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'Passport' for future leaders

Published on Friday, 08 Oct 2010
Susanna Chiu, chairwoman of the Career Forum organising committee, says the event offers QP students the chance to learn about career options from experienced CPAs.
Photo: K. Y. Cheng

Career-path processes necessary to become a top accountant and insights into the numerous ways certified public accountants (CPA) can apply their skills in the world of business are some of the topics that will be highlighted at Career Forum 2010.

Organised by the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants (HKICPA), Career Forum 2010 will feature seminars, workshops and a free luncheon where distinguished CPA professionals will share their experiences with young people starting their careers in accounting. The forum is taking place tomorrow from 10am to 6.15pm at the Cyberport Conference and Exhibition Centre. Exhibitors taking part include top employers who will introduce career opportunities in their companies.

"Our forum will provide an excellent face-to-face interactive platform where fresh graduates, the institute's CPA Qualification Programme (QP) students and new entrants to the profession can learn about career options from experienced CPAs and prospective employers," says Susanna Chiu, HKICPA council member and chairwoman of the Career Forum 2010 organising committee.

The HKICPA is the only statutory licensing body of accountants in Hong Kong, and is responsible for the training, development and regulation of the accountancy profession in Hong Kong. The forum will also feature career-related workshops, including interviewing skills, working and career development on the mainland, psychometric tests, and career planning and presentation skills. During the career-development seminar, a panel of four speakers, representing CPAs with a different career focus of the accounting profession, will exchange views with the audience. Participants will also be able to learn about the HKICPA-authorised employer, authorised supervisor-training schemes, designed to support, and inspire QP students.

Describing the QP training and CPA qualification as a "passport" to the world of business, Chiu says few professions offer junior practitioners access to a wide cross-section of businesses. She says, regardless of whether the world's economies are going up or down, the essential skills of a CPA are always in demand. "During their three years of training with an accounting or auditing firm, QP students are likely to come into contact with more than 20 firms including global organisations and large local enterprises. Under the guidance of mentors, their hands-on work means they will interact with senior people in operations, human resources and finance departments," Chiu says.

She says trainee accountants also have the opportunity to develop language and communication skills. The stringent procedures and processes necessary to complete accounting and auditing assignments teach focus and discipline.

"These are valuable foundation skills for young people to learn so they can become the business leaders of the future. The people enrolled in our QP today are vital to Hong Kong's continuing success as an international financial and business centre," Chiu says.

She says the Career Forum 2010 will also highlight the variety of career choices open to qualified CPAs. "The Hong Kong CPA qualification is recognised in countries on five continents. Equipped with a CPA, the only constraint to where you work is limited by you own ambitions."

Although Hong Kong has almost 1,500 accountancy firms, almost 80 per cent of the 30,000 CPAs are business leaders, general managers, self-employed entrepreneurs, senior company directors and working in private and public sectors.

"Whether a CPA chooses to work in a CPA firm, in businesses in the industrial or commercial field, government and public bodies or a not-for-profit organisations, the skills and knowledge they acquire from the CPA learning process provide a solid set of tools to enable them to succeed," Chiu says.


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