Money matters when it comes to bedtime reading

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 07 March, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 07 March, 2006, 12:00am

While Madonna's children's book The English Roses and J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series might be the bedtime read of choice around the world, only in Hong Kong could a publisher bring out a children's book about a little girl who makes a fortune.

That might be no surprise when you consider the publisher is the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

The institute last year issued a twin set of children's books entitled How To Raise a Money Wise Child and May Moon and the Secrets of the CPAs - the latter written by former Lai See writer Nury Vittachi.

The books tell the story of May Moon, a girl with no pocket money, who learns the art of accountancy to eventually land a cool $33 million by the end of the story.

It seems, however, that Miss Moon is not the only one to see a happy ending.

The institute sent the books to its 25,000 local members and 160 accountancy bodies around the world over the Lunar New Year as a lai see package.

To the institute's surprise, the book was a big hit among foreign firms, with some asking the institute for a licence to translate and publish the books locally, including Denmark, Germany and even some African countries.

Institute chief executive Winnie Cheung said she was thrilled with the response.

'Many overseas accountancy bodies were delighted with a children's book that tells children about the job of being an accountant. Many children dream of becoming doctors or lawyers, but few would dream about becoming an accountant. I hope our children's book will help change that,' she told White Collar.

The idea for the books came from Ms Cheung who, after a hard day's work, still has to tell her two children bedside stories.

'Bedside reading is actually a good way of teaching children and I would like my children to know what their mother is doing as an accountant. That's why I created the book,' she said.

podcast for fun with li

And on the subject of books, this week's podcast features Laurence Li, convenor of the 30SGroup, who has recently compiled a collection of stories - Standing at 30s - from the group.

The 30SGroup - set up following the Sars outbreak in 2003 - is a forum that brings about 400 young professionals together to discuss a wide range of issues.

The group is named after the average age of the participants, although we wonder if it will change its name in 10 years.

Members include accountants, bankers, financial consultants, lawyers and media people who contribute articles in the Chinese press on political reform, education policy, culture, economics and social welfare.

The group has no political position, no financial backing and it is motivated solely out of interest and fun.

To listen, please visit

bernard back to his roots

Although Bernard Charnwut Chan is now an Exco member, he has not forgotten his roots.

In his other role as a legislator for the insurance sector, Mr Chan asked the Securities and Futures Commission why it paid an extra $100,000 on insurance cover last year for the World Trade Organisation conference.

'The SFC office is on the eighth floor and it shouldn't have been at risk during the WTO riots,' Mr Chan asked in a Legislative Council financial affairs meeting yesterday.

A commission official explained that the extra payment was for 12 months insurance for riot or unrest to cover the International Organisation of Securities Commissions meeting in June.

Meanwhile, the Hong Kong Federation of Insurers last week held the HKFI Cup of the Green Power Hike contested by 10 teams from the insurance sector.

Manulife (International) won the 50km race from the Peak to Big Wave Bay.