Finding the Silver Lining Amidst Endless Numbers and Spreadsheets

Categories: Workplace

Michelle is no stranger to long work days. As a former auditor, heading home long after the sun has set is commonplace. Rather than bemoaning it, however, Michelle is determined to find the silver linings. 

“When you’re working till 12 midnight, everyone is delirious,” Michelle shares with a laugh, “it’s a lot of fun.” In fact, Michelle met some of her closest friends in her audit team.

Michelle’s love for auditing might seem strange to most when the role of an auditor is often under-valued, even by people within the industry.

For Michelle, her love for audit goes beyond just an appreciation for numbers and spreadsheets. Rather, she truly believes in the necessity of the job. She hopes that more individuals in the finance industry will likewise see value in what they do. After all, auditors are integral in maintaining the financial landscape of an economy, and crucial in ensuring stability and integrity in companies.  

Michelle might have a natural affinity with numbers, but working in the finance industry has been far from a walk in the park. Many might expect working with numbers to be straightforward enough, but Michelle explains that accounting standards often leave much room for interpretation. 

As an auditor, this means that she has to constantly be evaluating and assessing the different accounting standards being used. This is especially so when a new accounting standard is introduced; with no past examples to refer to, auditors are responsible for ensuring the correct interpretation and application of these new standards. 

These challenges are precisely why Michelle enjoys auditing as much as she does. At the end of the day, overcoming these challenges makes the completion of a project that much more fulfilling and meaningful.

Having since moved on to a consulting role within the same Big 4 firm, Michelle is still searching for silver linings. While the learning curve during this transition has been steep, she takes it as a valuable opportunity to improve herself. Even so, Michelle reminisces fondly of her time in auditing, and continues to carry the knowledge she has acquired in her current endeavors. 

We Singaporeans are infamous for our complain king/queen personalities – something we seem to uphold with pride. Michelle’s jovial outlook and determination to find positivity in everything might be an anti-thesis to that, but perhaps it is something we can all learn from. After all, a little positivity never hurt anyone!


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