Tell me a bit about yourself
My name is Weiqing Li, and I am from North China. I first came to Ireland 8 years ago as part of a study programme. About 30 of us were in that course and 10 of us are still in Ireland today. We studied three years in China, and the fourth year in Dublin. I literally fell in love with Ireland. I found Irish people to be extremely friendly and welcoming and so made the decision to stay. The atmosphere and the lifestyle in Ireland is fantastic.
I got my Bachelor Degree in Accountancy and Finance and eventually found a job as a trainee accountant for a motor insurance company. The training time was very challenging for me as I had to overcome the language and culture barriers while learning the Irish accountancy system. However, I got there in the end and qualified as a financial accountant.
Tell me a little bit about your role in Accelerated Payments
After my qualification, I applied for a job at Accelerated Payments in 2020 and got the job! At the time, AP were looking to appoint a new accountant for their finance team. My primary role is to look after our daily accounts, do monthly reconciliations and any financial reports that come in the process. I work very closely with the Head of Finance as well as with the Settlements team who raises Purchase Orders and organises payments.
I must say it is a great position to be in as controlling the finance helps me to get a clear picture of the nature of the activities of the company, its new developments and future prospects. It is nice to work for a company of its size and nature because I get to communicate and work very easily with everyone. We are also going through an exciting time as our industry is growing post-Covid. We see lots of opportunities to extend our market reach. There are four people in my team and from next month, we will have a new person joining. It is great to be part of a growing business, that is a major global player in the market.
How have you found working remotely?
When I joined AP, Ireland was in a national lockdown at the time due to Covid-19, meaning I couldn’t physically meet any team members. It was a challenge for me at first, as it was something I had to get used to. In addition to this, and like joining any company, I had to learn everything about the business and get into a routine as smoothly as possible.
But, the team were there to support me when I joined. One to one meetings were made so that I could get to know my colleagues and our daily coffee socials helped a lot.
Fortunately, I settled in fairly quickly and now I love working from home – I have an ideal setup and find it quiet relaxing. There is no time wasted because of commuting to the office, and this new way of working means more flexibility. Apart from on-site collaboration sessions, we are all working remotely in different parts of the world and everybody seems happy with our working model. Besides, we have an amazing IT team who is extremely knowledgeable and efficient. They can sort out any technical issues in no time and were great support when I joined! AP staff are very good at supporting one another.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I live in South Dublin, which is only a 10 minute drive from the beach which is an absolute bonus. I love taking in the fresh air and hiking. During lockdown, I had a lot of opportunities to explore the countryside around Dublin, it is really stunning out there. When possible, I also meet up with my former Chinese classmates. We go for walks and hangout, which is lovely. It is important to have this support bubble especially when we arrived in Ireland. I miss my family in China, however, I talk to them every week. Having my friends and partner in Ireland with me is great because I now have family here too.
Friends and hiking aside, I must confess my real passion is LEGO! Yes, I know it is unusual, but I am addicted to it. I spend many hours building LEGO. I am a very patient person and patience is needed when building LEGO. Patience is a great quality to have in my profession too. Everything is done so quickly that it’s almost always in real time. It is so satisfying to finish a LEGO project.
Honestly, I can concentrate for hours on those plastic bricks. It feels like a real achievement when I manage to finish something. In fact, there are a lot of similarities between this hobby and my job. They both require lots of patience and problem-solving so it is not surprising I love doing that.