Held every January, the annual CPA Australia Career Expo provides an informal platform where participants gain insights into the diverse world of accounting. The event also offers an opportunity for potential job-seekers to discover the broad range of services accounting firms offer, and the way that different companies operate, as well as the career opportunities they provide.
"The expo offers an excellent opportunity for young people to learn about the culture of accounting firms," says Theresa Chan, a partner in international assignment services at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).
She says that while auditing remains PwC's core business, clients are also looking for consultancy and advisory services, opening even more career opportunities.
Chan says that PwC views the Career Expo as an opportunity to meet and share information. "Accounting firms like PwC are looking for job candidates that can become future business leaders. The CPA Australia designation is a worldwide qualification that not only focuses on accounting and auditing, but also on business leadership," she says. "The importance of understanding the need for upholding the highest standard of ethics and integrity, embedded in CPA Australia's CPA Program, are the other qualities that firms like PwC are looking for."
She suggests that expo attendees ask questions about graduate training programmes, hard and soft skills training, coaching and mentoring support from management, and career path opportunities. They should also enquire about job rotation, cross-function training and secondment options.
"As one of the 'Big Four' firms, with a large portfolio of multinational clients and a large client base on the mainland, PwC is able to offer a wide choice of career options within the firm," says Chan.
She believes the information that participants gain though attending the expo could help them to prepare more efficiently for a formal interview. "If job seekers go straight to an interview, they may miss out on the advantages that talking to professionals at the expo can provide," says Chan, a past president and current councillor of CPA Australia - Greater China.
More importantly, Chan says for firms such as PwC, the expo also provides an opportunity to learn about the expectations of those seeking to join the accounting industry.
"In addition to career opportunities, these days, young people are also focused on work-life balance issues. They also want to find out how the firms they would like to work with approach corporate social responsibility practices," says Chan.
She says the expo allows PwC to provide details about the firms' commitment to work-life balance. Expo attendees can also find out how they can participate in PwC's philanthropic programmes.
CPA Australia Career Expo 2012
Date: 14 January 2012 (Sat) Time: 9.30am – 2.30pm Venue: InterContinental Hong Kong, 18 Salisbury Road, Kowloon, Hong Kong Online registration:www.cpaaustralia.com.au/careerexpo
Become a CPA (Aust.) Information Session
Schedule:12 December 2011(Mon) 7pm / 9 January 2012 (Mon) 7pm Venue: 20/F Tai Yau Building, 181 Johnston Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong Online registration:www.cpaaustralia.com.au/bcpa