They say you can go anywhere with a good professional qualification, and Shirley Tsang has proved the point. Now executive director of the Tricor Group and head of business services for Hong Kong and the mainland, she notes her CPA Australia training has helped her move between countries and advise clients with business interests around the world.
'Many of our clients are multinational companies investing in Asia, in particular, China, and we have to be ready to move along with the investments,' she says. 'I really enjoy my job; new things are happening all the time and, of course, we are not just restricted to a local area, but have the challenge of cross-border transactions.'
Managing fast-expanding offices in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen, Tsang has to oversee the recruitment and development of trainee accountants. She stresses the importance for young accountants of working towards an internationally recognised qualification. CPA Australia makes this possible with the CPA Program delivered through distance learning and exam centres in major cities.
'If accountants want to have a successful long-term career, they should choose options that can provide them with insights to global business dealings or facilitate diversification into other business sectors,' she says.
Having lived in England and Australia, run offices in Hong Kong and the mainland, and worked closely with bankers, legal advisers and government officials, Tsang obviously knows all about diversity. She is doing her best to promote diversity through her involvement with the business community and professional bodies. She is taking the message to young graduates that accounting is the language of business and an accounting qualification, such as the Australian CPA, provides a great springboard for success in life.
'A professional qualification in accounting gives you the right start,' she says. 'It opens your horizons to a spectrum of other specialist areas, which you may pursue further during your career.'