Peter Yung, CPM
Purdy’s Chocolatier – Vancouver, BC
Peter Yung is a payroll professional who knows that payroll is about people, not numbers.
“Payroll fits into the people and culture side of an organization far more than it does the numbers side,” says Peter. And as the Payroll and Benefits Manager at Purdy’s Chocolatier in Vancouver, he is well-placed. In the past, he reported to the Chief Financial Officer. However, the reporting structure was changed to reflect the company’s values, so Peter now reports to the Vice President, People & Culture.
Peter notes that the very fact that Purdy’s has a VP People & Culture speaks volumes. “I have a strong personal preference to support people and this is Purdy’s culture too, so our goals are meshed.”
Peter’s career progression is a familiar story for payroll professionals — what started as a side-of-the-desk job evolved to a rewarding career as the payroll profession evolved. His first job was with another, smaller candy maker and his role was a patchwork of administration, payroll and accounting. “I ended up in payroll because everyone was doing everything.”
He has been with Purdy’s for 22 years, and in the beginning his job spanned accounting and payroll. As Purdy’s grew, so did Peter’s role. Over time, payroll at Purdy’s evolved to become a more strategic business partner, and in 2008, he decided to get his CPM designation “to stand out as a professional.”
The intersection of professional respect and personal connection provides Peter with great satisfaction. “The fact is that most people work because of money. If you take care of them and their money, they’re grateful. The reward is built into the job: respect from your colleagues makes a big difference. Earning my CPM also greatly helped to grow professional respect for my role within Purdy’s.”
Peter’s career evolution has meant that payroll is now included in corporate decision-making. “My payroll responsibilities directly contribute to business wellness at Purdy’s. Payroll is a part of the company’s strategy for success.” And with Purdy’s emphasis on culture, Peter finds that extremely rewarding.
The west coast lifestyle is also rewarding for Peter, who lives in Burnaby with his wife and son. He moved to Vancouver from Hong Kong to attend high school, but two things kept him here: the first is the milder climate of Canada’s west coast, which is similar to Hong Kong’s.
The second reason that Peter remained in Vancouver? He met his wife there. Ironically, she is also a Hong Kong native, so although they are from the same city, they had to travel more than 10,000 kilometres to meet each other. He knows that the number of travel miles is beside the point; after all, as a payroll professional, he knows that it’s ultimately about the people.