Home' A Plus Magazine : July 2013 Contents Keeping up
Co-opted Council member Jennifer
Cheung says the Institute must ensure
young CPAs have a wide range of
Five years ago, like many other young
CPAs, I was at a career crossroads:
deciding whether to stay on as an au-
ditor at a Big Four firm or enter the exciting, yet
daunting, world of business with its seemingly
I’m sure that many of my fellow young
members would agree that the journey from
being a professional accountant in practice to
being a professional accountant in business is
not an easy one.
The first obstacle is the struggle to decide
which industry and what type of role is right
Secondly, there’s the need to convince
prospective employers that you can make the
transition from being a mere “bean counter”
into being something greater.
With more than 45 percent of our members
under the age of 40, it is important for the In-
stitute to understand the career development
aspirations of young members, in particular
those who are in the process of leaving prac-
tice to join the corporate sector.
As deputy convenor and the only current
representative from the 25.35 young mem-
bers leadership panel on the Council, I hope to
represent the views of this important segment
of our membership.
Working with my fellow panel members,
the 25.35 group has built a platform for young
accountants to share views, network and or-
ganize training and events that are meaning-
ful to up-and-coming CPAs.
Other key initiatives in the pipeline include
the development of a financial controllership
programme and a potential mentorship pro-
gramme, which we are working to develop
with other committees and the leadership
team of the Institute.
The growing number of professional ac-
countants in business is evident. More than
60 percent of Institute members now work in
the corporate sector. That’s why I think it is im-
perative for the Institute to carry on engaging
and supporting accountants in business, so
that these members continue to see the value
of being CPAs.
Furthermore, we need to continue build-
ing the CPA brand, so that other stakehold-
ers – such as the business community and the
general public – can increasingly see how our
members are important partners with rounded
skills to help business and the community to
In some countries, a CPA designation is
seen as equivalent to an MBA degree, and
rightly so. We must continue to lift our CPA
brand in Hong Kong, so we, too, are held in
equal stead here.
Part of the process of building our brand is
increasing our influence. The Institute’s pro-
fessional accountants in business leadership
panel, of which I am a member, acts as an im-
portant bridge, engaging in dialogue with the
stock exchange, regulatory bodies and local
and international stakeholders regarding the
latest proposals and consultations on rules
and regulations that affect our profession as
well as the wider business world.
After working in banking for several years,
I’ve come to recognize how important corpo-
rate finance skills are to accountants in busi-
ness. As a member of the corporate finance
committee, I am helping to develop a specialist
qualification that would broaden and deepen
our members’ skills in this area.
The accounting profession represents one
of the core pillars of Hong Kong as an interna-
tional financial centre. It is, therefore, vital
that the inevitable reforms in our audit pro-
fession are achieved in a constructive manner
together with the government and other regu-
The Institute is celebrating its 40th anni-
versary this year. I’m encouraged and heart-
ened by how many volunteer members take
part in the Institute’s committees and activi-
ties, sharing the same passion to ensure the
continued development of our profession into
the future. And I am very honoured to be serv-
ing as a member of the Institute’s Council.
I encourage all members – particularly my
fellow young members – to continue sharing
views and ideas with us. Together we can en-
sure the continued success of our Institute.
Jennifer Cheung i s also a director, Hong
Kong coverage, global banking at HSBC.
20 July 2013
Meet the Council
“It is important for the
Institute to understand
the career development
aspirations of young
Co-opted Council member
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