A wealth of talent

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60 years in Hong Kong

Member stories: A wealth of talent

The members of CPA Australia are talented individuals whose skills have earned them high-profile jobs, accolades, and success. There are also some members whose lives are less ordinary. Bernard Poon FCPA (Aust.), CPA Australia’s 2012 Divisional President – Greater China, is Managing Director, Transaction Advisory Services Leader for Hong Kong and Macau Region, at Ernst & Young. Poon has been with the company for more than 20 years in various roles, and says that tenacity comes high on his list of values.

Along with spending time with his family, the energetic accountant enjoys activities outside of the office. He’s an active member of the Hong Kong Cricket Club, and takes part in various mentorship programs with different universities and student associations. But his true passion is sport. In the 1990s, Poon completed Ironman Australia, making headlines as the first Hong Kong Chinese to finish an Ironman triathlon event. He has since completed nine Ironman triathlon events, and he wants to make that 12 before he turns 50. The Ironman World Championship in A wealth of talent Kona, Hawaii is something he would like to try. “Being an active sportsman has extended my horizons beyond anything I could imagine,” Poon explains, saying that through these activities, he has learned the importance of discipline and consistency. “With endurance sports you need to set timetables, keep logs, plan ahead and train hard. I set different goals for myself in each competition too.”

This way of thinking has helped Poon expand his comfort zone as an accountant. “I have learned to set realistic goals for my career. I have always adapted to the evolving business and accounting worlds,” he notes. Poon’s diverse interests have helped him build a wide network, even though he has to manage his time creatively. “I believe in achieving a work-life balance, but I have to work long hours. I’ve run up and down stairs or commuted by bicycle to keep fit,” he admits. “My favourite motto is ‘do the right thing’ – I always play by the rules and never take advantage.”

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