As CPAs, the basis of many of our jobs currently involves dealing with the financial outcomes of the past. However, decision-making in business is forward-looking and affects the financial outcomes of future. We play our role by providing the necessary financial data to support managerial decisions. Marketing managers and production managers then utilize our data to support their strategic decisions. But what if we could extend our participation, such that we are the ones to bridge the financial data to marketing and production data, and to play a heavier role in corporate strategic planning?

Over the past decade or two, an emergent trend worldwide has been for the accounting profession to extend and reinforce its service domain in response to the growing demands from governments, enterprises and societies. The professional extension initiatives have been proposed by prominent accounting and financial associations, such as the International Integrated Reporting Framework from the International Integrated Reporting Council, the Global Management Accounting Principles (GMAP) from CIMA, the COSO Framework and the like. Furthermore, rapid developments in technology, including artificial intelligence and workflow automation, will replace a large amount of routine tasks in the near future. Facing such macro environmental trends, if we choose to pursue our career in the industry, we have to shift ourselves from a financial role to a strategic role; and from a recording role to an analytic role.

In order to develop our strategic business planning services, managerial knowledge must be reinforced. There are a number of developing paths available in the market. However, most of the executive programmes available out there fail to deliver management knowledge from the perspective of accountants and fail to bridge the gap between finance and management. Some, such as the GMAP and COSO do provide relevant managerial principles and frameworks as guidelines, but they are abstract and lack the concrete steps and procedures, structural tools and effective learning syllabus for business mindset building.

To excel in strategic and analytic management roles, CPAs must be capable of dealing with tasks with a business mindset, which are future-orientated and of holistic consideration.

The programme

The programme “From CPA to CPA Plus” is tailored for practitioners in finance and accounting. Developed on the foundation of business engineering, the programme helps one to build up a strategic business mindset starting from the financial statements, and develop the capability for capturing the insightful essence of business cases and practically applying a visualized framework to tackle business issues at a strategic level.

The programme teaches one to analyse and judge rationales behind the financial figures of the past, and develop the rational support for the budgets of coming years, as well as being able to make rational judgements and objective business decisions by incorporating key market factors. The programme will also help one to build confidence in taking up corporate strategic planning and decision-making roles. It is commonly believed that strategic business management ability is mostly earned through experience, but this programme will help as an effective catalyst and supplement to obtaining the ability.

Primarily, students will be taught with a holistic and integrative business-view framework, the 44 elements and interrelations in its structure, relevant business logic, principles and concepts, which are collectively called “GAMP” – Generally Accepted Management Principles. The programme is delivered in a practical approach through using examples to help better comprehend the course contents. Tools and takeaways are also provided, helping students to apply the concepts.

The programme is offered in both face-to- face and e-learning modes. Through either mode, participants will be able to establish the “BASE” – the Business Engineering Mindset and Framework (BE MindFrame), to extend their view from an accounting perspective to a management perspective, and to give professional management opinions and advice. The face-to-face version is a two-day training programme, while the e-learning version features eight separate modules.

Course speakers

Professor Baldwin Hui is Chairman of HKIBE

Dr. Gary Ching is Vice Chairman of HKIBE

Andy Ng is Secretary-general of HKIBE

The Hong Kong Institute of Business Engineers (HKIBE) is a Hong Kong-based professional organization established in 2005. HKIBE dedicates itself to establishing a profession designation in management and providing relevant training for nurturing learners with the competency and mindset needed to help when facing business challenges. In embodying its missions, HKIBE has developed a body of knowledge called the “BE MindFrame,” which can help learners build up managerial competence. So far, more than 10,000 people have studied this framework, including corporate executives, entrepreneurs, accountants, and so on.

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