Comprehensive but challenging course
For Sigmund Hui, a finance professional with HSBC, choosing to study for his CPA Australia was an easy choice. His sister and mother already were CPA qualified, however, that is where the easy part ended.
"The programme is comprehensive, but the challenging content also ensures that on completion you possess knowledge that goes well beyond the accountancy profession," Hui said.
Having passed five exams with distinction, Hui is now into his final few months to complete the required three years of professional experience before becoming a fully-fledged CPA.
Hui said his studies taught him how to look at the bigger picture by considering the impact and implications of different accounting and management decisions. Furthermore, he was able to gain useful knowledge not directly related to his own field of practice. He said the study process was not to be taken lightly and those considering studying for a CPA should allocate sufficient time to combine work and learning commitments.
"I believe when a potential employer sees a resume with a CPA, they will appreciate you have undergone a serious qualification process and belong to a well respected group of professionals," Hui said. Content with his job at the moment, Hui said he believed his CPA qualification would be valuable tool in his career.
By studying two electives at once, Josephine Chan, who works in the auditing department of China Construction Bank, was able to complete her CPA programme within 18 months, well inside the maximum allowed time of six years.
"This is my way of approaching professional qualifications, but it might not work for everyone. It is not easy to balance both work and study. However, I felt a sense of real accomplishment and rewarded for my hard efforts when I completed the programme in May," said Chan, who views her CPA as a career enhancer.
She said the online support network and her mentor, a qualified CPA who also worked for China Construction Bank, were invaluable in helping her to successfully complete her studies.
"The programme really adds valuable knowledge and insights to what I am doing," Chan said.
"It is regularly reviewed to ensure its structure and content are of the highest standard, exceed the demands of today's business professionals and aligned with international best practice.
"These are really important issues for someone like me who is at the beginning of my career."
Chan said that in the future she would like to work in different parts of the mainland and would welcome the chance to work overseas.