Straightforward Career in CPA Firms
      Author:jobsdb.com     Source: jobsdb.com     Release Time:8/7/2008 2:42:47 PM     View Times:15203
Straightforward Career in CPA Firms

If you know the accounting industry, the Big Four is not unfamiliar to you. Working in one of these certified public accountant (CPA) firms will lead you to embark on a clear career path with promising developments.

Philip Tsai, Partner of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, says, “The career path in CPA firms is very clear and straightforward.”

Huge Demand for Professionals
Tsai says that the demand for talent in the accounting industry is high. “In both Hong Kong and mainland China, mergers and acquisitions have been numerous in recent years, and lots of experienced accountants are in need. The China market has been expanding rapidly and statistics have shown that there are only some 130,000 to 140,000 CICPA (The Chinese Institute of Certified Public Accountants) members, but the actual need for such members in the accounting industry is up to 300,000 – 400,000.” He adds that accounting standards in China have developed to be in line with international standards already, and therefore, accounting professionals with international exposure and financial reporting experience are in huge demand. In addition, China corporations have set up businesses in Hong Kong and they need professional accountants to help. “Accountants with three to four years of experience are in the highest demand now,” Tsai says. In Deloitte, they hire about 150 experienced accountants every year in their Hong Kong office.

What Employers Look for in Fresh Graduates
Deloitte also hires fresh graduates. In Hong Kong, they hire around 300 fresh graduates every year, and intake of non-accounting majors is 50%. Tsai says, “As long as they are interested in the industry and are willing to spend time to study for exams, graduates of any discipline are welcome to join us.” Tsai says that if graduate recruits show good performance and have passed required exams, they can be promoted to managers within 5 years. “After further 5 to 6 years, they can be promoted to senior positions such as directors and partners. Some very brilliant graduate recruits can become partners in around 10 years.”

In selecting candidates, Deloitte looks for analytical power, interpersonal skills and communication skills. In addition, job candidates should demonstrate that they are team players. They should be able to work with clients from different industries as well. Tsai says, “Exam results are also taken into consideration. In addition, we will consider if the graduates have participated in extracurricular activities and internships.”

Demonstrate Your Skills
Tsai advises job seekers to get well-prepared before they attend interviews. Every year, Deloitte’s Hong Kong office receives around 2,500 applications from job seekers looking for positions at the company. He reveals that candidates have to pass group and individual assessments. “The first three minutes of the interview are very crucial. Candidates have to impress the employer by showing their sincerity, confidence and positive working attitude.” He also suggests job seekers to anticipate the requirements of employers, and show in the interview that they are the suitable candidate.

Attractions of CPA Firms
Developments in CPA firms are promising, as mentioned earlier. “Promotion depends on professional qualifications and work performance,” Tsai says. In Deloitte, staff will be exposed to various opportunities of working with clients from different industries and working in different environments. They are provided with on-the-job training and support to help them take professional examinations. Tsai points out that the structured learning programme of 120 hours per year is one of Deloitte’s attractions to job seekers. This is something not many CPA firms can provide. It is also the reason why Deloitte’s annual staff turnover is under 20% on average, a low figure comparing with other CPA firms.

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