Career Advice Expert Advice

Climbing the ladder

Informal opportunities to meet with potential employers are just one of the highlights of the CPA Australia Career Expo, which also provides a chance for participants to get noticed, develop connections and learn about industry developments.

"People who attend the expo gain real insights from experienced professionals," says Bernard Poon, FCPA (Aust.), president for Greater China at CPA Australia.

Featuring 22 exhibitors - including Big Four and other accounting firms, financial and banking institutions, recruitment agencies and professional services education providers - this year's event is the largest in its eight-year history, says CPA Australia. Over 1,000 participants - including fresh graduates and students from local and Australian universities - are expected to attend. 

Poon says the expo, to be held at the InterContinental Hong Kong hotel on January 14 from 9:30am to 2:30pm, also offers potential job-seekers a chance to discover the broad range of services accounting firms offer, and the way different companies operate. He adds that the expo is a one-stop event where those attending can explore career opportunities within a variety of companies.

"The expo is a great way to learn about job openings, education and the different types of career development programmes, and to practice communication and networking skills," says Poon, who is also managing director of transaction advisory services with Ernst & Young Transactions.

Poon recommends that, to get the most out of attending the expo, participants should prepare questions about technical and soft skills training, mentoring and coaching support, and how top management communicates with employees of the firm.

Poon says they could also ask about job rotations, cross-function training, work opportunities on the mainland and regional mobility.

"Because accountants are no longer considered bean counters, and are expected by their clients to be business advisers, aspiring accountants need to be prepared to develop strong communication skills," says Poon. 

He adds that exhibitors enjoy talking to candidates who are familiar with their company and lines of business, as potential employers view candidates who are knowledgeable about a firm as motivated, which can help them land a job.

To learn more about how the CPA Program can help with career development, participants can visit the CPA Australia booth.

In addition to organising the expo, seminars and various industry-related events, CPA Australia supports its 132,000 members globally in other ways, such as through the CPA Program, which raises awareness about ethics and integrity.

CPA Australia also organises social events, and presentations to share insights and experiences.

More than 140 members joined CPA Australia's "Caring for the Community" walkathon and photo competition in October last year.


Platinum exhibitors
Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu
Ernst & Young
Grant Thornton Jingdu Tianhua
Manulife Financial
RSM Nelson Wheeler
Shinewing (HK) CPA

Gold exhibitors
Baker Tilly Hong Kong
FTI Consulting (Hong Kong)
KCS Hong Kong
Lau & Au Yeung C.P.A.
Standard Chartered Bank
Tricor Services

Talent management partner
Michael Page International

Education partners
Kaplan Financial (HK)
Hong Kong Institute of Technology

Media partner
Classified Post