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CityLinkers Group Lead Partner Paxson Fung was interviewed by “A Plus”

CityLinkers Group Lead Partner Paxson Fung was interviewed by “A Plus”

CityLinkers Group Lead Partner Paxson Fung was interviewed by the official quarterly magazine "A Plus" -the official quarterly magazine of the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Paxson shared his professional experience and insights of establishing the firm.

1. What are the biggest lessons in your career so far?

One is how to deal with the problem of staff departures and ensure work disruption is kept at a minimum. Handling this entails knowing what work is being done and what the progress is, during the new staff transition, so that the new staff can continue the work as seamlessly as possible. In the past, we did not use records or timesheets to document the progress of work, relying instead on just feedback from staff. We’ve learnt that it’s important to use certain tools and systems to record the information of clients and other critical details can be properly documented.

2. How can SMPs get around the sheer volume of tech products available in the market and ultimately adopt solutions right for them?

It is imperative that we clearly know what our objectives are regarding the use of technology. Ideally, such technology is developed by large reputable vendors, and the most feasible approach would be to use the most basic version of the technology initially to gauge its effectiveness. It is not necessary to wait for the newest or most developed version of the technology. We can still use the basic versions to see if it is useful with the option of upgrading or adding extra functions to further enhance the technology as well as meet specific business requirements. Careful testing of the technology would need to be done to see how effectively it can help us achieve our objectives.

3. What do you think is key for attracting and retaining top talent?

Start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are not necessarily at a disadvantage compared to larger firms. As many people nowadays prefer to avoid high-pressure work environments, start-ups and SMEs can be responsive in providing more laid-back and balanced work arrangements, which can help to retain staff. Salary is just one factor for those deliberating whether to stay or leave. Work flexibility and the future direction of the company are significant considerations. Giving employees the opportunity to develop their talent according to their interests and strengths so that they can maximize their output and contributions to the company is a critical way for staff to become part of the company growth story.

4. In what ways has your CPA qualification helped you in your career?

It has been instrumental in instilling confidence and trust among clients and partners, as it proves my professionalism in accounting, taxation and financial management. With the qualification, it is easy to collaborate with professionals from different areas, such as liquidation, taxation and asset management, facilitating close working relationships and sharing of information.

5. What’s a key lesson from your start-up journey?

Obviously, the journey was not all smooth sailing. As we grew, we focused on the quality of our work and commitment to clients, yet we neglected internal controls, cost control and cash flow management, resulting in large amounts of account receivables, some of which turned out to be bad debts. Consequently, there was a time when we were cash short and it was challenging to pay salaries and rent, so the key lesson was to control resources as well as conduct forecasts for revenue, profit and cash flow. The hard reality is that now cost inflation is high. We therefore place careful attention on controlling overhead, while routine reviews of actual cash flow and expenses compared against the forecasts are done to enable better assessments.

The original article:Paxson Fung – A Plus (hkicpa.org.hk)