Li Jiaying accounts for a big future from CUHK experience

Shortly after Li Jiaying completed her dual-degree programme in Accounting and Management, she went on to pursue the Master of Accountancy (MAcc) programme at CUHK in 2021-22. One of her reasons was the global recognition that CUHK Business School’s programmes receive, among which Accounting and Finance ranked 40th in the latest QS World University Rankings by Subject in 2022.

In 1998, CUHK became the first educational institution in Hong Kong to offer a Master of Accountancy. The degree is designed for both accounting and non-accounting graduates, with the aim of nurturing professional accountants who can apply accounting knowledge and data analytics to develop business insights.

The MAcc has been recognised and accredited by numerous major professional accounting bodies, including the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, CPA Australia, the Federation of Schools of Accountancy, the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and The Taxation Institute of Hong Kong. Full-time MAcc students can usually graduate in just one-year, which Jiaying found efficient.

Li Jiaying (courtesy of the interviewee)

Another crucial factor is that teaching at CUHK integrates Chinese and western elements. After a two-year exchange in the US, Jiaying hoped to further her studies in a reputable university near her hometown in Ganzhou, Jiangxi Province. She trusted that studying at CUHK would add value to her credentials, and allow her to explore career opportunities in major cities in mainland China. “Acquiring Cantonese will definitely be an advantage for my job hunt in the Greater Bay Area,” she said.

She admires the idyllic campus and learning facilities at CUHK, with its buildings constructed along hill contours overlooking the picturesque Tolo Harbour, and enjoyed strolling and appreciated the greenery on campus. “CUHK is the largest university in Hong Kong. Unfortunately, I didn’t stay on campus for very long due to the pandemic. I hope I can come back to the campus again soon.”

Jiaying found the flexible design of the curriculum attractive, including the trimester study arrangement and cross-disciplinary course selection. It offers seven core subjects and five elective subjects, allowing students to flexibly choose and explore their areas of interest. She said, “Those who would like to pursue the Accounting Analytics Concentration will take five required courses, including Accounting Data Analytics and Business Intelligence.”

Jiaying likes the spacious, idyllic campus

Among the electives, she took Taxation in China and International Taxation Planning and Management to gain an international perspective on taxation. “Another course, Business Valuation and Analysis, helped me comprehend how financial accounting is statistically analysed,” she added.

Taught by renowned faculty staff and professionals with abundant industry experience, the MAcc offers its students theoretical and practical knowledge about accounting that allows them to get ready for their careers, in areas including professional accountancy, investment banking, management consultancy, financial management and academia. After all, accountants play a crucial role in interpreting management and financial information to support strategic decision-making in a range of organisations.

Jiaying said that the various workshops, online lectures and career fairs offered by CUHK Business School are instrumental for students in planning their future paths, and can be of great help to their development after graduation. She recounted the experience of seeking advice from a teacher when she was hesitating about her career choice. “I was not sure how each of the different departments of a Big Four firm would help to build my career. The teacher explained that auditing would provide me with an overview of how business operates in a particular industry.” After the conversation, she was more certain about her career path.

Through her studies at CUHK, Jiaying has a good grasp of her needs and understands how to make the most of her potential. Apart from the flexible curriculum and the Faculty’s rich learning resources, she has gained insights from outstanding professors and classmates. “Observing their dedication helps me recognise and overcome my weaknesses. After all, a person with versatility in knowledge and skills has talents which many employers are eager for.”

For Jiaying, accounting is more than dealing with financial statements and numbers. It is a language for her to navigate the business world and fulfil her potential. “I love to meet challenges and reach a higher level,” she says, drawing an analogy to her favourite hobby of hiking.

By Jenny Lau


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