Q&A with Jingwen Xiang, Senior Accountant

Jingwen Xiang is Senior Accountant at Fronde and deals with all company-level reporting, analysis and taxation, as well as helping project managers and business leaders understand how their projects and teams are performing financially.

How long have you worked in the IT industry?  

Fronde is the first IT company I’ve ever worked for, and it’s been almost four years and still going. Although I had doubts about myself choosing the wrong degree when I was in Uni, I really enjoy being an accountant in the tech sector.

How did you get started in IT or what drew you into IT?  Have you worked in other industries?  How do they compare?

As an accountant I technically don’t work directly in IT but I do work closely with the “IT geeks” and have learnt a lot about the tech industry. Previously I worked in audit firms for a few years and I can confirm that IT people are more creative than accountants (probably because auditors are not allowed to create or invent!) and are very flexible. Plus, they can be sports champions, chefs or dancers when they are off work, but accountants are always just accountants (too much overtime!)

What do you enjoy about working at Fronde?  What attracted you initially, and what makes you stay?

Flexibility both at work and off work - your colleagues and managers support you in any way. I must say that the barista coffee machine attracted me and kept me in Fronde for a while initially. I didn’t know much about IT when I first started, and it was quite hard to learn to make good flat white myself out of that screeching machine! I remember five different people who taught me how to froth milk (that’s the hardest thing ever). I thought I need to be able to make a good cup of coffee with a heart on top before I leave here, and four years down the track, I am still practising to make that perfect heart!

What technologies have had the greatest impact on your life, both personally and professionally?

Smartphone! I can’t imagine that we would be reading, making video calls, watching movies, using GPS, taking photos and videos, gaming, etc., all on a single hand-sized device (probably because I am an accountant) 15 years ago, and look at how far we have come now?! I do think this magic can play a part in saving the environment as we can store everything electronically in one small device, so we don’t need to buy things physically and then dispose of them anymore. From a professional perspective there are some downsides as I check my work emails more frequently and my boss can reach me anytime he wants!

Have you experienced major life events during your time at Fronde? 

Yes, I signed my first “off the plan” contract just a few months after I joined Fronde, and moved into my first house after two years at Fronde. 

And tell us a little bit more about yourself outside of work - family/pets/hobbies/side-hustles? Anything else you want to say?

I love watching movies and TV shows (thrillers and sci-fi) and reading history and psychology books. I was interested in baking when NZ was in lockdown, but I’m now lacking in practice with businesses being open again. When New World had their ‘Little Garden’ campaign I was keen on gardening for a while until my neighbours’ cats used my garden as a toilet and destroyed a lot of my seedlings! I also like to workout and play the piano when I am feeling good or I need a pick-me-up.