Charli Xu

Charli Xu

University of Western Australia
Finance & Business Analyst
Charli studied Master of Finance/B.Commerce & B.Science at University of Western Australia

What's your job about?

I am currently employed by North Metropolitan Health Service in the Financial Operations division, which provides financial business support to health service providers within our jurisdiction.

My role within this team is to manage cash management, debt write-offs and reporting as well as coordinating the Medical Equipment Replacement Program for NMHS. During the financial transition process, NMHS is devolving a lot of services to manage from site as opposed to HSS. For example, my main focus is the devolution of cash reporting to manage NMHS’ funding to meet operational needs.
A teenager will not understand cash management and probably not find it interesting :)

What's your background?

I was born in China and moved to Perth when I was 8 years old. The most important stage of my life would be during my university years where I worked and studied full time as this allowed me to understand the importance and value of balancing my time between the two. In addition to this, I was able to develop strong interpersonal and managerial skills which translate into the role I am doing today.

A massive crossroad in my career as I look back on it would have to be while I was studying Psychology and I was looking for clinical work experience or a job. I received a call one morning as I was sleeping and it was from Graylands Hospital offering me work experience, however because of the drowsy state I was in I forgot to ask for a name or contact number and although she said she would email me, she never did. Had I actually taken down her contact and gotten back to her I may have gotten that opportunity, and there is a strong chance that I would be a Psychologist today and not have chosen to go back and study. This would have prevented me from ever getting to be part of the Graduate Development Program here at the Department of Health and finding my way into the role I am in right now, but I guess stories like these are why they say everything happens for a reason.

Could someone with a different background do your job?

Someone with a different background could potentially be trained to perform my role, however due to the heavy emphasis on Accounting knowledge and practices it would be very difficult to fully understand the role and be able to interact with other stakeholders who share that same knowledge. Important characteristics required to perform this role would be strong Accounting knowledge generally adopted from an Accounting background as well as strong Interpersonal skills which are needed to interact with all types of members of NMHS.

What's the coolest thing about your job?

My role is so interconnected with the financial and operational functions of NMHS, I like the fast paced environment as the work needs to be picked up quickly and also really enjoy the depth of responsibility attached to this role. Many people may be concerned about high responsibility, that should something go wrong a lot of people are affected, but to me I see that as a challenge that I enjoy and immerse myself in as I perform well under this pressure and enjoy the power that the role entails, making the days go faster.

What are the limitations of your job?

My role bears a lot of responsibility although I do not have to work weekends thankfully and it’s not physically demanding but can be mentally.

In regards to limitations, a lack of clinical knowledge could be seen as an example. I organise the budgeting for MERP (Medical Equipment Replacement Program) at NMHS and although I may have the required financial knowledge, it would help if I knew what each item is used for and how essential it is to the operations of each hospital as that would allow me to better understand each hospitals claims for funding.

3 pieces of advice for yourself when you were a student...

  1. Complete a Bachelors of Commerce as my undergrad, which would have saved me years of studying and would have allowed me to go straight into my CPA qualification in the first year of the Graduate Development Program.
  2. Concentrate on your studies as opposed to trying to take on full-time work during your degree as this can make a huge difference in the way you perform at University and therefore has a huge impact on your career.
  3. Study abroad, I wish I studied overseas for a semester as I could have travelled a lot while studying and could have seen a lot more of the world prior to starting full-time work.