The Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants conducted a membership survey and discovered that the profession is increasingly cross-border and the outlook for job prospects is looking positive.
The online survey, lasting over a three-week period, received responses from more than 3,700 members or roughly 10 percent of Institute members.
According to Raphael Ding, chief executive and registrar of the Institute, "As the profession keeps on evolving, it is of paramount importance that the Institute continues to deepen its understanding of and familiarity with members to better serve them. Hong Kong's CPAs are stewards of the city's financial and commercial markets, so they need to be at the top of their game and the Institute needs to keep up."
This initial survey serves as a springboard for more member outreach initiatives, such as what further professional development courses, volunteering opportunities, and networking events to offer to members, adds Ding.
Slightly more than 40 percent of respondents travel outside of Hong Kong to carry out responsibilities. Of this demographic, an overwhelming majority of 80 percent travel to the Mainland, with Guangdong and Shanghai identified as the top spots.
Based on survey results, the profession offers an abundance of job opportunities with more than half of the accounting firms, and more than 40 percent of businesses and industries anticipating a need to add staff within the next 12 months.
More than 65 percent of respondents who are employed in businesses and industries, and almost half of the respondents who are employed by accounting firms, work less than 55 hours per week. CPAs working more than 70 hours per week are in the minority with three percent in business and 10 percent in firms.
With close to 40 percent of the membership under the age of 35, it is safe to say that the profession is trending younger.
Coincidentally, almost 40 percent of members earn more than HK$600,000 (US$77,398) )and about 20 percent earn more than HK$900,000 (US$116,097) in annual base salary not including bonuses and incentive schemes. Roughly one quarter of respondents received a bonus equating to six to ten percent of annual salary. About nine percent of respondents did not disclose their income information.
Survey findings indicate that the top-of-mind issues for corporate and firm leaders include: hiring qualified staff, retaining clients and staff, keeping up with changing standards, business development, and competition.