Dennis Chung, vice-president of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Jamaica (ICAJ), has urged a group of accountants to make integrity their guide as they go about their work.
Chung, who was the guest speaker at an awards ceremony and dinner held in honour of the University of the West Indies Masters of Science Accounting class of 2011, held at the Terra Nova All Suite Hotel last Saturday, said integrity was critical to their profession.
"So even when people accuse you of things, which will always happen as you become more visible, you will always prevail in the long run.
"It is important to understand this, as too many persons who complete an undergraduate or postgraduate degree believe that they have arrived and immediately want to get the big bucks and move to positions way beyond their capacity. This attitude, I think, contributes in many ways to failure," said Chung.
He added: "Always think about your recommendations very carefully, and have the confidence to stick by what you think. If you have done your homework properly you will always be proven correct."
Chung said that there are approximately 1,200 ICAJ members, and about 4,000 qualified accountants in Jamaica. He noted that of this number, only a minority will become well known and achieve the accomplishments that everyone wants.
"So the thing to do is determine how you will distinguish yourself from all the other accountants and persons in the workforce so that of 4,000 accountants and 1.2 million persons in the labour force, you somehow have to find a way of making yourself stand out among the crowd."
Dwayne Edwards, in his address as class speaker, encouraged his classmates, saying that "the real exam is in the working world, and let us not only accept that our chosen field desires people of integrity but commit ourselves to becoming bastions in our own right."
Chung further noted that: "Growing up, we are always told that if you work hard you will achieve all you want in life. I don't necessarily agree with that. I agree that you have to do your best, but working smart is more important than working hard. Working smart is the only way to increase productivity and stand out."