Podcast: One CPA’s journey from Beijing to Columbus

Written on Jul 18, 2019

By Abigail Draper, OSCPA communication & engagement manager

LiMengyingMoving to a new country and adjusting to the culture and language can be difficult, but following your dreams and becoming a CPA is possible if you work hard and discover what works best for you, said Mengying Li, CPA, controller at Ohio Basement Authority in Columbus.

“I definitely found out lots of differences with life and with friends compared to the life I had in China,” she said. “So, I would just stay open to more new ideas, make more friends and really spend some time with them.”

Li joined us on the most recent episode of The State of Business podcast to discuss her journey of learning English, adjusting to American culture, passing the CPA exam and becoming part of an industry she previously knew nothing about.

She moved to the United States to study accounting at The Ohio State University. She said she did have challenges adjusting to the language, but she fully immersed herself in English with friends and with school.

“I learned everything in English, I know nothing about accounting in my mother language. So, if you’re learning accounting with your mother language, I would say just start with converting those key terminologies into English and after you get familiar with those terminologies, the conversation shouldn’t be that hard.”

After obtaining her bachelor’s and master’s degrees, as well as her CPA certification, Li found a job at Ohio Basement Authority. Here, she said she was able to easily acclimate to the workplace because of the company culture. She was able to spend time in different departments, learn about the business and bond with her new co-workers.

Li stressed the importance of truly having a passion for accounting, especially if you’re going to move to a different country to study it.

She remains enthusiastic about the accounting profession.

“We deal with numbers every single day, but I think the true meaning of accounting is what we can get out of those numbers.”

Listen to the episode here or wherever you get your podcasts. 

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