AEI Young Alumni of the Year 2012: Jessie Wong


A graduate of both Melbourne and Monash universities, Dr Jessie Wong has taken out this year’s Young Alumni of the Year at the 2012 Australia China Alumni Awards. Dr Wong has been praised for her work in global standards of auditing. Sophie Loras reports.

Dr. Jessie Wong is the Director of Public Policy and Regulatory Affairs, Quality Control and Risk Management with KPMG-China and is based in Beijing.
Dr Wong graduated from the University of Melbourne with a Bachelor of Commerce (Hons) degree and completed her PhD at Monash University.
Dr Wong has been praised for her work in China in the auditing profession. Post-GFC, there is a significant focus on the role of auditors by regulators and the wider public.

This new concentration on the role of auditing has arisen largely due to the number of corporations globally which had received clean opinions from their auditors on their financial statements and then collapsed in the onset of the GFC.

Shortly after entering the auditing profession after graduating from her commerce degree at Melbourne University, Dr Wong took on the role of assistant project manager with the Australian Auditing and Assurance Standards Board where she gained a solid foundation in the industry.
“I acquired knowledge about the Australian Standards on Auditing and kept up to date with key issues impacting the accountancy profession in Australia and internationally. This provided me with the foundation for my next role with CPA Australia where I was Policy Adviser, Auditing and Assurance.”
She then relocated to New York to take up a position with the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC)’s International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) and the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA) where she held the role of senior technical manager.
This then set the scene for her entry into the international auditing and ethics standard setting arena where work with highly skilled individuals in these areas from all around the world.
“I have always had an interest in working in and gaining more insights on the accountancy profession in an emerging economy,” says Dr Wong.
“Needless to say, I jumped when the opportunity came up to work in China for a highly reputable firm.”
Since then, Dr Wong has completed her PhD thesis, in a process, she believes, reinforced the importance of discipline and further developed her inquiring nature, which has been both integral to her professional and personal success.
Her current role with KPMG China functions as part of the firm’s quality control and risk management infrastructure. Principally, she is involved in facilitating the firm’s liaison and interaction with regulators and standard-setters in China and internationally. Dr Wong also takes every opportunity to raise awareness of the role of auditors amongst stakeholders.
Dr Wong says she most enjoys the opportunities with her work to interact with a variety of external stakeholders of the auditing profession, including standard setters and regulators both within the PRC as the world’s largest emerging economy and internationally.
“Working in an emerging economy of such significant size brings with it, its own unique difficulties and challenges. China – being a 5000-year-old civilisation – has its own unique culture and way of doing business,” she says.
“One needs to be sensitive to this.”
Of her time in Australia, Dr Wong says: “My time at Melbourne University provided me with a world class education that formed the foundation for entering the corporate world and subsequently my PhD. The University of Melbourne’s reputation was an important factor – it was something that employers identified with and as a result opened doors for me. I was also fortunate to have been able to form strong relationships with a few of my supervisors and lecturers with whom I am still in contact today.”
Dr Bai Xuezhu, Director of the Research, Department of Research and Development at the China Executive Leadership Academy, Pudong (CELAP) in Shanghai, and a judge of this year’s ACAA Awards says the judging panel was impressed by Dr Wong’s role in the way auditing is conducted in China and her role “as such a young professional as the voice for China in the international revamping of the way auditing is conducted on a global level.”
“Jessie is a young professional auditor with abundant experiences in the field of international auditing and ethics for accounting. In an emerging economy like China, Jessie’s work is of great value to promote the awareness of business ethics and integrity,” says Dr Bai.
“She went through many difficulties in playing her role in a Chinese business context, however, she insists on her standards of auditing value and principles and her work contributes significantly to the improvement of the Chinese business environment.”
Dr Wong is also currently an Adjunct Fellow at the Australian National University. 


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