Bernard Poon | ClassifiedPost.com
Bernard Poon
Published on Thursday, 14 Oct 2010
Bernard Poon

As someone dedicated to his career, Bernard Poon realises you only get so far through hard work alone. Two other factors - building a network and maintaining a sensible work-life balance - also have a major bearing on success, so no one should neglect their importance.

For that reason, he makes a point of keeping in shape and takes every opportunity to attend speaker events, seminars and industry get-togethers.

"Ever since joining CPA Australia as a member in the early 1990s, I have found it a very good forum for networking," says Poon, who is now a managing director of transaction advisory services (TAS) with Ernst & Young. "I have been able to meet so many people in the accounting profession, as well as those who have branched out into the corporate arena or gone into academia."

Extensive contacts and easy access to different areas of expertise can be invaluable. There is the immediate benefit of being "in the loop" as far as things such as regulatory changes, mainland-related news and opinions on fair value accounting are concerned. But there is also the social aspect of having the chance to make new friends from diverse backgrounds and in different age groups.

"You need a solid foundation and good ongoing training, but my firm also believes in striking a work-life balance to deal with a very dynamic market," Poon says. "I exercise a lot - running and swimming. It helps me think and get things in perspective."

Notably, he completed an "ironman" triathlon in Australia in the late 1990s, finishing the 3.8km swim, 180km bike ride and 42km run in about 13 hours. In doing so, he reputedly became the first Chinese from Hong Kong to complete an ironman event, and has since gone on to four more such races.

Poon says: "My accomplishment made me a more confident person and I now know that if I set a realistic goal, I can achieve it eventually."

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