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Lawrence Wong & Co. was established in 1986 before the Malaysian economic recession in 1987. It has established itself as a recognized Management Consultancy Firm specializing in all kinds of management and consultancy services, including corporate secretarial, administrative, bookkeeping, auditing, taxation, business or financial planning and other management allied services.
The company was founded by Mimi Gian Guek Poh and Lawrence Wong Fook Heng, both are Chartered Accountants from Australia. The business started as a sole proprietor on 6th August 1965 as an employment agency and was converted into a private limited company on 16th February 1986. As an associate member of the CPA Australia, the Malaysia Institute of Accountants, and The Institute of Secretaries and Administrators, Mimi Gian, my company supervisor, draws on more than 25 years of audit, management, secretarial, taxation, information system and corporate advisory experience in international and multinational corporations in Australia, Singapore, and Malaysia.
Lawrence Wong & Co's success today depends heavily on the confidence and trust their clientele have with them and also due to their dedicated workforce who has been continuously contributing their efforts to the overall success of the firm's nearly 20 years of services. The company hopes to continue to expand its business by providing quality and reliable services in Malaysia as well as internationally.
1.2 Industrial Training Experience
Industrial Training is one of the compulsory subjects in all Faculty of Business and Finance Programmes' course structures. It is compulsory for every final year undergraduate to undergo industrial training for the duration of three months before completing their courses. With the combination of knowledge and work experience during the three months training, students are required to produce a written report.
The objective of industrial training is to provide an opportunity for students to observe real life practices and develop their understanding of methods and applications of the accounting theoretical and conceptual framework in a real working environment. Additionally, the training program also provides an opportunity for the industry to identify potential employees from the industrial trainees.
I joined Lawrence Wong & Co on 1st October until 31st December 2012. During these three months of industrial training I was involved in bookkeeping, auditing, taxation and the company's secretarial function. This was a good opportunity for me to learn more about the business . Because of this, I can now apply my accounting knowledge to the real world, such as accounts entry, auditing and so on.
At first my company supervisor discussed with our colleagues my tasks , after that only my colleagues assigned tasks to me. My company supervisor only gave me tasks after I had completed the work that was assigned by my colleagues. When I faced some problems that I have never encountered before, I discussed with my company supervisor and colleagues together to solve the problems. Luckily they treated me well and taught me with patience. Therefore, I increased my knowledge of accounting, auditing, and taxation from my company supervisor and colleagues.
SCOPE OF TRAINING
2.1 Statutory audit
When I arrived on my first day, my first task was to do a statutory audit. Statutory audit is part of an in-house audit. Whilst I was doing this, I needed to get information from the company secretary file, such as annual return, minutes of meeting, and SSM forms. My colleagues told me that use of some of the SSM forms needed recording, such as Form 24, 44, 49, 32A, and so on. If one of these forms are used, the auditor report needs to disclose the information, as well as statutory audit. For example, form 49 which is the form of return for directors, managers and secretaries. If this form is used, it means that the company has appointed a new director or an existing director has resigned or is deceased. Therefore, this kind of information must be included in an audit report and statutory audit.
2.2 Accounting data entry
During this internship, I did a lot of accounting data entry, such as receipt and payment entries. In order to have a better understanding of the basis of accounting, my company supervisor assigned me to a lot of the company's account entry, using UBS Accounting System and Microsoft Excel. This was a test for me, whether my double entry transactions were posted correctly. I posted the entries in accordance with bank statements, payment vouchers, cheque books, and receipt books. After I had done, I printed out the general ledger, bank reconciliation statement, income statement, and balance sheet to give to my colleagues and company supervisor to review.
2.3 Bank Reconciliation
Bank reconciliation statements are the important documents that need to be prepared every month. Bank reconciliation is the process which prepares a statement accounting for the differences between the cash balances in a company's cash account and the cash balance according to its bank statement (Roshayani Arshad, 2007). During my training period, I prepared this by using UBS Accounting System and Microsoft Excel. Some clients prepared bank reconciliation statements by themselves. Therefore, I needed to check whether the bank reconciliation statements that were prepared by clients were the same as my results.
