Career Advice Job fairs and Events

Right skills from right programme

In today's globally connected and continuously evolving business world, professional-services qualifications need to align with business realities while equipping individuals with the competencies to meet challenges.

The CPA Program offered by accounting body CPA Australia equips candidates with an understanding of the issues facing organisations in today's global marketplace and meets the needs of both employees and employers, says Bernard Poon, divisional president - Greater China, CPA Australia.

The programme comprises 14 education segments including foundation and professional levels, and a fully integrated practical-experience requirement.

Exams for the professional-level course, which is delivered via distance learning, are held every May and October.

Alison Yam, a restructuring services associate at Deloitte Financial Advisory Services, says she chose CPA Australia because it is internationally recognised and is one of the largest professional accounting bodies in the world.

"I have found that working in Hong Kong and taking the CPA Program has given me different perspectives from different accounting systems," says Yam, who graduated from Australia's University of Adelaide in 2010 with a bachelor of commerce degree. She says being a CPA Australia member has broadened her horizons and added value to her career.

Also designed for self-study, the Certified Financial Analyst (CFA) programme, offered by the CFA Institute, combines a broad-based curriculum of investment principles with professional-conduct requirements.

According to Ashvin Vibhakar, managing director of Asia-Pacific operations at the CFA Institute, each level of the CFA programme is designed to progressively build the knowledge, skills and abilities needed to succeed as an investment professional, while continually emphasising the central role of ethics in investment decision-making.

Lena Wong, a qualified CFA who works with ultra-high-net-worth clients at Grace Financial, says she was drawn to the CFA programme because of its good reputation, ethical standards and code-of-conduct practises.

"I believe it is important to be geared up with the right skills so I can serve my clients' best interests at all times," Wong says.