Hong Kong has an important role to play in the Greater Bay Area (GBA), and the Institute works hard with its partners across the area to promote Hong Kong’s accountants as the partners of choice for businesses in the GBA. In 2019, the Institute set up the GBA Committee to lead its engagement in the area, and develop policies to support members.
From May to June, the Institute conducted a survey of members and Qualification Programme (QP) students on their views on the GBA for the GBA Committee. The survey received 221 full responses, of which 166 (75 percent) were from Institute members and 55 (25 percent) from QP students. The survey asked them their opinions about the GBA for Hong Kong CPAs, organizations and their own careers.
Importance of the GBA to CPAs
Respondents were asked how optimistic about the GBA they were for CPAs. Fifty percent were very optimistic or optimistic about the opportunities in the GBA for Hong Kong CPAs. Respondents in senior positions (executives, c-suites, and partners) were the most optimistic, with 60 percent stating they were very optimistic or optimistic about the GBA.
The top three services that respondents thought Hong Kong CPAs can offer the most value by providing were business advisory or consulting services (47 percent), initial public offering advisory (44 percent), and corporate finance services (33 percent).
Importance of the GBA for their organizations
Respondents were also asked how important they thought the GBA would be for their organizations. Forty-six percent thought it would be very important or important. Respondents from the Big Four reported the strongest importance, with 66 percent reporting the GBA to be very important or important.
The top three locations where the opportunities are for organizations are Shenzhen, Guangzhou and Zhuhai, according to respondents. Seventy-six percent of respondents selected Shenzhen as one of the top three locations, and 68 percent selected Guangzhou as one of the top three.
In response to the question on what is needed in order to start or grow and take advantage of the opportunities in the GBA, respondents selected the following as the top three measures: recognition of professional qualifications (45 percent), clarifying policies and regulation (42 percent), and removing barriers to practising in the Mainland (40 percent).
Members in practice and members in business had slightly different top three support measures. For members in practice, removing barriers to practising in the Mainland, recognition of professional qualifications, and simplifying business registration processes and procedures were their top three measures. For members in business, clarifying policies and regulation, recognition of professional qualifications, and simplifying business registration processes and procedures were the most important.
Importance of the GBA to respondents
Finally, respondents were asked about how optimistic they were about the GBA as individuals. Forty-four percent responded they were very optimistic or optimistic, with respondents under 30 the most optimistic at 48 percent.
Forty-eight percent of respondents had lived or worked in the Mainland, or were living or working there at that time. Of those that had not, 61 percent said they would live and work in the Mainland cities of the GBA. Like for their organizations, respondents selected Shenzhen, Guangzhou and Zhuhai as their top three locations for opportunities.
In terms of the support they would like to see in the Mainland, respondents selected similar tax rates to Hong Kong (52 percent), access to job opportunities or talent programmes (45 percent), and access to medical services (32 percent) as the top three measures.
The Institute thanks members and QP students for responding to the survey. These results will be used by the GBA Committee to inform and evolve the Institute’s GBA strategy and initiative, which will help members to position themselves in the GBA, seize business opportunities there, and further develop their careers.
“The top three services that respondents thought Hong Kong CPAs can offer the most value by providing were business advisory or consulting services (47 percent), initial public offering advisory (44 percent), and corporate finance services (33 percent).”