Professional qualifications a springboard to accounting success

by Sophie Leung

Bernard Chan (left), and Ritchie Poon (right) programs directors
ABRS Professional Learning Services
Hosea Yeung (second left), business manager; Daniel Chuah (second right), president
Hong Kong Adventist College
Photo: Edde Ngan

The business market continues to evolve daily, alongside greater employer expectations regarding staff competencies. To begin a career as a professional accountant, a bachelor's qualification may be sufficient. However, accountancy firms are looking for professional accountant status, and one centre of learning excellence has devised a solution which combines a bachelor's degree with exemption from specific professional exams.

"An honours degree, recognised qualifications from professional bodies and work experience remain the three essential ingredients for a successful career in accountancy," says Bernard Chan, programs director, ABRS Professional Learning Services. ABRS is proud to be the accredited local teaching centre for the University of Greenwich, UK.

According to Ritchie Poon, also a programs director at ABRS, the newly launched full-time programme — the Greenwich Bachelor of Arts in Accounting and Finance, is offered by ABRS in collaboration with Hong Kong Adventist College. The programme content is designed to prepare young professionals in both accountancy and finance and undergraduate students alike for the challenges facing the financial and audit industries.

Daniel Chuah, president, Hong Kong Adventist College, says, "ABRS has proven expertise in finance and business training, while our college is a bastion of educational excellence, complete with contemporary campus facilities. In this regard, we make a perfect match and provide a comprehensive educational platform upon which students receive full support to excel."

Realising the huge demand for qualified accountants from companies operating businesses in China and Hong Kong, the institutes offer a skills-based vocational programme, adopting a holistic educational approach designed to promote critical thinking and nurture student interest in areas which stretch beyond accounting and finance.

Students enrolled in the programme receive start-up training and earn a diploma in their first year. Upon completion of the sophomore year, students receive bridging training in preparation for either the degree or the advanced diploma. Final year students can opt for overseas study in the UK or remain in Hong Kong to compete the programme.

Successful graduates are awarded a bachelor of arts (honours) degree in accounting and finance from the University of Greenwich, UK. Professionally, the programme provides a springboard towards today's highly sought-after professional qualifications. Graduates are also granted exemption from several exam papers administered by the Hong Kong Institute of Accredited Accounting Technicians (HKIAAT) and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), the global body of professional accountants.

For interested parties seeking a career in accounting, a keen eye for business issues and sensitivity to mathematical numbers are crucial. The programme commences this September and applicants should possess Form Seven qualifications or Form Five qualifications with at least two years of relevant work experience.

Taken from Career Times 30 May 2008, p. A12
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