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Career Doctor
posted on Monday, 12 April 2010 07:35

I am 41 years old.  I am a ACCA qualified accountant and became a member since 2009.  I have only small local CPA firm experience and the exposure is very narrow.  Will a second tier firm be willing to offer me a trainee position?

In small CPA firm, a ACCA qualified accountant may earn less than $15,000.

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Anonymous's picture
Posted Sunday, 18 September 2011 06:56 PM

Dear DimSum

I have been unemployed since July 2010. The reality is cruel.

Anonymous's picture
Posted Friday, 29 July 2011 12:16 PM

Dear SC

I am sorry but I have to say that your worry is unnecessary.

Have you tried applying for other jobs? Not until you have tried, you can't tell whether the second tier firm will hire you.

I suppose your main concern is you are earning a rather low salary. There is only one way to improve it which is to look for another job either in another firm or in another organisation (ie not CPA firm). Rather then concerning something hypothetical, start sending out letters.

Anonymous's picture
Posted Wednesday, 17 November 2010 03:54 PM

hi..i am studying in ACCA and have few papers remain, also worry about the unemployment issue..when i become older, it's reality...what can we do?

Anonymous's picture
Posted Friday, 14 May 2010 07:50 PM

When I was 23 years old with a diploma in business studies, I could get job offer from bank. When I was 27 years old with a degree in business studies, I became unemployed.

Anonymous's picture
Posted Thursday, 13 May 2010 06:59 AM

I guess SC heard about that CPA has a bright career prospect few years back and hence studied for the exam in his late 30s and become an ACCA and started auditing career as a junior auditor then. He has experience in small firms and wonder if he can switch to 2nd tier and then big 4 one day like what other accountants mentioned in some discussion forums (typical dream path for acct grads) which will result in huge salary like 40K to 80K or even more when becoming partners.

However, audit work at bottom level is just labor intensive(not require much brain), it's like working as a production worker. Partner is like a plant general manager and they will not hire a worker > 40s. Hence the chance is slim, but zero. Keep trying and good luck. Prove to us that HK dream exists.

Career Doctor's picture
Career Doctor  
Posted Tuesday, 20 April 2010 03:04 PM

Why would you, or should you have interest in a trainee's job in the first place?

Please be realistic, at the age of 41, your "weapon" is your past 20 years of accounting experience, gained in big or small firms – it’s the same and it makes no difference. Even if you wanted to get into a more sizable CPA firms, a trainee position should never be on your consideration list, do you understand?

I believe you haven't been doing well all along in your career, needed a breakthrough badly, and therefore hoping by wiping your past and starting all over again in big 4 would turn a new page for yourself and your career, so very wrong! What a waste! You're dumping your most valuable tool/weapon in the trash can to try to fight and start empty handed, no chance for you to win any battle, don't be silly!

Try think on what you can do leveraging on your accounting experience and qualification. What have you got to sell yourself for a more senior roles, never a more junior one. Especially that you want a higher salary, a better income, look UP, OK?

Anonymous's picture
Posted Saturday, 17 April 2010 12:04 PM

HK is an international financial center. Hence, FP, insurance sales, asset management and customer service at banks are highly seek compared to other jobs.

When you are working in the bank, you might have a chance to switch to other depts. I've heard that in 2005, there was a teller in HSBC who successfully switched to HSBC management trainee position in corporate banking after 2 years of teller work.

Anonymous's picture
Posted Thursday, 15 April 2010 03:13 PM

Please don't lax about switching to a FP job without thinking seriously, FP is just a salesman before being recognized as a professional, you will only waste your quantitative skills.

Unless you already have a strong people connection, you need to be prepared for spending at least one to two, even three years on building client network for getting a stable income with your FP business. Even you get the FP qualifications i.e. CFP, CLU etc., they are just papers. It is your clients who pay you the commission for your service. I'm a CPA, CFP and FRM and working as a FP, but all these qualifications have not really helped much in my FP work.

Passby is correct that the banks must get the younger one if both having the same quali. Therefore, think deeply before switching to another field without having sufficient preparation, both financially and psychologically.

Anonymous's picture
Posted Thursday, 15 April 2010 05:18 AM

CT, since your age is a bit older, it will be easier if you can see if any of your friends know the partner of small CPA firm, then you can get in using the connections. If the salary you asked for is 6-8K, I don't see any reason why they won't take you. It's low but gets you a ticket to enter the industry and future return will be higher.

Anonymous's picture
Posted Tuesday, 13 April 2010 10:06 AM

Most employers think that you are too qualified to be offered a trainee position.

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