Historic win for undergrad in global tax competition


Lim was named Ernst & Young Young Tax Professional of the Year.

A TUNKU Abdul Rahman University College (TAR UC) student made the country proud when she emerged champion at the Ernst & Young (EY) Young Tax Professional of the Year.

Ashley Lim Siew Fern, a Bachelor of Commerce (Hons) student, was named the winner at the competition’s global awards ceremony held on Dec 2.

A total of 32 participants took part in this year’s competition with most comprising postgraduate students and professionals in the tax industry.

Lim was among the few undergraduates who participated. Despite the stiff competition, she claimed the honour of being the first Malaysian to have won the champion’s title at the global level.

“Lack of time was the biggest challenge I faced. Within one hour, I needed to understand a three-page case study, prepare four slides and do a 15-minute presentation and Q&A session with the judges, ” she said.

After a while, Lim realised that she was focusing too much on the time limit and took a short break to clear her mind before resuming her analysis.

“I was able to focus better and present my proposal to the judges. Knowing the judges’ background helped me understand their areas of interest, so I was able to develop relevant analyses and useful advice which was practical to them, ” said Lim.

Besides the competition, participants also had the chance to interact with EY’s key personnel from across the globe as well as experts from the International Tax and Transaction Services Department.

Lim also gained valuable experience interacting with participants from other countries as well as undergoing a training session on presentation skills.

“As champion, I have the option to either choose a 30-day world trip which includes three stops at EY centres in New York, London and Hong Kong, or a number of technology gadgets and resources as well as networking opportunities, ” she revealed.

TAR UC president Prof Dr Lee Sze Wei praised Lim for making history.

“TAR UC went to the international level of this competition in 2018 where our student was first runner-up. This time we conquered the top spot and Ashley became the first Malaysian to have won it.

“I am very proud of Ashley and the team of the Faculty of Accountancy, Finance and Business for this historic victory, ” he said.

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