In most work environments, watching television would be frowned upon. Not so for Cindy Chow, chief finance officer for Fox International Channels, Asia-Pacific and Middle East.
"When I tell people I watch TV as part of my job, it is often a talking point because it seems remote from what you could expect from someone involved in finance. The entertainment industry is the same as any other business - you need to keep a close watch on the quality of the products you provide. Therefore, we watch our own channels and other television programmes as part of our work," says Chow, who has also worked for Disney. "It is rewarding to know you are part of a team that brings entertainment into people's homes."
Citing one of her favourite National Geographic programmes, the Great Migration series, which tracks mass movements and adaptation in the animal kingdom, Chow says her CPA Australia qualification supports her journey in a fast-changing and complex business environment. She says concepts studied in the CPA Program have been useful when implementing IT and reporting processes to improve business operations.
She adds that compared with a few years ago, accountants now have a bigger role to play in business processes and are relied upon to provide information that allows management to see situations from different perspectives.
Chow's work involves a lot more than just watching television.
Her team is also responsible for providing a financial "health check" on a company's financial activities, and in helping structure financial transactions with companies that produce television programmes.
Chow has learned from experience the importance of mentoring and enjoys being a mentor herself to her own team members.
She also gives talks to CPA Australia candidates about the accounting industry's diversity.