Toh Jia Le | KPMG | SG
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Toh Jia Le

Toh Jia Le

Senior Associate, Tax Planning and Compliance

Senior Associate, Tax Planning and Compliance

Hi Jia Le! Tell us a bit about yourself and what inspires you?

My family started off with humble beginnings, with my dad selling potted plants and little fishes out of the back of a van by himself. He eventually owned a fish farm that allowed him to raise four kids while my mom scrimps and saves to make ends meet. Despite the circumstances, my parents put all of us through university, which I think is pretty amazing! This is only possible with my dad’s hard work and my mom’s virtue of being thrifty, so they inspire me to work hard and stay grounded.

Unfortunately, I lost my father when I was 19. It was a huge defining moment in my life. I’ve since held closely to the idea of remaining cheerful even when life throws you curveballs. We can’t choose what we get, but we can choose our reactions to what we get (or not).

 

Why Tax?

I was drawn to Tax because the work is dynamic. Taxation is how the government earns its revenue so I get to appreciate policy intent. The annual government budget is always interesting - I get to see where the economy is headed and its relevance to my work.

I started in the tax planning and compliance team as an intern, and recently had the opportunity to rotate to the tax advisory (mergers & acquisitions) team for 3 months. Regardless of which team I’m in, I am assured and happy working with people that are very technically sound and competent.

In the course of my work and through my clients, I am also able to witness the practicality of tax policies and the needs of various industries so it’s been a fulfilling journey so far.

 

Is there life outside of work in KPMG?

Outside of work, I’ve also been up for trying something new every year in KPMG.

I was the vice-captain for the KPMG Dragon Boat Team and learnt from my fellow captains and the team to focus on the process and people, instead of the results. This is instrumental in nurturing new joiners to enjoy and become good at the sport, and to strike a balance between the happiness of individuals and tangible achievements such as medals.

It has also reaffirmed my belief that for a team to be aligned and inclusive, leaders should take initiative, have open communication and not harbor assumptions of others.

I’ve also served as the KPMG Recreation Club’s treasurer and I am currently the Sports Champion. In these roles, I’ve been able to work in cross-functional teams and support the firm’s 28 sports and other ad-hoc activities throughout the year to make lives of employees more vibrant.

To encourage staff engagement, I’ve jointly organized a firm-wide KPMG Day, which combines inter-department sports, carnival games, and community service for employees and their families. The satisfaction of seeing a project come to life for people around you is incredible!

These experiences are close to my heart, and I apply the values learnt at work. I make a conscious effort to communicate expectations and brief/debrief juniors even if our present engagement has been completed so that they can learn and apply the skills in their future work engagements.

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