Jess Fernandez is the youngest consultant in South Sudan’s upstream oil and gas industry specializing in finance, accounting and taxation. At age 25, he holds the distinction as the youngest expatriate consultant currently employed in the oil and gas industry in South Sudan.
These direct hire positions are usually given to those with at least ten years of experience.
Before joining the upstream oil and gas operations, he has accumulated five years of ‘Big 4’ audit, advisory and consultancy experience with a rare opportunity and pride of starting up and pioneering a Deloitte office in the world’s youngest country, South Sudan, for which he was featured in SGV & Co. (Ernst & Young Philippines) Alumni Newsletter and Deloitte Middle East FOCUS e-Magazine.
When his contract ended with Deloitte last October 2013, he was offered a job by the SUDD Petroleum Operating Co. Ltd.
A Certified Public Accountant, his expertise is on external audit, tax advisory, consultancy, IFRS, IFRS for SMEs, Corporate Finance, internal controls, oil and gas accounting.
As one of the pioneers of Deloitte South Sudan, he has led and managed external audit, tax advisory and agreed-upon engagements in Juba in the Republic of South Sudan, the youngest country in the world.
Deloitte refers to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, a UK private company limited by guarantee, and its network of member firms, each of which is a legally separate and independent entity.
He was team leader of an advisory engagement for SUDD Petroleum Operating Co. Ltd., then known as White Nile (5B) Petroleum Operating Co. Ltd. a major petroleum operating company in South Sudan. The team was instrumental in the successful migration of the Finance and Human Resource Administration functions of the company from Khartoum, Sudan to Juba, South Sudan (after mandatory migration of head office resulting from South Sudan’s independence) with minimal disruption resulting to a smooth transition.
As finance consultant, he was in charge of capacity building, on the job training and transfer of knowledge to South Sudanese national staffs and in improving service levels across the organization in the areas of accounts payable, document management and payroll functions. The excellent feedback on the engagement spread in the oil and gas industry in the new country, which paved way for the firm to get all the petroleum joint operating companies in South Sudan as clients, in less than a year.
On the side, he has also led and managed audits of non-governmental organizations such as Population Services International, World Vision International and Internal Rescue Committee as well as tax advisory engagement with Qatar National Bank-Juba Branch.
To Greater Heights
In 2012, due to exemplary leadership exhibited, the firm promoted him to Supervisor after less than a year. He led the Deloitte team in SUDD Petroleum Operating Co. Ltd. in areas of finance and accounts (payables, receivables, treasury, documentation, controls, joint interest billing and financial reporting) and human resources administration (recruitment, payroll, record keeping, employee relations, compliance with local laws and unified human resource policy manual for joint operating companies in South Sudan, staff training and development).
Specializing in the energy and resources industry, he has been nominated to the Deloitte Middle East & North Africa monthly Energy and Resources Conference Call in which the firm leaders and energy and resources subject matter experts discuss recent on-goings in the industry across the region.
Before moving overseas, he worked from 2008 to 2011.
As Associate from 2008 to 2010, h e started his career as an Associate Auditor in Sycip Gorres Velayo & Co. (Ernst & Young Philippines), the biggest professional services firm in the Philippines right after passing the 2008 Philippine Certified Public Accountant Licensure Examination. Through consistently ‘exceeding expectations’ as per Ernst & Young’s performance management and development process, he was promoted to senior associate auditor, 21 months later.
As Senior Associate Auditor from 2010 to 2011, he has already acted as audit manager for a group of companies which had first year adoption of the Philippine Financial Reporting Standards for Small and Medium-sized Entities (PFRS for SMEs), which is based on the International Financial Reporting Standards for Small and Medium-sized Entities (IFRS for SMEs) and conversion thereof from the previous generally accepted accounting principles for non-publicly accountable entity in the Philippines.
He also supervised an audit of a Philippine Stock Exchange-listed entity and its subsidiaries which had reverse acquisition and requires value in use calculation for annual impairment testing of goodwill based on full International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). He was exposed to clients in diverse industries such as real estate, not-for-profit educational institutions, leisure and gaming, value-added mobile services, among others.
In 2000, he made history when he graduated as Class Valedictorian of the first batch of graduates at Kalibo Elementary School II (now Kalibo Integrated Special Education Center). In 2004, he earned his secondary education as First Honorable Mention at the Regional Science High School for Region VI.
He obtained his degree in Bachelor of Science in Accountancy in 2008 at the University of Santo Tomas. He was born on September 12, 1988 to spouses Franklin Fernandez and Corazon Fernandez.
The story of this Filipino achiever was featured in News5 Everywhere. Please do check this video of Aksyon uploaded on 29 October 2015.
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THE BLOGGER. Ulysses Espartero is a journalist, historian and book author who traces his roots from two Philippine jewels – Laguna and Antique. While in Dubai, he enjoyed his expat life documenting the struggles and victories of migrant workers in the Gulf Cooperation Council states. In 2014, he released Precious Gems in a Desert of Gold, the first and only coffee table book about Filipino achievers in the United Arab Emirates. Connect with him on facebook.