Friday, November 21, 2008

Wonderful Experience in Deloitte Tax Challenge 2008

Hi, everyone! This weblog is dedicated to Deloitte Tax Challenge Blog Contest, the wonderful contest that comes to my knowledge. Though I was unable to get into the final, I had, in fact, get to experience the whole competition till the finals.

Let me abridge my interest in taxation that brings me to the Deloitte Tax Challenge 2008.

Well, where does my interest in taxation come from?

I believe, for every successful businessman, who owns family business, or starts any businesses from scratch, he or she hates to pay tax to the Government. For a managing director in a controlled company aka small medium enterprise (SME) company, again, I believe they are not willing to share their 20% of their hard-earned profit with the government. Assuming that you made RM1 of net profit, and you have to remit part of the earnings, 20cents, to the Inland Revenue Board. Are you willing to do so? That’s exactly my point. As a consequence, many of them did not comply or follow the rules, and they are trying to evade the tax willfully. Yet, the earnings they tried not to pay to IRB will always be their liability. Do remember that IRB has the power to audit your account within 7 years after the end of a year of assessment. Perhaps one day your company will be investigated by the IRB. Nobody knows. Furthermore, some businessmen or employees do not know the very basic of the rules governing on income tax and may overpay taxes to the IRB. Undeniably, tax knowledge is vital for every businessman and employee. So, it goes without saying, tax planning is important!

One fine day, I met my old friends and we talked about why do we have to study.
My friend highlighted that most parents will encourage their children to study by saying:

“Son, you gotta study hard to get good qualifications in order to find a good job in your future!”
“Son, you gotta study hard otherwise you will be jobless one day!”

These are all subjective statements. I prefer to be the “master” and not the “servant”, in taxation terms. In Layman language, I prefer to be a businessman instead of an employee. Work for your own company instead of working for your employer. This is exactly what my parents told me!
I regard taxation as my foundation in my future venturing into the business world and, from there I found my interest in taxation! Besides, I am proud of my performance in last semester F6 Taxation, Internally Assessed ACCA Examination. I scored an A for that subject.

Here I come, Deloitte Tax Challenge!!

For the Deloitte Tax Challenge 2008, I came to know about this contest from my lecturer, Mr. Michael Yeo. We had been told to register online from the very beginning of the month of August. At first, the webpage (www.deloittechallenge.com) contained nothing but the contest rules. I was wondering where to find the registration page. When the webpage is well established and published, I registered for both team and individual categories. For team category, there are only two teams being selected to represent TAR College. I am honoured to be one of the participants. My leader in Team Category was Lim Wei Chih, the 4.0 CGPA Book Prize Winners in Diploma in Accounting. Our team name is TARC TaxElite.

For me, taking part in Deloitte Tax Challenge was probably due to the competition being held after our final examination. And, I expected I should have already armed with sufficient taxation knowledge and competent enough to take up the challenge. However, when I received the first 42 out of 60 questions for the First Stage of Individual Category, I was shocked! Some questions are not in my F6 syllabus. The start was not as perfect as I would expect. Advanced Taxation knowledge has been included in the questions. Advanced Taxation, ACCA Optional Paper P6, looks very professional and represents a higher level of studies. Luckily they were just multiple choice questions which were not that difficult. What a relief!

To prepare for the team challenge, we had been introduced to a new lecturer. He is a senior tax lecturer who teaches advanced taxation, Mr. Chong. After two brief lessons with Mr. Chong the day before the competition, I managed to learn new things. Somehow, I felt that F6 Taxation is really fundamental, a piece of cake. It was as if when taking STPM examination, you will feel that SPM or PMR is... peanuts.

Team Challenge - TARC TaxElite

For the team challenge, the three hours case study was quite challenging. The question was much difficult than our Performance Management Coursework, which was a tough one. This might be due to the limited time given and our limited knowledge. Luckily we are allowed to bring in some reference books, it was really helpful! We tried our best to complete the case study report and submit it on time. When the final result was released, our team failed to enter into the Finals.

Individual Challenge

For the individual challenge, all the candidates were required to complete 60questions in 60minutes online. You can refer to whatever reference material or seek for an expert as long as you are able to complete it in 60 minutes. I did the stage 1 individual contest together with my friend, Wei Chih. We discussed the first 42questions and came out with same answer together. From question number 43 onwards, our questions were different. We did the rest of our part on our own and we have no time to discuss. Luckily, the internet helps a lot. I can get some of the answer from the Google search machine. When the result released, I was having my semester holiday in my hometown, Kedah. Good news for me and for Wei Chih as well. We managed to get into the second stage aka Semi Final. I rushed back to KL immediately for the Semi-Final. The venue is at University Malaya, where both of my sisters graduated.

Relishing my moments in University Malaya

Through the Deloitte Tax Challenge, a good friendship between Wei Chih and I developed. The day before the Semi-Final, Wei Chih stayed with me at my sisters’ place at Sunway Damansara, PJ. We went to University Malaya together. My sister dropped us at the Economy Faculty. UM is indeed a big university. We almost get ourselves lost in UM. We have our breakfast together at Economic Faculty’s canteen with another semi-finalist from our college, Luke. By asking the University students for direction, finally we reached Dewan Kuliah C at the Business and Accountancy Faculty.

