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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

An inspiring speech from Gecel G. Codera (1st placer in the May 2010 CPA Board Examinations)

Tantalizing smile. Gecel G. Codera in her black dress
celebrating her success for placing 1st
in the May 2010 CPA Board Examinations.
I would like to share with you a very inspiring speech from a Josenian topnotcher. This speech was delivered during the oathtaking of new CPAs held at the PICC on July 2, 2010. May we be inspired in our pursuit of chasing the title CPA! Adelante! Here it is.

I’ve heard it said that the poorest person in the world is not the one without a diamond; it is the one without a dream. Successful individuals dream and dreams are always the starting point in making great things happen. You can’t get determined about a dream unless you first have one. Amazingly, I became a topnotcher because I once dreamed to be one and I believe that we all passed the board exam because we once dreamed of becoming a CPA. Robert Schuller said, “Since it doesn’t cost a dime to dream, you’ll never shortchange yourself when you stretch your imagination”. 

However, it is not enough to only dream and be determined about it; you also need to move in the direction of your dream.  It is not enough to be a dreamer; you should also be a doer.  For more or less 5 years, we prepared ourselves for this time, the time that we could claim our dream of becoming the next batch of CPAs. In the course of our preparation, we did a lot of things and met a lot of struggles, sacrifices, and challenges. We had to work harder and exert more effort in order for us to reach our dream. We had to extend study hours, reduce hang out with friends, lessen leisure time, and even give up Facebook moments. During those times, we couldn’t help but occasionally complain about the boring lifestyle we have which for some people seems abnormal. However, looking at ourselves now, confidently saying that we were able to pass the very difficult board examinations, it was all worth it. 

Passing the CPA board exam and more so topping it, never came without a price. It meant hardwork, a lot of sacrifices, and a lot of prayers too.  I had to stretch myself, probably beyond what others would normally do.  I sacrificed several things and faced a lot of problems. But one thing which made my life normal and still enjoyable despite all the pressures, is my passion to learn and to be somebody someday. If you have it for sure, you’ll not feel much anxiety, stress, or pressure. But then, at some point, I must also admit that I entertained some doubts - common questions that may strike every board examinee. Could I really make it? Have I done my best? And to those who dreamed to be a topnotcher, this question frequently burdens us - Am I worthy to be a topnotcher? At times, these questions tend to make us doubt ourselves. Some people just say so much, in fact, too much, shaking you as a person, pushing you to give up and just surrender. 

No matter how you try not to entertain those negative thoughts, you just can’t help but doubt. On the other hand, those moments  made us think, evaluate ourselves, and most importantly,  made us call upon God and pray. At this point of our life, the strong power of faith comes in. We all prayed for this moment to happen. Am I right? In fact, some would say that a board examination is the time when examinees become more religious to the extent that all the saints are known and called upon for divine intercession. Funny as it may seem but we can all agree that prayer is always our best weapon. I firmly believe that along with hard labor, sincere and constant prayer to God is the best means to success. No matter how physically prepared you are, without spiritual providence, nothing can be accomplished. As the bible admonishes us in 2nd Corinthians 5:7, “Walk by faith, not by sight”.

And of course , we could not make it this far without the people behind our success.  So allow me to thank those who inspired and helped us reach our dream.  To our loved ones – our family for the unconditional love and support;  to our professors and reviewers for their unselfish dedication to share their knowledge to us;  and to our friends for their constant understanding and patience. Indeed, “no man is an island”;  we could have not made it without these special people in our lives. Thank you very much!
At this point my friends, we can call ourselves CPAs, the title we’ve been aspiring for years -  a well respected title which has established its reputation for several decades now.  My fellow CPAs, while the acquisition of this title may mark the end of our college life as accountancy students and as reviewees, but on a broader view, a door has just been opened for us towards a more profound future. Getting the title is not the end, but it is now our beginning to a higher end, as we pursue our chosen career path.  The challenge is not over yet; in fact, it has just become bigger.   We will be faced with more difficult challenges, obstacles, and wider opportunities in whatever endeavor we will choose to undertake. We may choose to be in the public practice, in the commerce and industry, in the academe, or in the government. As the scope of practice awaiting us is very broad, so are the temptations we may encounter. So let us always remind ourselves to observe the professional ethics and responsibility which were taught to us in  school – remember the fundamental principles and professional obligations embodied in our code of ethics and the IRRs of RA 9298 which to us, may seem  burdensome to study,  to the point that we sometimes ignore them. We may not fully realize the significance of these documents now, but they could certainly serve as a good guide for an ethical and socially responsible practice of our profession. 

As we took oath a while ago, we made a solemn promise that is not meant to be broken. We, CPAs, are born to serve the public. We may not be as passionate as the teachers, as caring as the nurses, as creative as the artists, or as skeptic as the lawyers, but we could be the most independent,  objective and reliable professionals that  the general public could look up to. As the Code of  ethics states, “A distinguishing mark of the accountancy profession is its acceptance of the responsibility to act in the public interest”. So may I throw this question to you my fellow new CPAs, “Are you willing to accept the responsibility?” Then, we are ready to serve and to be called as Certified Public Accountants. 

Let us all uphold the honor and dignity of our noble profession.  In closing, let me share with you that at my beloved alma mater, University of San Jose – Recoletos (in Cebu City),   we often say “Adelante”, which means “to move forward.” My dear colleagues in the Accountancy profession, let us altogether move forward.   Adelante!

-Gecel G. Codera

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