Date posted: 5/06/2018 3 min read

Winning on the corporate frontline

Monica Ly, finance manager at Westpac wealth management arm BT Financial Group, collaborates with her colleagues to translate numbers into actionable insights.

In Brief

  • Monica Ly recognised a number of opportunities for qualified CAs in wealth management, consumer and business banking at Westpac.
  • She’s passionate about supporting up-and-coming talent and leads Westpac’s finance and accounting graduate programme.
  • She collaborates across functions to support finance, analytics, human resources, marketing and communications.

Tell us about your role and a quick summary of your responsibilities.

My role is to [provide] advice and insights from a finance lens to help senior leaders understand their business and drive business outcomes. In addition to my day job, I also lead Westpac’s finance and accounting graduate programme. I’m a huge supporter of helping young talent find their feet as they kick-start their careers.

What does the start of a typical day look like for you?

I start and end my days with a team huddle so everyone is kept in the loop on what is going on. It’s also a chance to celebrate some team achievements. Working in an agile office, I’m typically in and out of meetings or working away from my desk, so it’s important we stay connected.

If someone wanted to be you for the day, what’s the one thing they need to know?

I’m known as a “doer” and for always getting the job done. Whether it be at home or at work, I am committed to my word. I always strive to make it easy for those around me to work together to deliver and get the job done.

What’s the most helpful tool you have for getting the job done?

I live by my to-do lists. You can’t go wrong by starting at the top and working your way down.

What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve been given?

Be true to yourself. Always stand for who you are, authentically share who you are with those around you and create your own winning formulas.

I always strive to make it easy for those around me to work together to deliver and get the job done.
Monica Ly Finance Manager at BT Financial Group

Why did you choose to become a chartered accountant?

There are very few professional qualifications that allow you to work cross-industry and across the world without further studies. That’s why I was attracted to becoming a CA. Once I started at Westpac, there were even more opportunities for qualified CAs than I realised, including wealth management or consumer and business banking to more traditional group finance and support roles.

How does being a CA help you in your current role?

Being a CA, people look to you as the expert in numbers. Working within the finance function at Westpac, I’ve had many opportunities to collaborate across functions. From working with our frontline people and clients to supporting areas such as finance, analytics, human resources, marketing and communications, I’ve been able to help translate what people see in their numbers into actionable insights.

Have you been to a Chartered Accountants ANZ member event lately?

Not yet. However, I am drawn to events where people share their personal stories and am keen to attend upcoming member events like these to connect with fellow CA members.  

What do you think are the most rewarding aspects of your role?

Working with people. My role is to understand what keeps people up at night and to use my knowledge and networks across the organisation to help people overcome their challenges.

What interests or hobbies do you have outside of work?

I love food and television shows. Outside of work, I’m typically catching up with family and friends over a tasty meal or treating myself to a night in to binge on a few episodes of the latest television shows.

What is more important to you right now, career progression, great salary or work-life balance?

Work-life balance. With everything always on the go, I’ve made it a personal mission of mine to create boundaries to keep the balance between work and life.

Related: Harnessing the power of the mind

Camille Woods CA, accounting academic and owner of Monday Mind meditation school, harnesses the power of the mind for work and play.