During these three months, I not only did a lot of accounting data entry, I was also involved in auditing work. Firstly, I prepared statutory audits because this was the easier part. Next, I started to do audits working on paper, such as accounting journal entries, income statements, balance sheets, variances, tax computations, and other working papers including information related to assets, liabilities, taxation, revenue, and expenses. In addition, I had learnt how to prepare every detail of the working paper. After that, I prepared an audit report, confirmation letter, letter of representation (which is a summary of all accounts), and an audit memorandum planning. Once I had done this, my colleagues reviewed my work and asked me to amend errors, before it was passed to my company supervisor to review. Lastly, I filled in the Form C & R after my company supervisor reviewed and confirmed that all working papers were correct.
2.5 Others tasks
My company supervisor had asked me to make some payments, such as telephone bills, water and electricity bills, EPF, SOCSO, client's income tax payments, as well as banking some cheques. Before my company supervisor issued the cheques, I needed to prepare the payment vouchers and attach them with the invoice, delivery order, and other related statements. I also had to call the suppliers to collect the cheques. After the payments were made, I filed all of the documents in the payment voucher file.
Other than that, my company supervisor also assigned me to prepare client company's stock list and check list. Stock list is a detailed list of the stocks available of a company while check list is prepared for checking the stocks.
In addition, I had filed some documents and letters received from Inland Revenue Borad (IRB) into the client's files. I also sent out documents to clients, such as tax refund from IRB, audit reports and others documents.
Furthermore, I had updated the client company tax control list. For this task, I had to record the date received for the Form C & R 2012, financial year end, the latest audit report that had already been submitted, and the date of CP 204 to IRB. After I completed this, I prepared a latest list of client company and IRB's schedule of payment code.
KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS APPLIED AND GAINED
3.1 Knowledge and Skills Applied
3.1.1 UBS Accounting System
These accounting entries, which are receipt and payment entries, I had been taught during my studies how to complete using the UBS Accounting System. So, I had no problem when I posted these accounting entries into UBS Accounting System because it is same as what I have done before. For example, for the pay for travelling expenses, the entry is debit in travelling expenses and credit in bank or cash account, so this is called a double entry. Before I passed my work to the company supervisor to review, I double checked the entries.
3.1.2 Financial Accounting
Financial Accounting Framework I and II are the compulsory subjects for accounting students. These two subjects teach us how to prepare the financial statements such as income statements, balances sheets, cash flow statements, and statements of changes in equity. These subjects were very useful for me to apply to my work. By using the knowledge that I learnt, I had completed my tasks with minor errors.
Taxation is another important subject for accounting students. I took this subject in Year 2 Trimester 3. During my training, I had to prepare tax computation for companies and individuals. Mostly I prepared tax computation for companies, because when I was doing client companies' audit, I needed to prepare it as well. This subject was very useful to me because I could apply the knowledge that I learnt to prepare the tax computation, making it easier for me to complete the tasks.
3.2 Knowledge and Skills Gained
During my studies I found that auditing was a totally theoretical subject that is different from accounting and taxation subjects because it is not included in any calculation matter. I had the opportunity to complete audits on client companies during the three months of training. I completed many tasks relating to audits, such as audit working papers, statutory audit, audit report, and many more.
3.2.2 Information Technology
Lawrence Wong & Co. accounting software includes Microsoft Excel and UBS Accounting System. With the UBS Accounting System, I learnt how to key in double entry transactions and look through the financial statements during my study. I also learnt how to prepare the bank reconciliation statements by using this system, and to do year end processing, which is to close the current accounting year and switch to a new accounting year (Sage UBS Range of Software, 1991). Before I performed year end processing, I needed to ensure that all transactions were up to the last period, back up all of the data files, update all stock values, print all reports, and check that there was only one retained earnings account. After I completed this, the system would generate an all balance brought forward account and accumulated profit would be transferred to the retained earnings account. All transactions from period 1 to 12 will be removed.
