Edmund Chan, practising director of Mazars Hong Kong, has some sympathy for young accountants who want to go off and explore different aspects of the profession because he was like that once himself. Chan, who is in his 22nd year at the firm and became a partner in 2000, started his career in the late 1980s working at what was then one of the Big Eight. He then spent a year in the commercial sector before returning to the CPA world at Mazars.
“This generation of people always wants to explore more, and I encourage them to do so,” he says. "We were all young once, and often they come back – I know because I did so myself. Your career is 30 or 40 years; when you are young you still have time. Use that time to discover your goals, then go for them. So with CPA qualification, for example, ask yourself what you want to get out of those three or four years after qualifying.”
Six years ago, one of those young graduates joining the firm was Wing Tam. She started off in a junior role in the audit department and has risen to assistant manager, supervising audit teams and interfacing regularly with clients. Tam says she was attracted to Mazars by the working environment, in particular, the willingness of senior staff to engage with and answer questions from juniors. “All the managers are willing to teach us, even when we ask silly questions. They teach us how to do auditing properly.
After graduating from university Tam started studying for QP because of its well-rounded curriculum and worldwide recognition. “I think QP is a very comprehensive and well-structured programme,” she says. “Compared with other professional examinations, the workshops in QP are unique. The interactive workshops provide me with training opportunities to practise and enhance my professional judgment on technical issues. Also, through discussion with other students at workshops, you can exchange views, experience teamwork, clarify difficult concepts and learn how to apply technical knowledge practically on case studies. And the open-book examinations match our daily life; the QP trained me to apply what I have learned in my working life.”
Chan, her supervisor, says, "QP trains prospective accountants in a more practical way, and nurtures them to become reliable and confident professionals.”
To read the full article, please click here or the pdf attachment below.
Credits: Interview and reporting by Richard Lord (Prospective CPA Magazine: Summer 2017 Issue 111)