- Vivian Wang and Ross Ledger have vastly different backgrounds; but both are directors at R. E. Ledger Pty Ltd.
- Vivian’s a Gen Y and Ross pre-dates the Baby Boomer generation, but they were a natural fit from day one.
- Although they are different, they share a passion for their work and contributing to the profession and wider community.
By Tony Malkovic
Why did you decide to become an accountant?
Vivian: My mother was an accountant for many years and I was influenced by her and I always liked numbers growing up. So naturally I studied accounting, and then started working for Ross.
Ross: I’m a Perth boy and was interested in business because my family had always been in business. My father said if you work for a chartered accountant, you’ll see lots of different businesses and you might find one you like. The one I found I liked was being a professional chartered accountant. I was 16 when I started in accounting; I’m now 81 years old. Away from work, I do a lot of walking, I play tennis, I’ve got a bike, and I follow cricket and football. I’ve held numerous positions with the Institute of Chartered Accountants over the decades, and I’m also on the boards of several charities. That gives me a kick, helping bodies such as Anglicare’s Street Connect, which helps young homeless people.
Photography: Vic Miller
What is the key to working effectively with someone from a different generation and culture?
Vivian: If I could sum it up in one word, it would be respect. It’s been a natural fit, we clicked from day one. With all the years of experience he’s got, when something happens that I’m not sure about, I’ve always got Ross there to pick his brains.
Ross: Chartered accounting has always been a young people’s business. They come in to study and learn and then move on. In recent times, nearly all my employees have been women. In my experience, these women have had a very good work ethic, are clever and business-orientated.
I guess the main thing I’ve learned from Ross is to have the heart to give back to your profession and the general community.
What have you learned from each other?
Vivian: I guess the main thing I’ve learned from Ross is to have the heart to give back to your profession and the general community. A lot of the things I’ve done since becoming a CA have been achieved through Ross’s encouragement. I’m the treasurer of a Rotary Club here in Perth and I’m the chair for the Young CAs in WA panel. I’m also involved in a new charity, the Financial Toolbox. CA ANZ is a partner. The idea behind Financial Toolbox is to empower women with greater financial knowledge and confidence.
Ross: Perhaps to be a bit more patient. She’s a strong person. I just like working with her.
What do you think are the main issues facing the profession?
Ross: One of the main issues is to get a bigger share of the public’s confidence of us as financial advisers, because the financial advisory industry has not covered itself in glory and chartered accountants are so well placed to do that.
Vivian: Something you hear a lot about these days is digital disruption. We should be ready to embrace the change and adapt to it.
What advice would you give to people thinking of becoming a chartered accountant?
Ross: I’d say get your exams done as quickly as you can. Don’t take a year off messing around overseas. Get work with a good firm, then make your way with a world-recognised qualification.
Vivian: I think I’d tell them the possibilities of being a chartered accountant are just endless. You can go anywhere in the world with a qualification that is recognised globally. Go for it!
Tony Malkovic is an award-winning Perth-based journalist with a special interest in business, science and innovation, and engineering.
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