Career Forum: HKICPA president Dennis Ho says accounting is more than number-crunching
The Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants (HKICPA) will present a topical seminar at the Career Forum to showcase the attractions of a career in the profession and offer tips on successful job-hunting. Prospective accountants will hear how to pursue this career path and the ingredients for success in the profession, and get a feel for the working life of a CPA, says Dennis Ho Chiu-ping, president of the HKICPA.
"As a long-term accountant, I can attest that a career in accounting is fulfilling and exciting," he says.
As well as insights and examples from his own career, Ho will also share practical interview tips. "I will speak as an employer when I see candidates come for an interview. [I will explain] what are the common things to observe and give them some tips on how to present themselves better at interviews," he says.
While the profession is often perceived as being limited to number-crunching, Ho says it is much more wide-ranging. It can include careers in business operations, corporate restructuring, corporate governance and forensic accounting, across a wide range of sectors, including private, government and non-governmental organisations.
A typical career path in accountancy firms starts in the audit department, where accountants learn how to analyse the financials of various kinds of companies. After gaining a CPA qualification, which normally takes three to four years, the next step is promotion to manager, followed by promotion to senior manager after a further five to six years, and possibly to partner after another five years.
As well as the potential to work across industries, opportunities abound for accountants globally, especially in mainland China, Ho says. He adds that CPAs can help Chinese companies find outside investment and act as a bridge to build connections overseas.
The HKICPA supports its members on many levels. It organises a range of student-related and professional development events, helps members keep their skills up to date, provides information about financial standards, and offers networking opportunities.
Ho's motto is "put your passion into actions - always think positively and do things with passion."