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Zicong Lin

Audit Manager

A qualified accountant and experienced auditor with an extensive background auditing both private and public sector clients, Zicong trained and qualified with one of the Big 4 accountancy firms.

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Interview: Background and Approach

Who I am and what makes me tick.

What prompted you to start a career in marketing contract compliance?

I started my career working at a Big 4 accounting firm. Working in external audit has helped me build the core foundation as an accountant and gave me very good exposure to a variety of stakeholders within an organisation. However as the core objective in external audit is to ensure the financial statements are true and fair, I sometimes struggled to see my work adding much value to the client’s organisation, whereas in marketing contract compliance I can bring tangible benefits, such as recovery of rebates or providing recommendations on improving existing processes and relationships between clients and agencies, which gives me a great sense of achievement.

How has your previous experience helped you at Financial Progression?

My previous audit experience at Ernst & Young helped me to develop a questioning mindset and always look for the bigger picture. As we are now working with more data than ever, it’s important to know how to filter out certain information to focus on what is important. I have experience of being a digital leader and implementing data-driven audit programmes, which deliver more coverage than sampling and better insight into the business which, in turn, results in a more efficient and effective audit.

Which part of your work gives you the greatest sense of achievement?

I like being able to help clients make better-informed decisions and get tangible benefits from my work.

How would people describe you?

People would describe me as hard-working, knowledgeable and very approachable, with a good sense of humour in social settings. So much so, in fact, that my friends always question whether I really am an accountant/auditor! I’m always willing to share knowledge and respect other people’s opinions, as I believe knowledge is best gained through discussion and interaction with people from a variety of backgrounds.

What motivates you to do what you do?

I get a great sense of achievement by delivering tangible benefits from my work and helping others achieve their goals and objectives along the way. For example, this may be as little as helping colleagues buy coffee on the way to work or delivering a large project: both give me a lot of satisfaction.

What can you be found doing when you’re not at work?

Growing up in a rural village in Guangdong, China, where technology and social media are non-existent, means my childhood was always outdoors. This has led me to particularly enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking and exploring rural areas in my free time. In contrast to that I also spend time exploring and researching the latest technology and gadgets, as they really fascinate me.

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