My room was dark. I could hear the sound of papers flipping when the air coming from the fan hit it.
It was the night after the first day of the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) Board Exam. I was looking blankly in the dark, thinking of the what could be and the what if. It took a village of kindhearted people from family and friends to send me out to school and then to try to put my name in the list of board passers.
I kept repeating to myself, “You are not going back to Mindanao if your name is not on the list.”
In many days before the actual exam, that statement used to make me sleep but not that night. I went back to the study table. Scanned some pages hoping it will bore me and make me sleep. Sleep eluded me except weekdays.
Weekdays during the exam season is crazier. You will finally know your wrong answers. Of course, you will be focused with the wrong ones! You will regret why you did not review a certain book reviewer. And you will cram! Because news will swirl around saying that they see patterns of where Board of Accountancy got the questions. Sometimes you wish you can just shut the world off but you cannot.
All of us friends made a promise not to discuss anything every after the exams. There was an instance when we all forgot about it and one of our friend walked out on us. He was serious and it was funny!
And yes, eventually I got the CPA and a line of 7 in Business Law and Taxation – my favorite subject! They say that your favorite subject will always drag your average down.
This is not about what to do during exam season though. It is already late. They started with the first subject already today.
This is about being the CPA that we should be.
We are called.
We have a huge role in the society. We are the guardian of financial accountability and integrity. It took us 4-5 years of our lives to be prepared for the real world.
The real world is not easy. It is harsh. The harshness of the real world does not mean we cannot challenge it.
We are called to challenge the norms that are not right. Some of the company policies which are traditional might not be what is right. Challenge not because you are right but challenge it because you want to do what is right.
We are drivers of change. We can influence the decisions of the management. We are made to safeguard and control the finances of the companies to make it sustainable.
We are professional.
Being professional does not just mean dressing smart, or having a degree. It is more than that.
Being professional means adding value to organization that you are in. You exhibit honesty and integrity. People respect and value you. You are not acting smart or trying to outsmart others.
It also means that when you challenge the norms, you talk to the proper channels. Explain. Give the benefit of the doubt.
You will then know the principles of your company. Check it if it is aligned with yours and what the law says should be. Professionalism includes having the right principles.
We are accountable.
Accountability is tied to honesty and integrity. It means that we are responsible to the tasks that are given to us.
We cannot just relax and put our signatures easily without checking details.
It is sad to see news of CPAs being involved to participating in embezzling amounts of money. Let us remember how hard it is to get the CPA attached to your name. While it is easy to earn money in the wrong way, it is also very easy to tarnish your good name forever.
The world is harsh enough because of the people who are trying to rob people of what they rightfully deserve. We cannot be joining or aiding them.
We are CPAs. Called. Professional. Accountable.
We are called for a specific purpose in the society. That is to help organizations and companies become great stewards of the resources. To help management in their decision making.
We are professional because we add value. We are not just an employee. We can change what is needed to be changed.
We are accountable to the oath we made, to the society, and to God.
And when we hear news of CPAs who are convicted for doing things that are not right, we should rally together for it not to happen again. Let us encourage one another to do what is right.
The wrong things that they commit is against our profession that we fought for years. It is against the letters ‘CPA’ after our name. We like it or not, people will judge us when they see those letters after our name. It is against what we stand up for. If we do not start doing our job and influencing others, soon they will lose trust of our name. It is up to us – you and me.
Let us be the CPAs that we should be.
WRITTEN BY: JUNVER ARCAYNA