The MSc in Accountancy programme has greatly enriched Andrew Kao Lap-shing's knowledge of accounting practices and tax regulations on the mainland. 'My lack of in-depth understanding in these specialised areas has motivated me to upgrade myself. I think Hong Kong professionals are facing growing competition from the talent in China. Many professionals from the mainland are smart and their salaries are only a fraction of those made by their counterparts in Hong Kong,' he said. Kao (pictured) is finance and administration manager of Hong Kong-based garment manufacturer Hanbo Enterprises, which has operations on the mainland and in Cambodia. 'As an accounting professional, I must acquaint myself with the most updated mainland business laws and regulations,' he said. Apart from the China-related subjects in this PolyU programme, Kao said the course structure featured many seminars and analysis of contemporary issues in the accounting discipline, which covered a wealth of advanced materials. 'Various courses, including theory and practice of accounting in China, taxation management in Hong Kong and China, and contemporary issues in accounting information systems, are highly relevant and useful to my work,' he said. 'I have become more confident when working with enterprise resource planning and dealing with the changes in the accounting system.' A special feature of the programme is that coursework with many group projects accounts for 50 per cent of the final grades in most subjects. Kao said he had made good use of the opportunities and formed groups with classmates for each project. 'I was able to maximise my exposure to the different business approaches adopted by professionals from diverse backgrounds and learn from them,' he said.