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Sub-degree Holders

The Institute recognises that sub-degree holders represent a significant source of manpower to the accountancy profession and to Hong Kong. Although many will be satisfied to pursue their careers on the basis of their existing qualifications, some have the incentive and ability to seek advancement, via a vocational route, to become CPAs. Sub-degree holders are accredited by the Institute’s subsidiary, the Hong Kong Institute of Accredited Accounting Technicians Limited (HKIAAT), for exemption to its 8-paper Accredited Accounting Technician (AAT) Examinations.

It is important for the Institute to ensure that only those sub-degree holders who are able to demonstrate an adequate level of competency are admitted to the professional bridging examination. The Hong Kong AAT qualification will continue to be used as a benchmark for admission to the professional bridging examination. The route for the AATs to take a professional bridging examination to satisfy QP entry was created in 2002. This public examination provides an opportunity for able AATs to develop the generic skills and technical knowledge gap to study QP. The professional bridging examination is also benchmarked at the Education Bureau’s Qualification Framework Level 5.

The competency requirements for the professional bridging examination will be assessed in the form of four examination papers. These are:

  • Paper I – PBE Financial accounting
  • Paper II – PBE Management accounting and finance
  • Paper III – PBE Auditing and information systems
  • Paper IV – PBE Business law and taxation

The syllabuses have been enhanced as part of the New Qualification Framework for the Hong Kong AATs in 2007/08 and further refined for consistency with the graduate competency standards for QP admission (Appendix I). The competency requirements of the professional bridging examination, to be administered by the HKICPA Examinations Board, are set out here.

Apart from HKIAAT members, graduates of AAT examination who have not attained HKIAAT membership may also attempt the professional bridging examination. However, they will be required to become HKIAAT members before they can gain admission to the QP.