After China opened its doors to foreign investors in 1978, the nouveau riche flaunted their newly acquired wealth with televisions, hi-fis, fridges, washing machines, microwaves and other home-enhancing symbols. These days, however, electronics and kitchen appliances don't elicit awe. Envy has shifted, instead, to the size of a house and the number of rooms in it. Accountants are, of course, adept at using numbers to parade their achievements. White Collar has reported many times how new listings of mainland firms and economic growth in China have increased demand for accounting services. Our city's accounting firms have been swift to meet that demand by expanding headcounts and offices. The largest firm in town, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), recruits more than 1,000 top-tier university graduates each year to support China's pressing need for quality accounting professionals. The No1 firm in the world expects the workload from China - where it now has 6,000 staff - will require it to raise its headcount to more than 10,000 within five years. To accommodate the talent expansion, PwC has leased prime space with Hong Kong International Development at the Beijing Fortune Plaza, in the heart of the city. The new PwC Beijing office opening next month will have seven floors and cover 20,000 square metres. It's an impressive amount of space. And PwC intends to pull out all the stops with an opening concert, featuring internationally renowned violinist Augustin Dumay and China's Philharmonic Orchestra. new digs for n02 PwC is not the only player in the office expansion game. Ernst & Young, Hong Kong's second-largest accounting firm, this month shifted into its new digs, grabbing 115,000 sq ft of floor space in the towering IFC2. The shift from Hutchison House and Tsim Sha Tsui's Gateway coincides with the appointment of a new chairman - David Sun Tak-kei, who replaced Anthony Wu Ting-yuk. But changing a chairman does not mean a change in decor. White Collar was informed that Mr Sun was deeply involved in the design of the new office before he took charge. Mr Sun can now show his flare for design in Beijing. He aims to at least double the headcount there to 8,000 within the next few years, which would inevitably lead to overcrowding in the Towers of Oriental Plaza, where Ernst & Young is squeezed into a mere 6,009 square metres - half the size of its office in Hong Kong and about one-third the size of PwC's Beijing accommodation. Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu won't be left out. Next year, it will move from Wing On Centre to Pacific Place One where it will occupy seven floors. It recently leased two extra floors in Oriental Plaza in Beijing after taking over accounting firm Beijing Pan China - stretching its floor space to 10,000 sq metres. accounting star dueOne of the world's most influential accountants, Sir David Tweedie, chairman of the International Accounting Standard Board, will visit Hong Kong on June 9. The Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants is co-organising the Financial Reporting Standards Forum and CEO & CFO Roundtable Luncheon with Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing at the Marriott on the same day. showtime for insurers White Collar is pleased to hear our insurance friends will launch a television and radio campaign to educate the public. The Hong Kong Federation of Insurers plans four weekly segments on Commercial Radio 1 (881) between July and December, leading up to a grand finale in mid-December - an insurance carnival. There will be 13 educational programmes on TVB Jade from July to October featuring interviews with top executives as well as insurance tips and policy-holder protection issues. General Insurance Council chairman Leo Ma and Life Insurance Council chairman Raymond Chan will be the leading front men. It's showtime! fund manager moves on Media-friendly fund manager Gerry Ng Joo-yeow has left JF Asset Management and joined Baring Asset Management (Asia) as its managing director. Gerry is known for promptly returning reporters' calls and his friendly ways. Hang Seng ranks No1 Hang Seng Bank won the Excellence in Wealth Management Award in Asian Banker's annual Retail Financial Services Awards. It beat 74 banks in the region in terms of performance, disclosure and sales capability, based on a customer survey conducted by AC Nielsen.