Final Report on Sustainability and Social Mobility in Professional Services : A Case Study of Accounting Profession in Hong Kong

專業服務的可持續發展與社會流動力 : 以香港會計專業為研究個案

Research output: Scholarly Books, Monographs, Reports and Case Studies (RGC: 11, 13, 14, 48, 49)48_Consulting or contract research reportpeer-review

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  • Iris Kam
  • Kin On Li
  • Janet Wu
  • Guilan ZHU


Original languageEnglish
Commissioning bodyCentral Policy Unit, HKSAR Government
Publication statusPublished - 2 Nov 2016


This Study addresses the longstanding challenge of enhancing socio-economic sustainability and social mobility in Hong Kong through an examination of the accounting profession as a case study. Given the pivotal role of the professional services in the Hong Kong economy and the impressive track record of the accounting sector in particular in cross-border collaborations and co-development, the insights from a study of the accounting profession will be of special reference to our understanding of existing gaps in our economic policy-governance infrastructure. In particular, the Study canvasses the views of diverse stakeholders (industry leaders, early and mid-career staff, big vis-a-vis small firms, accountant-in-practice vis-a-vis accountant-in-business, government, academia and students) through in-depth interviews, customized surveys, focus group meetings and discussion forums. The systematic analysis of stakeholders’ inputs enables us to identify not only the major gaps in policy and practices at various levels (individual/firm/industry/government), but also assess the variations in views and convergences over a range of openings and strategies of potentials to meet the gaps.
In a nutshell, the sector’s self-assessment of prospects (both personal and sector-wide) is, on the average, moderate and pessimistic for some. Young and prospective accountants have positive aspirations for their personal careers but the sector at large faces entrenched issues of governance and equity (e.g. excessively long working hours and stagnant entry-level pay), increasingly cut-throat competition and rising business risks and costs. There is a felt need for more broad-based and creative training and education programs to meet the need for new talent to provide non-core services and the needs of a new generation of quality professionals and business leaders. Investment in research and development on exploring new markets, new services and new technology, both in the sector or in academia, is considered to be insufficient. To meet these gaps, more proactive leadership and stepped-up assistance from the industry leaders, sectoral professional bodies, the Government and the academia is called for. This study has laid down recommendations to facilitate the process whereby the diverse views can be translated into potent forces for positive change and action.
本研究以會計專業作為案例,探討促進香港爭持已久的社會經濟可持續發展和社會流動議 題。專業服務在香港經濟中一直扮演關鍵角色,會計業是重要一環,特別是在過往中港跨 境合作及共同發展中創下了輝煌往績,深入解讀會計業的現況將有助我們了解目前香港社 會經濟、政策與治理架構中存在的缺位。尤其是本研究通過深入訪談、專門設計的問卷調 查、焦點小組討論和分享論壇搜集了不同持分者的觀點(行業資深領導者、中層和初入職 員工 ; 不同規模的會計師事務所 ; 在事務所內執業或在不同機構工作的註冊會計師 ; 學術 界和學生),系統地分析這些觀點不僅讓我們疏理出各個層面 (個人/企業/行業/政府) 的政策和日常操作中的差距,也可有助於評估一系列建議措施彌合這種差距的潛在可能。 簡而言之,會計界從業員的自我前景評估 (無論是個人或是行業) 大多只屬中游,部分偏 向悲觀。年輕或將入行的會計師對個人事業的確有憧憬,惟整體行業卻面對一系列治理的 問題、合適待遇 (例如工時過長及入職起薪金停滯)、日益激烈的割喉式競爭、商業風險 和成本上升。我們需要涵蓋更多多學科的訓練和富創造力的培訓和教育課程,培養新的人 才提供非核心會計專業服務,並孕育新一代專業人員和商界領袖。香港會計業界及學界在 投資研發(R&D)、發掘新市場、新服務以及新科技等各方面都做得不夠,這都需要行業領 袖、專業協會、政府以及學界更主動及積極的領導及協助。本研究提出了一些建議促進這 過程,讓不同持分者的意見揉合成有效推動行業正面轉變及行動的力量。

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