Digging for staff who find real facts

PUBLISHED : Friday, 03 August, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 15 August, 2012, 10:54pm


An accounting firm with offices in Hong Kong, Macau, Shenzhen and Beijing, which has grown from three to 60 staff in less than a decade, is recruiting staff for further expansion.

'There has been increasing demand for our specialised skills,' says John Lees, director of JLA Asia. 'We are currently recruiting for junior and intermediate accountants in Hong Kong, Macau and Shenzhen. We are also always on the lookout for senior staff.'

Fresh accounting graduates who have some audit or commercial experience and are studying for an accounting qualification are welcome to apply. For intermediate-level positions, applicants should be qualified accountants with about four years' work experience.

The number-one requirement is integrity. 'We trust our employees. We have internal controls in place, but 100 per cent integrity is very important,' says Lees, who has lived in Hong Kong for 25 years.

Applicants should be good team players and, to be successful, they should also be alert, have an analytical and enquiring mind, and the ability to ferret things out.

'They should be inquisitive and often sceptical of the 'facts',' says Martin Tupila, one of JLA Asia's associate directors. 'Key skills include the ability to think critically and strategically, intuitiveness, and an ability to adapt to different situations.'

Excellent communication and interpersonal skills are necessary to be able to explain situations clearly to clients. A strong knowledge of IT is an advantage and so is speaking and writing Chinese, including Cantonese and Putonghua. The requirement for English is a given as nearly all reports are written in English.

Joining a smaller firm, rather than a large multinational, has the advantage of getting involved in all sorts of assignments much sooner, and it is no different at JLA Asia.

'We give staff opportunities which provide them with a good overview and they can see the results at the end of the day,' says Andrew Kan, another of the firm's associate directors. 'Here the door is always open and they can see the opportunities coming through.'

The firm supports those who want to further their studies and grants study and examination leave for those who are studying for their accounting examinations.

The demand for forensic services has grown considerably recently, while Kan expects demand for insolvency services to go up in the near future.

Potential Pay

Accounting Services

Financial controller

HK$100,000-150,000 (10 years +)

Financial planning and analysis manager

HK$67,000-100,000 (8 years +)

Senior financial accountant

HK$37,000-46,000 (6 years +)

Assistant accountant

HK$21,000-29,000 (3-5 years)

Source: Robert Walters