The continuous economic boom in Hong Kong and China has resulted in lucrative opportunities for Hong Kong's accounting professionals. Since accounting services always complement business activities, the surge of business activities such as initial public offerings (IPOs) and mergers and acquisitions (M&As), is driving the demand for accounting services in the region. Ahead of accounting professionals is an era of robust prospects.
In response to this, the Open University of Hong Kong (OUHK) is offering a diploma in accounting programme for Form Five and Yi Jin programme graduates who want to pursue a career in accounting. According to Amy Chan, programme manager of the diploma in accounting programme, it is an alternative to a Form Six education. "Some students may learn more efficiently and effectively when studying work-related subjects compared to traditional academic ones in the formal curriculum. The programme provides another path through which students can achieve personal growth," Ms Chan says.
The diploma programme delivers intensive professional training in accounting. It is designed in accordance with the syllabuses of the Hong Kong Accounting Technician Examinations (ATE). The programme helps students build a solid foundation in accounting knowledge. The curriculum covers essential know-how, including accounting, auditing, taxation and information technology applications in accounting. Ms Chan says, "Students will acquire sufficient knowledge enabling them to practice in the profession and to advance towards higher academic and professional qualifications in accounting."
The Continuous Education Fund (CEF) reimbursable programme, offered full time as well as part time, consists of eight courses totalling 384.5 hours of studies. Full-time students can take a language enrichment course to improve English and Mandarin skills.
Students may also enjoy a 10 to 30 per cent discount on the programme fee.
Graduates from the programme will be exempted from Papers 1 to 4 of the Hong Kong Institute of Accredited Accounting Technicians (HKIAAT)'s Accounting Technician Examination if they attain a minimum of 60 per cent in the overall assessment of the corresponding courses.
The blueprint for the highly-valued professional status of certified public accountant (CPA) is transparently laid out. Students can advance professionally while working in the industry. According to Ms Chan, the employability of graduates has been impressive, thanks to increased demand and the high calibre of the students. "Business of all sizes require accounting services and so those interested should grasp the available opportunities," Ms Chan notes.
She emphasises a job in accounting is highly professional and demanding. One should expect long hours of work, and if accountants wish to pursue higher qualifications, the pressure will mount. "Working and studying at the same time is no easy task, especially if you are in a demanding profession," explains Ms Chan.
"Accounting professionals have to handle lots of sensitive information, thus a high standard of ethics comes before everything else," Ms Chan concludes.