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HKICPA announces findings from survey on accounting talent supply. Advocates the inclusion of accounting profession in the “Talent List” to alleviate talent shortage and promote economic development

16 January 2024

The Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants (HKICPA) conducted a survey to gain insights from members into the current state of talent supply within the accounting profession in Hong Kong and formulate feasible measures for facilitating talent attraction for the profession. Based on the findings of the survey, the HKICPA proposes several recommendations to address the current staffing shortage in the accounting profession and promote economic development in Hong Kong. One key suggestion is to include the accounting profession in the Government's Talent List, which would highlight the strategic importance of accounting expertise and attract talented individuals to the industry.


The survey was conducted from late November to early December 2023. The HKICPA issued online questionnaires to all members, which include both Professional Accountants in Practice (PAIPs) members and Professional Accountants in Business (PAIBs) members, to gain insights into the current state of staffing shortage within the accounting profession in Hong Kong, understand the challenges faced in attracting and retaining accounting professionals, as well as explore potential solutions and support measures to attract talent.


According to the survey result, 61% of the respondents ranked the extent of talent shortage impact at 7 or above (where 1 represents no impact and 10 indicates severe adverse effects); with 25% of them indicating a rating of 9 or above. Approximately one third (32%) of the respondents stated that their companies or organizations currently have a vacancy rate of over 10% for accounting and finance-related positions. Among PAIPs, 10% of them have a vacancy rate of over 50%, highlighting the magnitude of the talent shortage challenge.


Around 23% of the respondents took at least 7 months or above to fill the accounting and finance-related positions. Among PAIPs, 28% took over 1 year to fill the positions, indicating the difficulties in recruitment. Meanwhile, over 60% (62%) of PAIPs indicated that “Junior Level” job positions were the most difficult to recruit, when compared to “Supervisory Level” (22%) and “Management Level” (16%) positions.


To help address the staffing shortage issue in the industry, the respondents suggested to provide funding support to employers, increase investment in education and training to develop local talents, introduce incentives and subsidies to attract overseas professionals, etc.


Mr. Roy Leung, President of the HKICPA, said, “Different industries in Hong Kong are facing a certain level of talent shortage. There is no exception for the accounting profession. In view of this, the Institute and the industry have been dedicated to developing and attracting local talents. With the prerequisite of securing development opportunities for local accounting talents, we suggest the Government to further roll out measures to attract accounting talents from overseas as well as Mainland China to work in Hong Kong. The accounting profession is an important cornerstone for the financial and economic development of Hong Kong. The relevant measures will contribute to expanding a local talent pool of professionals and promoting overall economic development.”


Nowadays, multiple schemes have been set up by the Government to attract non-local talents to reside in Hong Kong for work. For instance, the Admission Scheme for Mainland Talents and Professionals (ASMTP), Immigration Arrangements for Non-local Graduates (IANG), Quality Migrant Admission Scheme (QMAS) and Top Talent Pass Scheme (TTPS), etc. However, the HKICPA’s survey found that 81% respondents have not applied for any of the aforementioned talent admission scheme to recruit talent, generally due to lacking awareness of the talent admission schemes or not finding them appealing. Some also found the application processes overly complicated.


The Hon. Edmund Wong, Legislative Council member (Accountancy) said: “The profession has been expecting the Government to address the staffing shortage issue, through implementing measures to increase talent supplies, such as including accounting profession into the ‘Talent List’, to fill the gap of talent shortfall nowadays, which helps uphold the service standard of the profession and solidify Hong Kong’s status as international financial centre.”


The HKICPA survey also found that 66% of respondents agreed that the accounting profession should be included in the Government’s Talent List, and believe this initiative could assist Hong Kong in terms of attracting accounting related professionals. About 90% (89%) respondents agreed with the following requirements if the accounting profession were to be included in the Talent List: 1) Obtained a degree in accounting / business major from a recognized university or a tertiary educational institution, with accounting-related work experience; 2) Proficient in written and spoken Chinese (Putonghua or Cantonese) or English; 3) Obtaining full membership of HKICPA or equivalent qualifications is preferable. Also, about 40% of respondents prefer non-local accounting talents having at least 3 years of working experience.


