as an intern has also taught me to be more determined. "There is no such thing as failure, but only feedback." Every setback that I faced enables me to move on and become a stronger person. An example was when I was the auditor-in-charge for a small client. When I saw the review points, I was not disappointed as it was my first time attempting it. In fact, I was eager to know my mistakes and learn from it. This clearly shows that I am someone who adopts a 'never say die' attitude where I am willing to accept and learn from my mistakes. It gives me ability to improve as a person instead of giving up.
Similarly, I had this attitude of determination and willingness to learn in school. I had difficulties coping with my studies initially as I could not adapt to the Polytechnic life where they adopt lectures style. However, I tried my best and gave myself ample time to get used to the teaching style. I was eager to learn accounting modules as I enjoyed studying a subject that I like. Hence, I was determined to do well and my hard work eventually paid off when I was awarded the Director's list for 2008 and 2009.
Teamwork 380 words
Building team spirit is necessary for a team to come together to achieve a common goal-quality audit. Teamwork is important, especially in an audit department, since we are grouped into different teams. Teamwork enhances our skills of coordination, communication and in a way allows us to see the bigger picture.