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Stress concerns can be readily overcome...

Clarifying student misconceptions about the accounting profession remains among the key aims of the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants (HKCPA) Career Forum.

Carrie King, a second year student majoring in accounting at City University of Hong Kong, says she's excited about pursuing working opportunities across the border. "I'm interested in finding out about the standards of accountants on the mainland, and to see where I stand compared with them," she says, adding that "working on the mainland is a challenge that young people should take."

But despite her enthusiasm about cross-border exposure, King remains highly concerned about the pressures of work-life in the sector.

"It sounds very demanding. I have heard that accountants don't go home till 2am in peak seasons," she says.

"For a long time, I wasn't sure if my body could handle it, but after hearing [Modern Education accounting tutor] Frenda So's comments about work-life balance, I felt much more confident."

Fellow student Leo Sze (below) says he had some of the same concerns as King prior to the Career Forum, many of which, he adds, were subsequently allayed.

"The talk by [Poon & Co principal] Gary Poon was very inspiring for me," Sze notes. "I especially liked the part about how accounting, while demanding, can be very rewarding in many ways. His words gave me the confidence to try to overcome whatever hardships I might face."