In the Semi Final, the questions were subdivided into two parts. Part A was a presentation which constitutes 20marks and Part B was a case study which contributes 80marks. Again, we have to complete it in 3 hours. For the presentation section, every candidate was required to go to a meeting room and present to a judge. The presentation question was tax related. We were to assume that we are a tax lecturer, and how are we going to make our University the top Taxation University in Malaysia? The question was sort of like this….. It was not very difficult actually. Perhaps they want to test on our speaking and presentation skills. Part B tested us on Badges of Trade. I managed to complete it with my best effort. After that, we had our lunch together in UM at the same canteen again. (Pity us, we only know how to go there…. Haha!! ) After that, I called my UM friends and chit chat, hanging around with them until evening. What a nice experience in UM.

The crunch time - Result released!!



When the result is out, only Wei Chih was successfully qualified to the final for the individual category. My congrats to him. Well, sadly I failed to get into the final. What I can do was sending my best regards and blesses to Wei Chih and to help him as much as I am able to. Although I failed to get into the final, I had the opportunity to follow the whole of the Finals from the sidelines.

Full Backing to my finalist!

I still remember vividly, on 13 October 2008, Monday, I fetched Wei Chih to Deloitte KasshimChan Office at Uptown 1, Damansara Utama, with some of our friends. After sending him to the Deloitte Office, I joined my other friends to One Utama for a movie. After the movie, we went back to fetch Wei Chih and we went back to Wangsa Maju together, the place where we stayed. The final was held the next day. I was glad to be invited by Wei Chih to be one of his special invitees for the Gala Dinner at Sunway Resort Hotel.

In the final, while Wei Chih was busy competing, my friends and I were hanging around for breakfast at McDonalds in Uptown 5, which is near to the Deloitte Office. We were unable to look at how the finalists preparing their case study report and presentation slides. After 3 hours, we went up to the Deloitte Office to watch the presentation and also to support Wei Chih.





While Wei Chih was busy competing, my friends and I were hanging around for breakfast at McDonalds in Uptown 5, which is near to the Deloitte Office.


I watched the presentation for both the individual and team categories as well. It was very interesting! Especially Team UM, Team No TAX and Team Sunway. What an excellent and interesting presentation.






Individual Category - Final Presentation Section. Oh my.. Wei Chih was the only guy!!Overall presentation was well done!



Team UM


Team Sunway


Team UIAM



Team USM


Team "No Tax" from UM


All the supporters and our lovely lecturer, Mr. Michael Yeo. What a memorable snap!


Sunway Hotel Gala Dinner and the finishing line

After that, we went back to my sister’s place at Sunway Damansara and get prepared for Gala Dinner at 7pm. Later, I went to my lecturer’s house and thereafter started off together to Sunway Hotel with our lecturer, Mr. Michael Yeo.

When we reached Sunway Hotel, it was still quite early. Therefore, we managed to get to know some new friends before the dinner started. We had also not forgotten to take photo in such a memorable event. The surrounding design and environment in Sunway Hotel was full of elegance and of a high class. When the dinner started, I sat with those from University Malaya. I managed to make some friends again and talked a lot about taxation, university life, internship and studies. It was great experience-sharing really!


Wei Chih and I outside the Grand Ball Room in Gala Dinner Sunway Hotel


The food was nice and the service was excellent. In my mind, those who failed to get into the Finals, including myself, most probably they would not have the chance to come here, enjoy the meal at Gala Dinner and waiting anxiously for the result to be announced.

When the results were released, unexpectedly, Lim Wei Chih successfully emerged as the Champion and he was also awarded the Most Creative Presentation Award. I am proud of Wei Chih. Congratulation, my friend. Why did I say that his victory was unexpected? This is because there were many finalists from University Malaya who were final year student and have much taxation knowledge and experience than Wei Chih. Anyway, the success made me feel that nothing is impossible. We cannot underestimate someone abilities though you might think that the person may be lack of qualifications.


The Most Creative Presentation Award won by Wei Chih! Congratulation...


Wei Chih successfully emerged as the champion in Deloitte Tax Challenge 2008 individual category. Congratulation to him once again!


Team SUNWAY emerged as the Champion for team category.





We congratulated Wei Chih for his success and achievements.


My congrats to Wei Chih once again. Although my march was stopped at the semi final, I was not disconnected with the contest at all. With Wei Chih, I have the chance to watch and support him through the final stretch of the competition. You can say my experience in Deloitte Tax Challenge Final is the same as to the other finalist, minus the final three hours of competition. I was glad to be at the Gala Dinner that night as I can share the happiness and successful moment with Wei Chih. His success is also our success. It was a wonderful experience and it was unforgettable!

Congratulation to all the winners. Anyway, for me, every finalists is already a winner. Besides, new friendship is more important than the prizes. This is the purpose of the challenge I think. Below are some of the photos that I taken in our condominium after the Gala Dinner. I hope you can enjoy reading and have a nice day!


A friend of mine posing with the mock cheque. I modified the photo for him by photoshop. Photo title: "Building Castle in the air" Nice?



The real Champion on "Cloud Nine" - Mr Lim Wei Chih... Standing steadily with the mock cheque on the cloud. Haha ^^ Nice?





The mock cheque, certificate and two trophies awarded to Wei Chih. Congratulation..






We shared the happiness together with our housemates. I was very happy that night!! But I guessed Wei Chih was happier than me!~ RM2300 in his hand, the big winner in Deloitte Tax Challenge 2008. ^^

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Quite a long post, but an interesting one nonetheless

nice9 said...

Congrates to your frens!!!!It is so great experiences that you go through with!!!