NEITHER the most powerful profit-and-loss account, nor the most bulging balance sheet will be enough to scoop any of the five DHL-South China Morning Post Business Awards, nominations for which open today. Financial expertise will obviously be a crucial factor, but the judges will be looking for in-depth skills, and searching for the individuals who can grasp the unique opportunities, and solve the special problems which the Hongkong business climate presents. The task will take six months, during which the distinguished panel of judges will be sifting through the backgrounds of the hundreds of nominations which the DHL-South China Morning Post Business Awards are bound to attract. Now entering its fourth year, the exercise seeks to acknowledge publicly the vital contributions made by individuals and companies in maintaining and expanding the economic viability and international stature of the territory. The sponsors believe the awards help to create an environment which will sustain the Hongkong entrepreneurial spirit, as well as highlighting and giving recognition to excellent standards of corporate management. Explaining the criteria for presenting the awards, Po Chung, chairman of co-sponsor DHL International (Hongkong), said: ''Hongkong's culture is based on vision, hard work and success. As the rest of the world suffers recession, Hongkong stands out as a paragon of achievement. ''As 1997 approaches, business opportunities are only limited by imagination. Through publicly recognising business luminaries, the Hongkong Business Awards seek to stimulate creativity and entrepreneurship that will further develop the envious stature of the territory in the eyes of the world.'' Underlining the role that successful executives can play outside the boardroom, the candidates are also expected to have made a solid contribution to community service. As with last year's competition, there will be five awards presented in 1993: Businessman of the Year, the Executive Award, Young Entrepreneur, the Enterprise Trophy, and the International Award. In addition to the major awards, Certificates of Excellence can also be presented. Previous Businessmen of the Year were Li Ka-shing, of Cheung Kong (Holdings), Gordon Wu of Hopewell Holdings, and last year's winner, Sir William Purves, chairman of HSBC Holdings. Last year the Executive Award went to C.D. Tam, senior vice-president and general manager of Motorola Asia/Pacific Semiconductor Products Division. The Young Entrepreneur was Eddy Tsang, chairman and chief executive of Ocean Information Holdings, while the Enterprise Trophy went to the Boto company, and in a double victory, HSBC Holdings and Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corp scooped the International Award. Once again, the panel of judges will be chaired by Sir Jack Cater, the former chief secretary. Joining him will be Paul Chow, chief executive of the Stock Exchange of Hongkong; Ian Christie, director of the Hongkong General Chamber of Commerce; Walter Kwok, chairman and chief executive of Sun Hung Kai Properties; Francis Lo, executive director of the Hongkong Trade Development Council; Lo Ka-shui, managing director of Great Eagle; Nigel Rich, managing director of Jardine Matheson; Paul Selway-Swift, executive director of Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corp; and Eddy Tsang, chairman of Ocean Information Holdings, who was invited on to the panel after winning last year's Young Entrepreneur Award. The panel members representing the sponsors are DHL's Po Chung and Ray Heath, Business Editor of the South China Morning Post.