Summarizing from the survey findings above, HKICPA proposed the Government to include the accounting profession in the “Talent List” to speed job vacancies filling process up through recruiting non-local accounting talents. To ensure recruiting competent talents, HKICPA proposed that the talents should have obtained a degree in accounting / business major from a recognized university or a tertiary educational institution, proficient in relevant language, and having at least 3 years of accounting-related working experience.


On the other hand, over 70% (73%) of survey respondents agreed that students from the Greater Bay Area (GBA) represent one of the most readily accessible talent pools. To attract more accounting talents from the GBA to work in Hong Kong, the HKICPA invites the Government to expand the scope of IANG to cover the Institute’s accredited programmes offered by Mainland China and Macau universities, thereby increasing the included number of higher education institutions from two to five.   


The HKICPA also proposes that the Government should offer subsidies to members of the Chinese Institute of Certified Public Accountants (CICPA) and non-local students members graduated from universities in the Mainland China, to support their pursuit of completing the Qualification Programme (QP) offered by the Institute. The HKICPA believes this initiative would provide aspiring accounting professionals the opportunity to obtain an internationally recognized accounting qualification while gaining valuable exposure to the Hong Kong business environment. 


HKICPA shoulders the statutory responsibility of developing the accounting profession of Hong Kong and has undertaken various initiatives to support talent attraction within the accounting industry. For instance, the Institute has set up “HKICPA Source”, an online recruitment portal which features recent accounting job postings; the “Experiential Business Learning Programme” was also launched to provide job placement opportunities for students of tertiary institutions, and for small and medium practices to develop a talent pipeline to meet their manpower needs; collaboration with secondary schools and tertiary institutions is also enhanced to promote the important role of the accounting profession for Hong Kong economy and its development as an international financial centre. The Institute recently launched the “Employer Tool Kit” designed to assist employers and relevant stakeholders in effectively communicating the characteristics, advantages and development prospects of a career in accounting to attract talent.


For detailed findings from HKICPA’s survey on accounting talent supply, please visit the website.




倡議將會計專業納入政府「人才清單」 助業界紓緩人才短缺   促進香港經濟發展動力




調查於202311月底至12月初進行,向全體公會會員,包括界別會計師(Professional Accountants in Practice, PAIPs) 會員及商界專業會計師(Professional Accountants in Business, PAIBs) 會員,發放網上問卷,以了解現時香港會計專業人才短缺的實際情況、行業在吸引及挽留人才方面所遇到的挑戰,以及探討可行方法和措施協助行業吸納人才。


調查結果顯示,61%受訪者認為行業受人才短缺問題的影響達7分或以上(調查中,1分代表沒有影響;10分代表有非常嚴重影響);其中,有25%受訪者給予9分或以上。另一方面,大約有三份之一(32%) 受訪者指出其公司或機構的會計及財務相關職位的空缺率達10%或以上。界別會計師受訪者當中,有一成表示空缺率達50%以上,反映人才短缺所帶來的嚴峻挑戰。


大約有23%受訪者指出,需要至少7個月或更多時間填補會計及財務相關職位的空缺。界別會計師受訪者當中,28%表示填補相關空缺需時超過一年,反映招聘困難。同時超過六成(62%) 界別會計師表示,初級職位空缺最難以填補,數字高於中層監督職位 (22%)及管理職位(16%)










調查亦發現,有66%受訪者同意將會計專業納入政府「人才清單」,認為措施有助香港吸納會計相關的專業人才。其中,有接近九成(89%) 受訪者同意,若將會計專業加入人才清單,有關人才須符合以下要求:1)已取得獲認可大學專上院校頒授的會計/商業主修學士學位,以及擁有會計相關工作經驗;2)能夠操流利普通話或廣東話及書寫中文,或能操流利英語及書寫英文;3)擁有香港會計師公會會員資格或同等資格者優先。此外,約有四成受訪者認為非本地會計人才應擁有至少三年工作經驗。








公會肩負發展香港會計專業的法定責任,一直推出不同措施為業界招聘人才提供支援。例如設有HKICPA Source 網上聘平台,臚列會計關職位空缺;舉辦商界體驗學習(Experiential Business Learning Programme) 高等院校學生提供實習機會,亦可緩解中小型執業所的人求;加強與中學及專上院校合作,宣揚會計專業對香港經濟及國際金融中心發展的重要角色。此外,公會近期亦推出「僱主工具包」,協助僱主及相關持份者更有效宣揚會計事業的特點優勢發展路向,以吸納人才。