Furthermore, Lawrence Wong & Co. used Microsoft Excel to prepare audit works. This was an advantage for me when I was doing the audit working papers as I could key in the amount and generate the formula fast, then the software would automatically calculate the final amount for me. I had also learnt how to adjust the paper margin and make it neat before I printed the working papers.
Other than that, I learnt how to use new software, which was the UBS Inventory and Billing System. This system is a real time system that updates the stock immediately after entry. It also performs as an invoicing system whereby you can print out the invoice, credit note, debit note, and many more (Sage UBS Range of Software, 1991). During my training, I had prepared a list of every client company's secretarial and filing fee in Excel form. My colleague taught me how to check the latest invoices inside the UBS Inventory and Billing System. Therefore, I could check the invoices easily and key in the information quickly.
WEAKNESSES AND STRENGTHS
During the three months of industrial training, I faced a lot of problems that I had never encountered before as they were problems that I could not learn from books. This made me feel weak because sometimes I did not know which methods should be applied to solve the problems.
At the beginning, I had spent most of time finishing the audit works because what I had learnt in university was theory, but the training was more focused on practical tasks. These tasks were quite different from what I had studied in text books and from lecture notes, so I was a bit confused when I prepared the audit works.
I also faced problems when I was doing account entries. Before I started to key in receipts and payments into UBS Accounting System, I spent a lot time trying to understand the company's business transactions and concepts, because different companies may have different versions of these. After I keyed in all the transactions, I printed the general ledger, income statement, and balance sheet to give to my company supervisor to review. Unfortunately, my works were rejected by her because I did not key in the transactions and descriptions properly. Moreover, some of the clients did not provide enough financial information, such as details of income received, so I did not know exactly what those incomes were.
In addition, I had difficulty in using my English language because the company mostly has English speaking clients. Sometimes the clients did not understand what I said, so I had to use Chinese language or Malay language to communicate with them.
During this internship, I learnt a lot and practiced my knowledge and concepts relating to accounting, auditing, and taxation. I have come across many new things and gained knowledge from my company supervisor and colleagues.
I was able to use other languages to communicate with clients, such as Hokkien, Cantonese, and Malay. The reason for this is that some of the clients cannot speak English, they only know to speak their own language. Therefore, I was able to use these languages to communicate or discuss some matters with clients.
I felt lucky that my company supervisor gave me the opportunity to practice my knowledge in her company. She always motivated me and taught me many new skills as a trainee, and also helped me to acquire new knowledge. Furthermore, she was also a very patient person. When I did not understand how to do the tasks that she has assigned, she was very patient in explaining to me the steps. Another strength was that my colleagues were willing to help me whenever I encountered problems.
Through this training program, I have gained so much new knowledge and experience , improved my communication and computer skills, as well as learning how to adapt to working life quickly in a new atmosphere. It also prepared me to be more responsible for my actions and tasks in the future working life.
Furthermore, I have covered knowledge of auditing, accounting, and taxation during my time spent inside the company. For the auditing part, I learnt how to prepare the audit program, confirmation letter, auditing working papers, and others. I also learnt how to key in the account entries properly by using UBS Accounting System and Microsoft Excel. For the taxation part, I learnt about how to prepare tax computation. All of the learning made me feel interested and challenged although it was stressful at times .
I can conclude that the industrial training was well organized. My company supervisor and colleagues were caring and willing to teach me all of the working steps and concepts. With their guidance, I was able to do my tasks properly and apply the accounting knowledge that I had learnt in university into real working life.
In conclusion, I have been trained to be prepared in facing the real working environment in the future and gained some ideas about the work flow of a company. I am pleased that I did my industrial training in Lawrence Wong & Co. and thank my company supervisor and all colleagues for caring and giving me a chance to learn all of the work involved. I hope I can use my experience and knowledge that I gained further in my education.