Life and prospect of working in professional accounting firms

English Version Only

23 November 2016

Similar to the over 2,000 accounting degree graduates generated by more than 20 local and overseas universities and colleges in Hong Kong in every year, most of our BPAcc graduates are eager to work for the “Big Four” accounting firms (i.e. Deloitte, EY, KPMG & PWC) as their first full-time employment.  In order to help our BPAcc students and graduates-to-be preparing for applying the “Big 4”, we used to invite partners of two to three of the Big 4 accounting firms as guest speakers of our monthly professional accounting seminars in each academic year.

On Wednesday 23 November 2016, our College had the great honor to have Mr Charles Chan, a HKU accounting graduate, as the guest speaker for our monthly professional accounting seminar titled “Life and prospect of working in professional accounting firms”.  Mr Charles Chan is a Director in the Corporate Tax Group of PricewaterhouseCoopers (i.e. the largest accounting firm in the world) Hong Kong. He has over 14 years’ experience in providing tax consulting services to local, regional, multi-national and listed companies. Charles also has experience working as an Assistant Assessor in the Profits Tax Section of the Hong Kong Inland Revenue Department (IRD).  Over the years, Charles has been assisting many clients to handle different types of Hong Kong tax issues as well as disputes with the IRD. Charles also has extensive experience in providing international tax consultation to his clients as well as involvement in tax planning and tax structuring work for companies with cross-border transactions.  He has involved in many business advisory projects including merger and acquisitions and the setup of efficient corporate holding and operational structure for his clients.

Charles shared with our students on the following at this seminar:

• What professional accounting firms are doing
• Career path in professional accounting firms
• Life in professional accounting firms

• What is the expectation on fresh graduates
• Application process and requirements
• Q&A session

Two of the attendees in this seminar were our BPAcc year-4 students, Cassidy and Brian, who were the first 2 BPAcc graduates ever recruited by the PWC Hong Kong, as associate auditors, starting from September 2017.  They had a close dialogue with Charles, who will be their future colleague and may be supervisor.

Throughout this 1.5-hour seminar, Charles has reiterated many times that the key success factor for working in a Big 4 accounting firm is “people skill”, which includes not only the communication skills with clients and colleagues, but also maintaining good relationships with various existing and potential stakeholders, or even fostering friendships with them, who will bring you ample of opportunities in firm’s business and/or personal career development.  Finally, Charles encouraged our students to be always willing to accept extra duties, be they boring jobs like photocopying or travelling around mainland China, since these are good learning opportunities.  Immediate after the seminar at 1:30pm, Charles was heading towards the Hong Kong International Airport for catching his flight to Changsha in Hunan province, for a meeting with his PWC client there in the next morning!

Awarding Certificate to Mr. Chales Chan from Prof. Joseph Yau and Mr. Edward Chiu