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Dilemma: Accountancy vs Investigator

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Old 11-12-2012, 11:31 AM
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Default Dilemma: Accountancy vs Investigator

I'm a DL Grad in A&F with 2:2 Honours.

Currently drawing 2.5k as accounts exec, future looking quite bleak unless gets to join big 4 firms.

Got offered 4k in govt sector doing investigation work but will have to sacrifice the specialized degree that I'm holding. Heard of the narrow prospects but the starting pay is so tempting.

Got advised to take up the new offer and study part time for CPA or CFA as value add so I have something to fall back on. Good choice?

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Old 11-12-2012, 12:20 PM
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dont be tricked by the high starting salary.
the salary is high to prevent people from leaving; just like in the uniform service.
furthermore, as you said, prospects are bleak.

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Old 11-12-2012, 12:32 PM
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can you share which agency you are intending to join?

if the job is finance related investigation eg AGC, MAS then maybe it would be a good move.
However if the investigation was for agencies such as CPIB, SPF then I would say that you can forget about going for part time studies.

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Old 11-12-2012, 02:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by confused_88 View Post
I'm a DL Grad in A&F with 2:2 Honours.

Currently drawing 2.5k as accounts exec, future looking quite bleak unless gets to join big 4 firms.

Got offered 4k in govt sector doing investigation work but will have to sacrifice the specialized degree that I'm holding. Heard of the narrow prospects but the starting pay is so tempting.

Got advised to take up the new offer and study part time for CPA or CFA as value add so I have something to fall back on. Good choice?
You cannot be a CFA charter holder even if you pass the exam since you do not meet the min professional experience required.

As for CPA even if you get it, without any decent accounting exp this cert will be useless and will not get you any accounting jobs, so there is nothing to fall back on.


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Old 12-12-2012, 09:17 AM
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I shall resist the fat and juicy fake carrot! But its hard to feel gutted forgoing an instant 60% increment.
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Old 12-12-2012, 10:51 AM
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I shall resist the fat and juicy fake carrot! But its hard to feel gutted forgoing an instant 60% increment.
Let me offer my perspective as someone who is near retirement. Hopefully it will help you see things differently or "out of the norm or box" if you like.

I was recruited by one government agency even before my final exams while at NUS. Then, my main thought was to secure a job first, while I focused on my project and preparation for the finals. I was thinking I could always change my job later if I do not like it or if I could find better paying jobs elsewhere. Well, I have worked in this government agency for close to 30 years already!

Sure, the remuneration was no match for some of my classmates who worked in the private sectors. But then again it was a stable job, stable income and all in, I think while definitely I am not among the top earners, I am also not near the bottom of the pile either.

In the almost 30 years, our economy have been through a few downturns (some very bad ones too) and I have seen some of my former classmates got retrenched and some have remained jobless for a long time even though at one time they were earning fat incomes in the private sector. All through the economic turmoil had I once need to worry about my job, my income. It was there. Also the agency I worked in believed in staff professional upgrading and consistently sent staff for professional courses, further studies (both local and overseas universities).

And if building wealth is your concern, maybe you are not aware that many of the landed properties out there are actually owned by civil servants including many teachers!

At the end of the day, if you are capable, you will rise whether in the government service or outside. And if you are not capable better to secure a place in the government service. At least they do not sack you, at most you get stuck at a very low appointment.
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Old 12-12-2012, 11:36 AM
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And if building wealth is your concern, maybe you are not aware that many of the landed properties out there are actually owned by civil servants including many teachers!

At the end of the day, if you are capable, you will rise whether in the government service or outside. And if you are not capable better to secure a place in the government service. At least they do not sack you, at most you get stuck at a very low appointment.
I'm actually quite keen to join the govt sector but I'm just worried about fitting in back to the private sector for accounting positions after a few years if I feel I'm not suitable being an investigator.

Also, I think govt positions (doing investigation work) for commoners like me seems hard to break the 10K p.m ceiling after maybe 20-30 years? If I'm wrong please correct me...
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Old 12-12-2012, 11:58 AM
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And if building wealth is your concern, maybe you are not aware that many of the landed properties out there are actually owned by civil servants including many teachers!

At the end of the day, if you are capable, you will rise whether in the government service or outside. And if you are not capable better to secure a place in the government service. At least they do not sack you, at most you get stuck at a very low appointment.
In the civil service if you are a farmer, even if you are a superstar performer the max you can hit is MX9 & that's like super rare. A MX9 is only paid 15 -22k, which is equivalent to just a mid level regional manager in a MNC. It is very misleading when you say "you will rise whether in the government service or outside". More like you will rise in government service as a top performer but a top performer outside will shoot to outerspace.

Back in those days when landed properties were going for $500k it is possible for teachers to buy them, but let's get real here - a decent landed property now goes for about $2.5M. 20% downpayment is already $500k which is already a super big struggle for a teacher to raise. The monthly 30y mortgage for a $2m loan at 2% will be nearly $7.5k, that is definitely not something that a teacher can now afford.
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Old 12-12-2012, 12:09 PM
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I'm actually quite keen to join the govt sector but I'm just worried about fitting in back to the private sector for accounting positions after a few years if I feel I'm not suitable being an investigator.

Also, I think govt positions (doing investigation work) for commoners like me seems hard to break the 10K p.m ceiling after maybe 20-30 years? If I'm wrong please correct me...
Generally speaking, if you have a ACCA or CPA cert but no relevant experience and waster 3-4 years in a niche government job, the only accounting jobs you will get is going to be account assistant or account executive max. Be prepared for a paycut as such jobs pay <3k.

Based on current ranges, most civil servants will not hit 10k in their lives. 10k is the max of MX11, i.e. Deputy Director. Most civil servant end their career at around 8-9k. If you are a very good performer, you might reach MX10, the start of superscale as Director 10-15k. If you are superstar and play max politics, a very tiny group of farmers will hit MX9 as Senior Directors 15-22k.

15-22k might sound high for a civil servant, but as far as top performers in pte sector goes, that is ground nuts & tapioca. High potentials in pte sector can hit this sort of pay by early - mid 30s.
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Old 12-12-2012, 03:47 PM
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In the civil service if you are a farmer, even if you are a superstar performer the max you can hit is MX9 & that's like super rare. A MX9 is only paid 15 -22k, which is equivalent to just a mid level regional manager in a MNC. It is very misleading when you say "you will rise whether in the government service or outside". More like you will rise in government service as a top performer but a top performer outside will shoot to outerspace.

Back in those days when landed properties were going for $500k it is possible for teachers to buy them, but let's get real here - a decent landed property now goes for about $2.5M. 20% downpayment is already $500k which is already a super big struggle for a teacher to raise. The monthly 30y mortgage for a $2m loan at 2% will be nearly $7.5k, that is definitely not something that a teacher can now afford.
Please be serious and give proper advise to this person looking for some guidance. Working in the civil service and private sector have their good and bad points. If you are really looking to slog your life away to make the millions and you think you are that capable go ahead. For the majority of us wanting a balanced life but still good enough to hold your head high, the Singapore Civil Service can provide such an environment. It is envied the world over.

The above guy is either totally ignorant of the situation or cleverly chose to pick only the extreme examples to wrongly prove a point. Banks are more willing to give loans to people with stable jobs (eg Civil Service) but lower salary than those with higher pay but in less secure industry. Teachers are not the lowest nor the highest earners in the service, but they are still buying up condos and houses. Banks love them.


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