Feature interview by Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants
Practical Experience: Views from the Ground
Authorised Employer: Hui Sik Wing & Company
Hui Sik Wing & Company was established in 1982. It is a small-sized firm with 20 staff members, providing a wide range of services such as auditing, accounting and taxation for a variety of clients. The firm has been registered as an Authorized Employer (AE) with the Hong Kong Institute of CPAs (the Institute)’s Qualification Programme (QP) since 2004.
Being a member-in-charge of the AE Scheme, Mr. Hui who is the sole proprietor of the firm, takes on the roles of both counsellor and supervisor. Mr. Hui says he enjoys taking up these responsibilities. “I feel I have a mission to train up QP students as well qualified accountants via offering quality training programme and creating a proactive learning environment to them.” he explains.
Mr. Hui recalled that he was immediately impressed by the QP when he first heard about it from the Institute. “QP looked very similar to the training programme that I had pursued for my chartered accountancy qualification in Glasgow, Scotland in 1981.” He adds, “The accountancy training courses offered at that time were coupled with practical experience, which I found really useful and practical.” Mr. Hui believes QP provides with students an excellent foundation for developing an accountancy career. “QP offers great benefits – it gives technical updates and builds solid knowledge foundation. Moreover, it is an internationally recognized qualification which allows students gaining work experience abroad easily.” he says.
Complementing the AE Scheme, the firm provides its own training programme. Students have to undergo a two-year in-house training on auditing and tax compliance so as to ensure they have grasped the basic job skills. Once they have completed the training programme, each of them will be assigned with a trainee so that they can act as mentor to give new junior staff on-the-job advice and guidance. Mr. Hui thinks that this practice gives them a chance to demonstrate their leadership skills, to learn to be independent and to consolidate their own background knowledge.
Mr. Hui strongly believes in providing his staff with cosy and welcoming environment where they can thrive, receive individual and one-on-one attention. Currently, Mr. Hui oversees six QP students. He believes this ratio is ideal. In this way, his small and close-knit company can monitor closely the progress of the QP students as well as develop a strong personal relationship with them. “They know that I can be approached at any time if they have a problem or question,” he explains.
Notwithstanding having frequent daily contacts with his QP students, Mr. Hui insists on organizing bi-monthly formal group meetings with them. These meetings take a unique approach, influenced by the highly successful Japanese business concepts – the Quality Control Circle (QCC). The QCC presents the opportunity for students to brainstorm ideas on how to improve the company, as well as to discuss any problems or issues that have arisen. For example, if a student has received a client’s complaint about the lengthy auditing process, Mr. Hui and his QP students can discuss and suggest ways for improvement before putting these ideas into practice. This encourages the whole group to cooperate well as a team, and inspires them to take initiative and be proactive.
Finally, Mr. Hui advises QP students to take a more proactive in their group discussions during the QP workshops. He also recommends that they prepare well each time and avoid missing any classes, as this will only put them behind their learning schedule. “Overall, QP is an excellent qualification. The more students and companies join the programme, the better standard we can maintain in our profession,” he summarises.