My random musings 1 to 25

1. After listening to a Singapore Qualifying Programme (SQP) talk, the following thoughts came to my mind: If non-accountancy university graduates can embark on this 6 module part-time programme and become a Chartered Accountant of Singapore with 3 years of relevant working experience, shouldn’t this programme be extended to other professions like law, engineering etc? To facilitate an open market economy, shouldn’t this be extended to other professions so that accountants have an option to explore other career options? Is an accountant’s skillset so easily replaceable? In addition, if the economic growth is not in tandem with the potential influx of professional accountants flooding the market, wouldn’t there be a case where existing accountancy university graduates will eventually face competition from those who passed the SQP for jobs? How is this problem going to be addressed? Would there be a lack of workers in other aspects of the economy if many suddenly choose to enter the accountancy/finance sector?

2. The size of our Earth compared to the scale of the Universe is like a grain of sand on a beach. Similarly, as an individual, you are just 1 out of 7 billion others. Insignificant. It’s hard to take. However, the little prince is optimistic and thinks the exact opposite. A true classic!

3. What I think the little prince is trying to tell me: Adults are boring, don’t know how to appreciate the arts, like to use stereotypes, culturally-insensitive, serious, calculative, judgmental, uncaring, cold, aloof, authoritative, domineering, depressed, vain, condescending, materialistic, unhealthy, lead the rat race, weird, theoretical, lonely, unfriendly, busy, aimless, clingy and stubborn. Kids on the other hand are, creative, imaginative, well-prepared, nature-loving, caring, curious, diligent, determined, passionate, affectionate, dreamy, optimistic, interesting and receptive! I think there is certainly some truth in that. A real classic!

4. Woot. A cab driver just recommended a thick and awesome coffee which says can be found at provision stores in sg. it’s called morning sun. LOL.

5. Wow, it’s 10+ pm and I struggle to enter the train and get pushed right to the door. I mean I know SMRT wants to maximise profits by reducing the train frequency. However, if you reach the position where the public is unhappy with public transportation, that’s not a nice position to be in. I believe there is a balance has to be struck, and a sweet spot can be found.

6. Conclusion: When a middle aged lady gives you her number and asks for your name before you can even ask for hers, you are one of the following: handsome, smooth talker, young, interesting, or just plain weird.

7. The client can choose the audit firm they want. Of course, some will want to choose the one with the lowest fees. Or the one with the best reputation. Or the one which can best serve their needs. Or the one which can offer extra services and value-add. Or the one which can provide the best opinion over their financial statements and internal controls. However, I do not see it as a conflict of interest when the client chooses an audit firm because of that. As auditors, we should exercise professional skepticism over what the client provides and not just believe whatever the client says simply because they are providing revenue for our livelihood.

8. Warm and humid weather is a form of an indirect tax on people. Some will turn on their airconditioning, incurring heavy electricity charges. Others will likely seek refuge in shopping centres, cafes etc, possibly incurring GST upon expenditure. The govt’s standpoint: let’s look forward to more humid weather!

9. The audit business operates on the premise that not everyone is honest. If everyone is honest, why is there a need to check on clients work? Of course there might be the incompetence factor as well. Sadly, the world is not like that and there will always be people with selfish motives. Hence, there will always be a need for audit. A great business model!

10. My assessment of Warren Buffett after reading ‘The Snowball’: He is intelligent, confident, charismatic, charming, decisive, patient, romantic, disciplined, motivated, determined, self-aware, humorous, loyal, positive, honest, clean, filial, helpful, insightful, unwavering, curious, humble, thrifty, charitable, prudent, independent, focused, grateful, appreciative, ambitious, passionate, ethical, politically-savvy, trustworthy, protective, meritocratic, cautious and has an extreme thirst of knowledge. A remarkable man indeed.

11. Just bumped into a few poly girls. I think they are great for the following reasons: 1) they are hot; 2) they read 50 shades of grey; 3) they have good value systems; 4) they don’t know what they want in life but are willing to try their best to figure it out; 5) they break out into expletives once in a while; 6) they like to tease each other.

12. Margin of safety is when you reach 10min early before an important meeting. Margin of safety is when you quickly leave the house after observing an overcast sky. Margin of safety is when you choose to be slightly reserved when meeting someone new. Margin of safety is when you set aside money for a rainy day. Margin of safety is knowing it is time to head home after taking your last drink. Hi Warren, thanks for teaching me the concept of margin of safety.

13. After seeing my relatives visibly age every year during CNY, I wonder… Dear Lord Almighty(ies)/Universe Creator, what’s the point of ageing? Why do living things have to age? The only reason why people look forward to ageing is when they become more mature, have stronger values etc. But that does not necessarily come with age right? Lol. Anyway, thanks for teaching me the circle of life.

14. Dear Lord Almighty(ies)/Universe creator, why was rain created? What is it for? Is it to test the patience of homo sapiens? Lol. Thanks anyway. Patience is a virtue.

15. Either I do something myself, or nothing will happen.

16. Radical solutions to solve the problem of sustaining GDP growth without increasing population: gradually increase the working hours of the general public; tap on labor from the elderly, housewives etc; outsource non-core functions to places with cheaper labor; allow moonlighting in certain jobs; increase automation to generate higher productivity.

17. The thing about reading books by famous people like Ha-Joon Chang is that it is incredibly inspiring. Makes you want to get out there, make a lasting change to society and benefit Mankind. However, inspiration without concrete plans means nothing. Hope you will discover your true passion in life and make the effort to work on it! Merry Xmas.

18. Note to self: Peak period is here. Limit of reading non-fiction books to only 1 hour on weekends. Limit does not apply to FRS, SAS, Audit Approach Manuals or client policy & procedures.

19. Disadvantages of drinking: sleepy, liver damage, turn red, expensive, time flies. Advantages of drinking: adrenaline, feel high, more sociable, more daring, more inspired.

20. Tried a social experiment yesterday by giving a $10 Capitaland shopping voucher to a random stranger. Haha. Seems like not everyone appreciates it.

21. This is a tough qn. if money didn’t matter, i would probably be doing one of the following 1) Economics – to further understand what nations can do to exit from poverty; 2) Psychology – study on what are the steps humans can take to overcome biases and heuristics; 3) Sociology – how to maximise social welfare as well as economic efficiency and political stability; 4) Finance – to find out what is the optimal level of regulation for nations, based on a nation’s individual characteristics; 5) Politics – to further understand the pros and cons of adopting foreign labor; 6) Accounting – to analyse the pros and cons of disclosure for companies and how the accounting standards should evolve towards that; 7) music – to bring and promote classical music to the masses.

22. Old friends met from circumstance or new friends who share common interests? Which is better? I cannot tell you. Who cares? Pokemon: gotta catch ’em all!

23. After tipping a cab driver, his expression was one of utter surprise. He went ‘You’re so kind. Never met a passenger like you before.’

24. Lol. Epiphany. Did Q&M dental in SG stem from the characters in James Bond?

25. Just had a quick chat with a cab driver just now. His highest qualification is sec 2. Does a technician job in the day (earns 2k plus), drives a taxi at night (earns 1k plus). He has to support 3 kids and his wife is not working. Hard truths. We peeps are actually very fortunate.