Mikee Obial – Accountant, CPA
Hi! My name is Mikee Obial and I currently reside in Cebu City, Philippines.
I am a licensed CPA and have been in this industry for 9 years already. I have diverse and extensive working experience with varied exposure to financial/external audit, financial analysis, and full set account/bookkeeping. I am also well adept with Microsoft Office and other accounting software such as Quickbooks (Desktop, Enterprise and Online) and Xero. I also have been using other apps such as Google, Dropbox, Asana, Expensify, Zoho, Podio, Slack and Apparel Magic. I would say that throughout my entire stint, so far, I had been wearing a lot of hats in the field of finance and accounting.
Growing up, I had always been a very diligent student. Probably my normal routine way back was school – home – study – sleep – and back to school again. I won’t say it was totally “boring” as other people may perceive because I also found time to enjoy it along the way, but I was too focused on personal motivation and excellence. And it wasn’t gone to waste as I finished my education with flying colors – as a Valedictorian in High School and Magna Cum Laude in College. But apart from the awards I got, I have learned to value the importance of motivation and focus which made become the goal-oriented professional I am today.
Working in the corporate world was definitely a whirlwind – as far as my experience is concerned. I immediately got hired in Grant Thornton as an auditor, since I had my on-the-job training with them. What a great way to start my professional career as a CPA by working in one of the biggest audit firms in the country. It was hardcore training I should say, but it had definitely worth it – my skills improved a lot, being able to handle various clients in several industries within tight deadlines, making sure that planning and closing meetings go well, managing staff auditors and ensuring the team goals have been implemented and achieved, and eventually ensuring that audited financial statements issued on time. It has definitely honed me to become a competent accountant.
The next few years of my career added more to my professional experience and skills. I worked as a financial analyst for a real estate company in Cebu. I got involved in projects, financial analysis and other management reports as well as budgeting and financial forecasting. It was a very interesting job to me as not only have I learned to “create the story behind the numbers”, I also had the chance to coordinate not just with the accounting team but also with other teams in the company such as sales, purchasing, marketing and higher management (when we do monthly meeting).
I then worked with a US-Based accounting firm whose clients were small and medium entities in Arizona. My team was involved in bookkeeping and financial reporting. That was my exposure to Quickbooks Desktop and Online. I would say it was as equally promising as my prior jobs. Also, during my entire professional stint, I had an opportunity to work as a part time accounting instructor with my Alma Mater – University of San Carlos. The challenge of working 12 hours a day was rigorous, and I have learned time management and making sure to provide quality to both jobs without even compromising one over the other. Besides, what is sleep for a hardworking and highly motivated person like me?
I realised that there is so much more I am capable of doing, and I am also able to be versatile with my career as an accountant – working in public accounting, private and in the academe. I felt I was so ready to move up in the corporate ladder.
But going 6 years on my professional career, I realised one thing that I seem to be missing – a life…
Probably since I was a student until I ventured out in the corporate world as a CPA, I was just too focused on my education and career – working long hours, not taking lots of day offs and having that “me time”. It was a very crucial decision way back, but I thought I have to do it. Middle life crisis? Probably. I left my office jobs and flew to Singapore and Thailand to take a vacation. Around this time the idea of doing a virtual job came to mind. I knew it would very difficult because I have to start from scratch, although I already had a bit of experience working remotely with my most recent job. But the anxiety as to what job platform to go use, how to get clients online, how to manage my time, and well overall the new type of career I will be doing was so big. But I took the leap of faith – I started small and slow, but eventually maintained it.
I have been doing remote work for the past 3 years and I would say I found my niche. Not only have I been doing accounting work, but I also gained experience in other fields such administrative work, taking customer calls, human resources and research. At the same time I have been travelling around Southeast Asia, without even having to file a vacation leave from an immediate supervisor. I also find time to work on my passion which is learning new languages. In fact, for the moment I can converse in Spanish, and could be starting with French soon. Most importantly, I got more time for my family, my dogs and for myself – doing meditation regularly.
I am much happier now, and I believe it’s very essential to become not just a competent professional but also being a well-rounded person.
For a copy of Mikee’s resume please click here.