I did not actually study accounting but business, at the University of Hong Kong, and joined the IPO vetting team of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEX) after my graduation.
I vetted candidates who were looking to list in Hong Kong. While in the role, I became interested in the law. So, I quit my job and got my law qualifications. I am also a full member of ACCA.
I currently work as a trainee solicitor in a Wall Street law firm in Hong Kong. As part of the corporate practice team, I advise listing applicants and banks on their initial public offer (IPO) projects. In this role, I am still involved in IPOs; I read financial statements and look at business models, as well as draft prospectuses and answer regulatory questions. One example is the market comparable analysis – one of the submissions that companies prepare as part of the listing process, which explains why the company would deviate from market norms.
I enjoy my job due to its challenging and fast-paced nature
I enjoy my job due to its challenging and fast-paced nature. It also requires multidisciplinary knowledge and skills, including a thorough understanding of the listing rules, and laws and regulations, as well as some accounting and finance knowledge.
One challenge from my time at HKEX that I particularly recall is a listing where there was an issue in consolidating a company’s financial statements. The company was not able to establish control over a subsidiary and it took a lot of hard work to resolve the issue.
ACCA provides continuing professional development training, which allows accountants to keep in touch with the latest developments in the sector. It is also a great opportunity to expand one’s networks globally. And for young ACCA members in Hong Kong, we have the Young Members’ Committee of ACCA Hong Kong, which currently has around 20 members.
Despite the challenges posed by Covid-19, I expect economic growth in China to remain very positive in the coming decade. This could lead to big fundraising needs by Chinese corporations, as well as robust capital flows relating to Chinese investments, which will present great opportunities for the accounting profession.
However, Chinese corporations and funds could work in a manner that is different from those in Hong Kong SAR, which requires me to understand and adapt. Some ways to do this include studying the written policies and in-person contact. The latter is particularly useful in understanding the Chinese way of business due to the personal touch and the communication that it enables.