During our Industry Panel Q&A event on September 8th, we asked business leaders for their insights on the challenges and opportunities of operating businesses across the Australia/China business landscape. Matt Schofield from ShineWing tells us about his international links with Australia and China.
- Matthew Schofield
My connection with China has been a daily experience for the past 7 years. The China connection started in December 2009 when I joined ShineWing Australia working as an Assurance and Advisory Partner on China’s largest ever SOE investment into Australia, being Yanzhou Coal’s AUD 3.4BN acquisition of Felix Resources. Subsequent to the initial investment I worked on additional Investments by Yanzhou Coal into Australia totalling a further AUD 3BN.
My work with ShineWing has also involved working on Guangdong Rising Australia’s AUD 600M investment into the Australian Coal Sector, and Sichuan Tianqi Lithium’s AUD 1.4BN of Investments into the Australian Lithium Mining and Processing sector.
Other projects I have worked on for our Chinese clients include State Power Investment Corporation’s AUD 300M acquisition of the Taralga Wind Farms.
My more routine work flow also involves auditing Chinese Owned Subsidiaries operating in Australia. Such Companies or Groups in addition to those mentioned above include ChangHong, Zhejiang Rifa, Henan Yuguang, Shaanxi Mining Group, Sichuan Y&J Industries and so on.
Being a Partner of China’s largest indigenous accounting firm has given me great experiences and insights with doing business in, with and for China. Matthew Schofield
Our daily issues extend from FIRB / Geopolitical issues to Chinese Accounting Standard translation issues with a myriad of commercial issues in between. ShineWing has 23 offices across China and I’ve only visited about 13 of those cities / offices so there is still much to learn and discover. I’m hoping that increasingly I can utilise this experience to help Australian Companies to successfully do business in China.
In connecting with China we also understood quickly that it was critical to recruit and retain the best students in the market, and to provide career opportunities to young Chinese Accounting students who will be a critical part of the bridge between Australia and China. This understanding lead to the development of the ShineWing Internship Program Partnership with University of Melbourne. We recognised that to be the best we need to partner with the best, so in 2011, the University of Melbourne and ShineWing, China’s largest domestic accounting firm, launched an internship program to give students the opportunity to work cross-border, advance their skills and build business connections.
In February this year, four students returned from their two-month placements in Hangzhou, Chengdu, Qingdao and Beijing, having experienced the fast-paced work environment of peak audit season. Read their story here
As part of the Spotlight on China program we invited alumni and current students to contribute to the ideas covered in the Q&A event.
Our guest contributors have experienced the Australia/China international connection in number of ways. Here's what they told us:
- Mali Zou, MM (Marketing) 2014, Shanghai
I learned about business relationships and popular industries between these two countries while working at Australia Business Forum as a marketing assistant. The business events I organised connected me with SMEs doing business in China and Australia.
- Nick Yan, MIB (2004) Shanghai
I have maintained a close connection between China and Melbourne via my role with the Victorian Government Business Office in Shanghai. Active involvelment in alumni activities in Shanghai has also created a dynamic and useful international connection.
- Travis Huggins, BCom (2003) Hong Kong
Despite being Melbourne born and bred, having studied Commerce and Mandarin Chinese and a part Taiwanese background: it wasn't until I went to Greater China that I starting building knowledge and learning about the bigger marketplace.
- Vivian Lu, BCom (2013) Melbourne
My professional experience in a bank and an accounting firm in China helped me land my first full-time job in Australia. It also prepared me well for working in multicultural teams and thinking from various perspectives.
- Vienna Ke, Bcom (2009) Sydney
Born and raised in China, I migrated for study and now work in Australia. My goal is to connect Australia and China by developing business opportunities and strengthening cultural communications to generate positive impact for people in both countries.
- Yiling Chen, Melbourne
I am currently finishing up my Masters program and looking forward to starting a graduate program early next year. The company I will be working at is a global corporation that is expanding its business operations in China.
Matthew Schofield is Partner, Assurance and Advisory Services at ShineWing Australia with over 20 years' experience in delivering assurance and advisory solutions.
Read more about Matthew's experience
Spotlight on China was part of the MBS and BCom Enrichment Program which is coordinated by the Student Employability and Enrichment team, Faculty of Business and Economics, the University of Melbourne.
Discover the full range of student enrichment opportunities HERE