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Taxing but enriching staff programme
Published on Friday, 29 Jul 2011
Yvonne Law
National chief knowledge officer and tax partner, Deloitte China
Photo: David Wong

What training do you offer to nurture tax professionals?

Hong Kong universities do not offer degree programmes in taxation, compared with other institutions in the region.

You may wonder how one can become a tax professional without prior studies in tax-related subjects. Getting into a multinational accounting firm like our company is definitely a good start.

Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu believes that people are invaluable assets. Only investment in our people will ultimately benefit our talent and the firm as a whole, and help our clients excel in the marketplace.

Thus, our firm spends a lot of resources in helping our tax professionals become successful tax practitioners.

Training our tax associates 

Deloitte employs a full-time senior manager who is responsible for the design of training programmes and overseeing the technical development of our tax colleagues. The training programmes cater for different levels of our tax professionals.

Tax associates who have joined us are required to attend two-week classroom lectures that offer an "Introduction to Hong Kong and the PRC Tax".

Upon completion of the lectures requirement, they are expected to acquire some basic technical knowledge of Hong Kong and China tax system that they can use in their work.

To help them adapt to their new work environment, each new tax associate is assigned with a manager who will act as his mentor, responsible for looking after his daily work. Such a buddy support system also helps build up personal relationship and create a supportive work environment. 

Regular technical training  

Changes in tax legislation and practices never stop. To adapt to the ever-changing needs of the profession, colleagues are required to attend classroom training regularly. The lectures are given by a professional lecturer who is also an experienced tax practitioner.

Moreover, Deloitte has a group of tax experts responsible for keeping track of the changes in national tax legislation and relevant China economic laws on a regular basis. They issue commentaries about the changes in order to update the knowledge of our tax professionals.

Apart from regular training, we also encourage them to share their knowledge and experience with the group, sometimes during lunch break. The mode and topic of the session are up to the team. They can even host a case-study session and invite the group to brainstorm. 

On-the-job training 

Solid experience is essential to be a successful tax professional. Each assignment is handled by a group so that junior staff can have a chance to work with their senior colleagues.

Usually, the senior staff give the junior employees a briefing before work starts. Upon completion of each assignment, they have to fill up an evaluation form.

The senior staff review the performance of the junior ones and give them immediate feedback. With this evaluation system and coaching, communication is enhanced.

Knowledge can easily be shared among tax professionals while junior staff gain the required experience. 

Diversification of knowledge 

In the current global economic environment, multinational business structure often results in complicated tax implications in various jurisdictions.

Meanwhile, our tax professionals may want to try a new area for their own career development. Therefore, Deloitte endeavours to provide them with the opportunities to cater to their needs. They may choose to pursue a global outlook by including foreign tax in our training topics.

The company has also launched a secondment programme for our tax professionals to work in our China or overseas offices. Their professional development is always the company's first priority in this people-oriented profession.

We will continue to work on this by maintaining a communicative environment in the company and providing our people appropriate assistance.

Yvonne Law, national chief knowledge officer and tax partner, and Alfred Chan, senior tax manager, Deloitte China


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